What do you think of System of a Down?

I hear they have a new album, but I haven’t heard it. I was wondering what people thought of them though.

I hate Nu Metal, but I don’t mind SoaD too much. Still not my type of music.
I was thinking this morning, and realized that they seem to show a lot of inspiration from The Pixies in their music. Think about it. Anybody else agree?

I suspect they are a novelty band, and Tom Green is the lead singer.

I don’t have their newest album yet, but B.Y.O.B kicks ass. If you haven’t heard it, go to their website and click on “Words/Lyrics”.

I think they weren’t great on SNL, but I only saw about 2 minutes so I really shouldn’t comment. I did see them at Ozzfest the year Toxicity came out and they were really good. I’m not real familiar with the Pixies (maybe I should be), so I can’t comment there, either.

I, too, dislike what most people call “Nu Metal,” but I think System of a Down are fabulous. They are incredibly talented musicians and songwriters, and manage to cohesively tie together many disparate genres and musical influences. There’s a bit of prog metal, a bit of alternative, a bit of Armenian folk, a bit of polka, a bit of everything in their music. This does not, in and of itself make it good, but the way they meld it together does.

It’s great music.

I think they suck balls.

My wife liked the name, System of A Down. So when they were on SNL I recorded it and played their first song for her.

We both wound up giggling at the sheer awfulness of it. Really. Sucks balls isn’t quite the right term. So bad it’s funny is a better description.

Blech. The muscleheads at my gym play a SOAD CD on constant rotation. It was awful the first time. It was even better the 43rd time.

I dunno. I think Mesmerize is one of the most fun albums to come out this year. I didn’t pay much attention to SoaD before this year, but now that I’ve been exposed to the record, I can’t help but praise it. It’s fresh, it’s something I’ve never heard before, and it’s got great, memorable hooks. How can you not love the hilarious polka/folk breakdown in “RadioVideo”? Or the asinine Chili Peppers-inspired verse riff of “Violent Pornography” that goes into a monster of a heavy metal stomp in the chorus? There’s a lot of rhythmic, metrical, and song structure experimentation in their music (not just the usual 4/4 verse-chorus-verse-chorus-solo-chorus form). It’s fresh; it’s colorful; it’s interesting and fun to listen to. And it has a sense of humor about itself (the music does.)

It stands head and shoulders above any other “Nu Metal” I’ve heard, so much so that I wouldn’t classify System of a Down as such.

Is System of a Down NuMetal? Whenever I’ve had to categorize them, I’ve gone with Alternative Metal. But what do I know? ultrafilter’s good at this kind of stuff. I’ll defer to him.

Anyway, as to the OP, Chop Suey, Spiders, BYOB, Toxicity and Forest are good songs. I’m sure I could compile a list of SoaD songs I don’t like that’s just as long. I guess that’s just my long-winded way of saying they’re hit or miss.

I love System of a Down. Whether or not it’s your thing, though, I strenuously dispute any claim that it’s Nu Metal.

Nu Metal is heavily influenced by hip hop, and features elements such as turn tables and lyrics that are similar to rap. SOAD features guitar solos, which is also something nearly absent from Nu Metal. It sounds to me the closest thing to classic metal in the vein of Megadeth that isn’t a holdover from that era. I would also compare them more to Rob Zombie and Fear Factory than to Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park.

That aside, just because SOAD is “heavy” and hit the scene at the same time as Nu Metal does not make it such. It’s not fair to SOAD, but let me be so bold as to say comparing the two is quite a compliment to Nu Metal.

One more person chiming in to say that System of a Down is not nu-metal.
It doesn’t have any of the hiphop elements which make up nu-metal.
I loved Toxicity, but haven’t heard anything else (yet).

I like SoaD, although I can see why people might not. They’re one of the few metal bands I can genuinely stomach, as I dig the Armenian folk influence and the excellent musicianship they display. Like Thom Yorke or other particularly distinctive singers, though, SoaD’s lead vocalist is definitely in the “you either love him or hate him” category, though.

