Saturday, 23 April 2011

CD Review: Mezmerize, by System Of A Down (2005)

System Of A Down deliver a high quality set with Mezmerize, the first of two 2005 records the band released before going on hiatus. After the rushed release of Steal This Album!, the band wisely took a solid two and half years to perfect the proper follow up to Toxicity, and results do not disappoint. Combining their power and passion with some stellar song writing, the band conjure up several excellent tracks.

Opener B.Y.O.B. (which stands for Bring Your Own Bombs) is a terrific anti-war song, wailing against the invasion of Iraq with ridiculously successful sarcasm. Revenga follows with a brilliant display of how harmonics can be applied to heavy metal, Serj Tankian finally adding control to his frequently over-animated vocals.

Radio / Video further demonstrates the band's growth, a terrific simple melody exploding into a furious fireball before morphing into a tantalizing oompah beat with mesmerizing harmonics. Sad Statue is the other stand-out track on the album, System Of a Down finding the path of least of resistance to a factory of thoughtful metal with Daron Malakian's guitar leading the way to more soulful yet angry harmonics.

While Cigaro and This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song represent unfortunate potholes, Mezmerize is brimming with a sense of maturity, with the songs now longer, more complex, and featuring seamless melodic and pace variations, but without ever losing the band's identity.


Daron Malakian - Guitar
Serj Tankian - Vocals
Shavo Odadjian - Bass
John Dolmayan - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Soldier Side - Intro - n/a (short track)
2. B.Y.O.B. - 10
3. Revenga - 10
4. Cigaro - 6
5. Radio / Video - 9
6. This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song - 6
7. Violent Pornography - 8
8. Question! - 7
9. Sad Statue - 9
10. Old School Hollywood - 7
11. Lost In Hollywood - 7

Average: 7.90

Produced by Rick Rubin and Daron Malakian.
Mixed by Andy Wallace. Engineered by David Schiffman.
Mastered by Vlado Meller.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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