I can see how some people hate this album - weird sounds, weird lyrics... I'm a massive SOAD fan, their self-titled album was probably my favourite pre-Mezmerize/Hypnotize of the three, so when I heard B.Y.O.B. and Cigaro on the radio a few weeks before this album came out, I thought it would be incredible.
Surprisingly after the first listen I was a little disappointed - there didn't seem to be any 'anthems' aside from B.Y.O.B. and there were a few strange songs. After a few listens though, I realised that every single song was an anthem.
I saw SOAD on their Mezmerize tour in June 2005, and to be honest, I can't imagine a better display. Starting with Soldier Side (Intro) being played behind a curtain, only for the curtain to drop when B.Y.O.B. kicked in, it was clear that every song from Mezmerize would be a classic.
This album displays all of System's traits - Crushing-yet-catchy riffs, sing-along choruses, eastern instrumetal solos, comedy lyrics, political lyrics, and general 'bizarreness'. Heavy songs B.Y.O.B., Revenga, and Sad Statue are equals to classics such as Chop Suey, Sugar, and Suggestions. Crazy songs Cigaro, Cocaine, and Old School Hollywood bring relief from the political rants (Malakian singing an acoustic version of the first verse from Cigaro is possibly the funniest thing I've ever seen/heard). Album closer Lost In Hollywood is a beautiful song even with the 'un-beautiful' lyrics "All you maggots smoking fags out there...".
To some it up, this album has everything, sounds like nothing before it and nothing since, and will forever be remembered as half of the greatest double album ever made.