ARTIST:

SYSTEM OF A DOWN

(UNITED STATES)
TITLE:

TOXICITY

(2001)
LABEL:

COLUMBIA

GENRE:

NEO/NU METAL

TAGS:
Experimental, Growl, Screaming vocals
"Logical continuation of "System Of A Down", "Toxicity" is the essential album to discover this band which in the space of only two productions became an essential of the Metal landscape."
TORPEDO (30.08.2022)  
4/5
(0) opinions from our readers (0) comment(s)

Just like their unbridled, eccentric and uncompromising music, System Of A Down's life as a band is not easy. On the eve of releasing "Toxicity", they had to choose 15 tracks among the 40 written, manage the moods of drummer John Dolmayan and Serj Tankian who ended up in the hospital after a fight and finally suffer the blow of fate that made them release their album one week before the September 11, 2001 attacks. But it would have taken much more for these 4 Americans of Armenian origin to give up. In spite of the context, the title 'Toxicity' reached the first place of the Billboard 200 almost immediately, allowing System Of A Down (SOAD) to make a name for themselves well beyond the metal sphere.

Because this track has everything to please, as long as you are a little sensitive to big riffs that stain. Alternating soft refrains offering a nice melody carried by some guitar notes and the lines of low and clear vocals with this light vibrato that Serj Tankian has the secret with explosive refrains in which the drum rolls, the raging voice and the pachydermic riffs make wonders, 'Toxicity' is perfectly measured out so as not to put off sensitive ears and at the same time to please metalheads in need of big sound. Furthermore the track offers a huge heavy bridge (a pure pleasure to play for the drummers), giving off an incredible power that could make a Playmobil headbang. 

This construction proposing a succession of calm and harmonious plans with much more violent and brutal plans is clearly the trademark of SOAD, that we will find very often in the album at different degrees. 'Deer Dance', 'Jet Pilot', 'Psycho' and its beautiful final aerial solo or 'Chop Suey' are the best examples. This last one is obviously worth a closer look as it is one of the most listened tracks of the band. Less consensual than 'Toxicity' because more aggressive and more shouting, this composition develops classically by alternating melody and rage but by adding a small intro on drums not complicated to play but very effective and especially of the choruses which grow richer as the song unfolds. Impossible not to want to add his voice to those of Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian on the final! 

Beside these tracks quite similar in their structure, we find what made the success of the first album with light tracks allowing the band to expose its grievances in all serenity, based on clear and constructed arguments... Or almost. In fact, System of A Down is rather crazy and barbaric, borrowing from punk or thrash, with rather nebulous political lyrics that have the merit of being interpreted as one hears. And then there are the two unlikely compositions that come at the end of the album that are 'Aerials', a rather simple and composed heavy rock track that allows to appreciate without vocal aggression the melodic talents of SOAD and 'Arto' which contains only Armenian instruments and includes a duduk solo played by Armenian jazz/folk musician Arto Tunçboyacıyan. These influences coming from their native country are scattered all over the album whereas they were quite difficult to detect on the previous one, in the vocal lines like on 'Deer Dance', 'Forest' or via small instrumental touches like in 'Jet Pilot' or 'Science'.

So what to retain from this "Toxicity"? That it is the logical continuation of "System Of A Down", that it transformed the band into a legend all over the world and that it contains the eponymous hit that is part of the 20 most listened to metal tracks on Spotify. For a second album, it's not bad... The other side of the coin is that the most radio friendly songs are the ones that are most popular. So how to do better and especially not to give in to the sirens of the facility? It is all the difficulty which the group will face on its following productions.


More informations on http://systemofadown.com/



SIMILAR BANDS:
SLIPKNOT, KORN


TRACK LISTING:
01. Prison Song
02. Needles
03. Deer Dance
04. Jet Pilot
05. X
06. Chop Suey!
07. Bounce
08. Forest
09. Atwa
10. Science
11. Shimmy
12. Toxicity
13. sycho
14. Aerials

LINEUP:
Daron Malakian: Chant / Guitares
John Dolmayan: Batterie
Serj Tankian: Chant
Shavo Odadjian: Basse
   
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AUTRE LABEL / NEO/NU METAL
 
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