For those of you who haven't already picked up the latest release by System of a Down “Toxicity“, put it on your must have list for the New Year. Released on September 4th of 2001, several tracks from the album have been hitting the airwaves in heavy rotation. “Chop Suey“, “Aerials“, and “Toxicity” have, understandably, been getting habitually played on LA based radio station KROQ.
This album hits hard with a loud, fast, and powerful use of guitar and drums, and strong, emotionally fueled vocals. Lead singer Serj Tankian sings with such ardency, that you can truly feel the power of the lyrics and the message they are sending. This message is one of political and social wrangle, which is quite refreshing in a day and age where all we seem to hear about is teenage heartbreak and some one or others “bling bling” status.
Although the hard rock/metal scene has experienced a sudden boost in popularity, making it seem a bit trendy, don't be fooled by the radio friendly hits of this album. Most of the tracks on “Toxicity” rock hard and rock fast and, in my opinion, wouldn't appeal to the Limp Bizkit loving pseudo-rock circuit. In fact, there are a few tracks on the album that are very much reminiscent of an old favorite of mine, Oingo Boingo. In the song “Bounce“, there is just something about the way Tankian uses his voice that is comparable to the great Danny Elfman.
Overall, I'd have to say that “Toxicity” is going to leave you inspired and eagerly craving more. I say four stars and two thumbs up to System of a Down.
Favorite Tracks: “Bounce“, “Atwa“, and “Toxicity”