Yeah, characterising SoaD as Numetal is pretty weak, like they’re both loud so they must be the same. :rolleyes: System are a great band at the minute, they stand apart from their contemporaries for whatever reason, their sound is very distinct. The combination of heavy, politically-orientated rock is usually really dour and boring IMO, but SoaD pull it off with style and humour. Although I could do without the gurning.

Not hearing the Pixies influence at all Talon. I think the Pixies sound is really mellow, sweeping guitars and Kim Deal’s harmonies, think Wave of Mutilation. Black Francis’ shouting is just a small part of their sound to my ears.

I like the heaviness of their heavy grooves, the power of Serg Tankian’s voice, the attempt to say something with their lyrics and their willingness to include/acknowledge other styles of music in their songs. Very talented guys.

I don’t like the start/stop variation of their songs - each sounds like they are trying to build a single picture from pieces of different puzzles. I like songs that have a steady groove and logical transitions. Also, while I do like their lyrics and the intelligence behind them, I find them to be too heavy-handed. I wish their lyrics had as much fun as their variety of music does…

If they could settle down, craft real songs and explore other issues and emotions, they could be truly great.

They’re weird, but fun. I like them.

One of the best live bands I’ve ever seen. Saw them years back at LA’s Troubadour and my jaw was unhinged for the entire performance. Tons of passion, tons of energy. And yeah, the music isn’t exactly universal, but I’d claim they are a very important band these days. Why? Well, when Kelly Clarkson & Kenny Chesney can sell out giant arenas, when someone doing a cover on American Idol has become people’s idea of a great performance, and when corporate music by and large is becoming a rehash of the 80s, then you’ve got to thank God for a band like System of a Down.

I recommend the s/t album. Haven’t heard the new one, but the s/t is a bit better than toxicity.

I think that System of a Down has some serious musical chops, and the songs can be fun to listen to. But my enjoyment is seriously tempered by the fact that Serj is just a god-awful lyricist. Seriously, his words are just painful to listen to. I can usually ignore bad lyrics, but he’s on a whole new level of suck that’s just

It’s definitely not accurate to call them nu-metal, and it’s kinda tough to come up with somewhere that they do fit. The best I can come up with is to describe them as punk metal with ethnic influences, but event that’s not entirely correct.

I also disagree that nu-metal necessarily has hip-hop elements, although that was probably a fair statement 6-7 years ago. If that’s true, where do bands like Coal Chamber and From Zero fit in?

Punk Metal is a good start, especially because it implies a nod to the Dead Kennedys, who I think System of a Down were heavily influenced by (especially albums like Plastic Surgery Disasters).

Another SoaD fan here. They are unique. I really liked their performance on Saturday Night Live a couple weeks ago. After I saw that, I thought to myself it would be really cool to see them live! Then lo and behold, the very next week, I find out they are playing a surprise gig at the 9:30 Club here in DC. It was announced only like two days beforehand, and to get tickets you had to show up at the club’s box office the morning of the show. Well I had to work that day, so couldn’t really get off to get tickets! Besides, people were lining up the night before so I didn’t know what my chances of getting tickets were, since it’s a pretty small club. That would have been an awesome show!

I really like SoaD quite a bit as well,.

Mesmerize is very good and a great improvement over their previous release (“Steal this album” which was 100% filler). Pulykamell described it as fun, and I think that’s the best description of the album. Most songs have great rythm, and very catchy verses / choruses.

By the way, anyone else notice that the lyrics in the booklet for B.Y.O.B. are different from what Serj actually sings? (the lyrics aren’t posted on their websote yet). In addition to the first verse, there is also this big difference:

Booklet: “And we don’t live in a fascist nation”
Actual lyrics: “And we live in a fascist nation”

Or do my ears need cleaning?