The long awaited (well, several months) second part of the Mezmerize/Hypnotize album by System of a Down is finally here – and is certainly worth the wait. A feast of dark, political songs await you with Hypnotize; the album is full of the originality that made System of a Down one of the most popular of the modern metal bands.
Hypnotize is markedly different from previous works of this Armenian-American band. The style of the music is more mature – strikingly so. It is, perhaps, not as heavy as previous works – but the vigour and energy of the metal genre is not lost here. Soaring riffs give way to haunting orchestral pieces, giving weight to the stark lyrics.
As with all other System albums, politics are the primary focus here – particularly war, with the Armenian genocide featuring prominently once again, particularly in the song Holy Mountains. The title track deals with the manipulation of the public, along with U-Fig. Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian combine in a risky but ultimately fruitful combination of raging and lamenting which strengthens the band’s message – one that becomes more obvious with each listening.
System of a Down have the courage to write bluntly about the controversies of American politics, combining their poignant argument with beautifully sculptured, passionate music.