Writer: Rhett Perez

System of a Down: The Twelve Year Hypnotize Album Anniversary

System Of A Down

The debate of “Who has a longer and more anticipated wait on a new album, System of a Down or Tool?” is always a topic me and fellow writer, Jarrett Crepeau, toss around every week. However, in terms of wait, the last Tool album 10,000 Days was on April 28th, 2006, while System of a Down released Hypnotize November 22nd, 2005, an almost 5 month difference. Not much in time, but it sure feels like it. Wednesday marks the 12th year of the silence of the Armenian-American rock band who collectively have sold over 40 million records worldwide, and earned many awards and nominations, including a Grammy for the single “B.Y.O.B,” and have topped the Billboard 200 three times. The style of bombastic riffs, melodic vocals, and cryptic lyrics is still debated on what genre exactly they possess. Most choose “Alternative metal,” “Art Rock,” or “Avant-Garde Rock,” but some think this is a new genre entirely, with the buzzword “Soad (Short for the band name) Core.” For us SOAD fans, we miss the band, and they have been claiming a new album for years now, in fashion of Tool, besides the fact Tool is now making progress. The Armenian rockers are touring Europe, while the American crowds pile up waiting for their return.

System of a Down was originally formed in Los Angeles, California, after members Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian dissolved their previous project Soil. The returned to the studio, where the previous recruit from Soil, Shavo Odadjian, as manager, but was later moved to the bassist position. From there, they recorded demos with drummer Andy Khachaturian, but before they performed, he injured his hand and could not play. This led to the introduction of John Dolmayan, and the full lineup was complete, and the band began touring locally. Coincidentally, all members went to the same predominantly Armenian school, but the age difference led them to not meet for a long while. After the first show, they recorded the official demo, while not publically release, made its way onto file sharing sites. Finally, in 1997, famed rock producer Rick Rubin caught the band, and signed them to American/Columbian Records.

Through 1998 until 2005, the band released 5 albums, two being a dual record, and one being leaked unfinished songs that the band humorously named Steal This Album!. Numerous chart-topping hits were written, with many coming from their most successful album Toxicity, and the 6th track being “Chop Suey!” hitting 640 million view on Youtube. Although, this song was apart of the tracklist of forbidden songs to be played on the radio after the events of September 11th, 2001, along with Aerials, and was even renamed to “Chop Suey!” due to the previous song title being “Suicide.” Over 40 songs were written for Toxicity alone, and many being inspired by Daron Malakian and his fascination with Charles Manson’s mind and philosophies. After the death of Manson earlier this week, Malakian felt sorrowful for his death and expressed this on his social media, leading to him being labeled as a sympathizer. He retaliated by stating in a lengthy post,

“Let me try to explain…I don’t back the murderer Charles Manson, I back his art and his views on social and environmental issues. Sometimes talented people do bad things…OJ Simpson killed his wife, which is horrible. But you can’t deny the fact that he was one of the best football players in history. So there is the murderer OJ and the football OJ… My family was in the Armenian Genocide where millions of Armenians were slaughtered by the Turkish government and Turkish soldiers. But I still enjoy Turkish music, Turkish art, and I have Turkish friends who probably had grandparents who were Turkish soldiers during the genocide.” You can read more on his controversial outlook on Blabbermouth.com.

Since the release of Hypnotize, the members have other endeavors they have taken part in, frontman Serj Tankian released a film score for the films ”Intent to Destroy” and “Furious,” and has his own solo projects, releasing the critically acclaimed Elect the Dead, and even adapting the tracks into an orchestral performance. John Dolmayan has worked with music less but founded a high end comic book store in Las Vegas under the name Torpedo Comics. Shavo Odadjian has been working with other artists and continues to DJ and record. Daron Malakian formed Scars on Broadway, which is now inactive, and is currently working on new material, but remains the most silent.

Since the final record of the dual release, many question the dedication of the band members, who all but Tankian has commented on. Odadjian, in a facebook post, blamed Tankian holding them back, and even asked fans how they would feel about a new vocalist. Due to this, the band Facebook page claimed this was not so, creating a split in fans, and continues to tour, but not produce any new material. The eager fans await any news on the topic, or at least a tour of the USA, but these are on hold as of now, and fans are starting to become less and less excited on news about the album, and some have even give up hope on the release even coming to fruition. However, many fans still believe in this to this day, and now that 2017 is almost over, the rumored year, some speculate the new album will be in 2018. Overall, fans just want something new, interesting, and intriguing to listen to once again, and hope one day that some new tracks with topics ranging from politics to pornography can come from the band and sell millions once again.

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