Faith No More
When it initially hit the shelves in 1998, System of a
Down's self-titled debut album caught most music listeners
off-guard, mixing standard metal riffs and beats with odd,
eclectic tones and previously unused territory within the
metal genre. Intimate vocals that that ran the gamut of emotions
spouted lyrics that spanned from drug-induced dementia with
socio-political commentary. Three years later, the quartet
has finally issued their long-awaited sophmore album.
On first play, Toxicity is a rough listen for those
who haven't experienced the first album. Songs shift back
and forth, going from brutally simple heavy rifts to intimately
written interludes, leaving most listeners wondering what
may be going on. Serg Tankain's vocals follow this same concept,
running from bold, brazen yelling to touching, heart-felt
melody. There are equal amounts of speed, heavy riffs, carefully
planned performance and a wide range of emotions.
Some tracks of note: Prison Song opens the album perfectly,
laying down a brutal tone that followed up by high-energy
lyrics and a powerfully angry chorus. Both Forest and
ATWA show the wide range that System of a Down
is capable of. Also worth listening to is Psycho, with
the excellent groove of the chorus, and Bounce, which
is just outlandishly funny.
While it is refreshing that System of a Down refuses
to go with the standard sound and structure that most "popular"
acts prefer to use, I would have to say that some of the elements
that are juxtaposed together can be a little hard to swallow
at times. Fans of the metal genre should thoroughly enjoy
this album. Though, if you like your metal straighforward
and predictable, Toxicity may not come to your liking.
Anyone who can appreciate talent dished out in intelligent
spoonfuls should look into this.