Friday, June 25, 2010

FDF Volume 2 Issue 189 - System of a Down - Toxicity

I keep getting "take down" messages so I am taking away any links/images. Not sure what the issue is.

**album cover image removed**

By: March

Album - Toxicity
Artist - System of a Down
Key Players - Daron Malakian - guitars/vocals. Serj Tankian - lead vocals, keyboards. Shavo Odadjian - bass. John Dolmayan - drums.
Produced By - Rick Rubin and Daron Malakian

Release Date - September 4, 2001

What caused me to blow off the dust?
- A coworker of mine is of Armenian decent and had a cultural magazine with her this week that had a rather large article on Serj Tankain, so that lit the spark.

Overview - This was the third album released from the Glendale California formed band System of a Down. Often simply called System or SOAD, the four members of Armenian descent continued to blend progressive rock with their metal overtones and the results were huge. The events of September 11th only exacerbated the band. Songs from the album were seen as political rally cries only adding to the bands mystique. The band, all well spoken individuals, silenced critics. The album would debut at #1 on the United States and Canadian charts. The album was picked as the #1 album of the year by Spin Magazine and it would be nominated for a Grammy Award. It would go on to sell over 12 million copies worldwide. The album is the only SOAD cd that does not have a parental advisory sticker and continues to land on "most essential" lists in various print and on-line medium.

FDF Comments (aka the songs) - The albums with "Prison Song". A punchy guitar and slap drum before it halts and Tankian starts to whisper a few lines. This is repeated a few times before the band comes in with the chugging musical line. Tankian growls then the lyrics begin and Tankian and Malakian swap vocal lines while statistics on prison populations are quoted. The pace is ferocious and the band hardly lets up, but tosses in acoustic guitars to lull the listener, before it rips back to form. The band has set the tone both musically and content wise. "Needles" has an even more grinding guitar and the drums are hit awfully hard tipping off the bass line that is laid down. The chants come from the vocal and backing vocals, but the music is just so "heavy" you feel like you've been hit in the stomach and face at the same time. The vocals switch from almost spoken word to fully operatic range on "Deer Dance" still balancing the overall heaviness. The song hardly fades and "Jet Pilot" gets rolling. The bass is more up in the mix on this track and the band continues with the "quiet/loud" aesthetic. The band just pummels the listener with the mixture of tempos. The extended (well for a 2:06 run time) instrumental breakdown is a cool touch, but we are quickly brought back to reality with the feel. The track "X" begins with the drums and bass feeding off one another before the full band comes in. Tankian seems to sing about as fast as he has/can on the record to this point. Dolmayan has the speedy drum chops and the band follows his lead on yet another shorter track. The big single from the album (and most controversial) "Chop Suey!" opens with a ringing acoustic guitar before a second guitar and then the rolling drums. It all feels and sounds so pretty, but then we hit it hard and Tankian unloads. Vocally the song does switch gears from time to time and you hear some strings in the background, but all these just get you to appreciate the bands creative method of breaking down the song. "Bounce" starts with the chorus and its a chant of "Jump/Pogo" and "Bounce" and although keeping brief with the song, they fit in a lot. One of the longest tracks, the 4:00 long "Forest" follows. On the longer songs the band does not re-invent the wheel by any stretch. They work on "what works" expanding on the number of verses. We still get the explosive guitar bass and drums, so we don't get too off course. It is a mellow intro on "ATWA" with the lone guitar working with the bass before Tankian comes in hushed. He works with Malakian once more in tandem and after a bit it gets rowdy once more. "Science" seems to find the bass and guitar locked in to a tight set of progression in notes. Tankian gives the vocal bursts and the band always swells with him pushing the speed and volume of the song. "Shimmy"is just the same, but even shorter. The album's title track comes 12 songs in to the record. Released to rock radio its another just shining example of the power of SOAD. The quiet intro before everyone smashes down with the pounding drums, but we quickly "calm down" for the verse, but the chorus is just frantic. The band must be exhausted when they play live, as the heat they bring song after song, like "Psycho" just never seem to let up. The talent is very good and per the norm, they work as a collective so no one member is really the showcase player. The album closes with another song that hit radio "Aerials". A far more "mellow" song from the band, but it really can't be called mellow honestly. The tail end of the track is an instrumental section called "Arto (Bonus Track)" which runs close to two minutes beyond the end of Aerials.

Where are they now? - The band is currently on hiatus. This was announced in May of 2006 and the band played their final live show on August 13th The members were all comfortable with doing their own thing since SOAD had been active for over 10 years. In early 2010 Odadjian posted on his twitter asking "are you ready for System?" but Tankian was quick to respond that the band was still on hiatus. So, what are they, or have they been up to? Malakian and Dolmayan work together in the band "Scars on Broadway". Dolmayan also has an on-line comic book shop. Some links show it as being going through a re-org, but you can look if you want for Torpedo Comics on line. Odadjian is working on/with a projected called Achozen and continues to work in art networking as well. Tankian has recorded two solo albums. The second is due in September of 2010. He also recorded a live album with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra that was released in March of 2010.

FDF Personal Comments (aka the Live experience) - I have not seen the band live.

FDF Overall Take - Over all there is not a 'ton' of diversity on the record, but its just so very good. It is explosive musically and lyrically. Most people reading already have this I am sure, if not check out a sample to refresh your memory and "get on it".

Updated July 8, 2010.
I got two of these messages:
We have received a DMCA complaint for one or more of your blogs. Emails with the details were sent to you and all posts have been reset to "Draft" status (you may find them by selecting "Drafts" on the "Edit posts" page for each of the affected blogs). You may re-publish the posts with the offending content and/or link(s) removed. If you believe you have the rights to post this content, you can file a counter-claim with us. For more on our DMCA policy, please click here. Thank you for your prompt attention.

I removed the mp3s right away and re-posted the other content. There are no music samples so I am unsure why I got ANOTHER one today?? Thus, the tail end of what is normally seen in these posts has been modified.

Thank you for not deleting my post fully, but can you tell me what my second offense was?

Both removed, they were to the bands official page and myspace pages.

Disclaimer - For the most part songs listed you can find on iTunes or your local cd shop. The idea is to give you a little taste of the music. Please support the artist buy purchasing some of their work. Songs are posted for about 1 week but can and will be removed at the request of the artist, band, band management etc. If you are one of those persons contact me via the email link in the profile and they will be removed as soon as we are made aware of the request.


At 3:59 AM, Anonymous sebastian said...

Ha, I had almost forgotten this great peace of work. The day should have 48h, 24h reserved for listening to music... We wouldn't forget all these great albums. Love your concept!

At 10:33 AM, Blogger March to the Sea said...

Sebastian. thanks for your kind words. Hope you'll stop by again. Enjoy!


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