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4.6 out of 5 stars98
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 11 March 2006
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.
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on 18 February 2006
There was a lot of hysteria surronding "Mezmerize" before its release, would it be able to match or even topple the sucess of multi-platnium "Toxicity" and keep up the maamoth sales that it inticed.
Seeing that many magazines gave it glowing reviews i decided i would buy it, and i was not dissapointed.
Although it takes a more melodic and less heavy approach than their previous albums with more daron singing (a bad thing)it was a piece of arts genius and shows that metal does not have be bland or hollow screaming to make it sell.
And unlike the weaker "Hypnotize" you can just put it on and not skip one track, chock full of catchy metal and rock tunes with main vocalist/keyboradist Serj Tankian using all of his vocal talents giving it every drop of emotion he has.
From the gentle "Soldier side" to the beserk "cigaro" with daron malakian (vocals/guitar) signing stuff like "cant you see that i love my cock"
features the singles "Bring Your Own Bombs" "Question" and i think "Cigaro"
All in all a stunnig piece of work with a triple platnium success. Buy it, you wont be dissapointed, see why they stand out from other metal bands.
Inventive guitar riffs, that are annoying to play coz they are in drop C tuning, damn! ( i am too lazy to detune my guitar)
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on 24 November 2005
Having read some of the reviews of their new album Hypnotize (of which I haven't heard yet but will when I receive my copy from Amazon) I was staggered to read some people's opinions that not only Hypnotize but also Mesmerize was inferior to the bands early work. Absolute nonsense.
Whilst albums such as Toxicity are works of art, System of a Down have undoubtedly taken many steps forward with Mesmerize. Perhaps what hardcore fans may dislike about these latest offerings is the more political stance and decided leaning towards a more soulful and mystical style of music.
Their self-titled debut, Steal This Album and Toxicity were full of rage: Mesmerize has more of a message. Stand out tracks on this surely have to be B.Y.O.B (which is all about the war and in particular the use of bombs), Old School Hollywood, Lost In Hollywood and, my personal favourite, Sad Statue.
The album begins with the haunting Soldier Side which, although brief, acts as an introduction to the more methodical approach to come. The end track, Lost in Hollywood, is a scathing attack on the lifestyles of the rich and famous in Hollywood, yet for it's acidic overtones is still beautifully crafted.
Hardcore metal and rock fans, who are only after pure sound and noise by some of System's lesser contempories, will be disappointed by this. But if you appreciate a more thought-out and carefully crafted metal album then you would be hard-pressed to find something superior to this.
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on 24 May 2005
I was absolutely dying to get this album, now I can't stop listening to it. It's been on my stereo non-stop for the last week. The only track I've not really given a chance yet is the last one, its a bit slow. My favourite track keeps changing too, first it was Violent Pornography - love the lyrics, then it was Cigaro - angst at its finest, now its Question - really melodic in places but with a nice rough edge thrown in. Man its so easy to over review these guys so I'll stop rambling. SOAD do hard&fast extremely well. Only down side is its over far too soon, cant wait for the next album.
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on 10 June 2011
A perfectly assured and well made album, Mesmerize ticks a lot of boxes without being truly outstanding. It is always hard to rise above the spoils of a 'classic' and SOAD have not failed as such to reach the same heights they did with Toxicity but there is a certain feeling of mainstream sensibilities on this release that makes for easier listening but less impact. That said, by any other band this would be a storming tour de force. And it is excellent.

Opener is really an intro and not a song proper. But 'BYOB' is. And it's one of the strongest tracks on the album. Catchy, heavy and poignant. A near classic. 'Revenga' is also very good but not as good. It's very metal but in a slightly more subdued and polished way. 'Cigaro' is more akin to SOAD and is a bit mental but excellent as well (like most of Toxicity). 'Radio/Viseo' is another polished 'single'-sounding effort that again is very good but does not hold the power and fury of past tracks. 'This Coacaine...' is another mental SOAD offering but pales in comparison to similar tracks on earlier albums.

'Violent Pornography' is excellent even if it is a more subdued version of SOAD than usual. 'Question' and 'Sad Statue' are ok but relatively forgettable, although the latter's chorus does have a tendency to get stuck in your head! 'Old School Hollywood' is odd, very retro and ok without being great. And I really like 'Lost in Hollywood'. It's thoughtful and tuneful and mellow with great lyrics. An odd choice to end the album but a rather beautiful one.

So a mixed bag really. Lots of hits but alas a few misses. Toxicity will alwayd be their best for the time being but Hypnotize became a rather more edgy companion to this album, although the quality was similar. That said, Mesmerize is a perfect place to start if you are new to the band.
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on 13 June 2005
This album has been eagerly awaited by system fans the world over,and it delivers every thing you could ever want. B.Y.O.B. Is a particuarly fantastic song with all the others being of a standard that lets you know you are hearing quality metal. If you are not already a fan then give it a go, this album is more listener friendly than previous releases, but it is still a very welcome addition to the System catalouge
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on 4 April 2007
For those new to SoaD like I was until only recently, ignore the usual detractors here.

They are comparing all subsequent albums against 'Toxicity' just like other people are comparing the newer Queens of the Stone Age album against 'Songs for the deaf'.

These 2 new albums are better than 95% of other groups' albums out there.

The muppet who mentioned the lyrics in Cigaro on this album hasn't heard of irony or cynicism. Anyway, if you don't like 1 of the tracks, there's still another 10 classics to listen to.

All I would suggest is - if you like your music loud and challenging - go for it.

My son tried to get me into this lot ages ago and I resisted like an idiot.
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on 26 June 2005
System of a Down's latest album is the first of a 2-part album. This is mezmerize and the follow up (due for release late 2005) is called hypnotize.
The album is the first SOAD album to have an opening - Soldier Side. It also is very short in length, about 30-40 minutes. The first song to be released from the album is also the first song on the album - BYOB. BYOB is a great song that is full of meaning and excellent lyrics. A politically charged song is nothing new from SOAD but that doesn't mean that this is anything you've heard before. SOAD seem to have developed since Steal This Album and definately since Toxicity.
More brilliant songs follow with meaningful, whitty and even funny lyrics, particularly Revenga, Cigaro and Sad Statue.
The sound as mentioned has evolved, Serj Tankian's voice remains as powerful and unique as ever, John Dolomayan's drumming has got better (if that is possible), Shavo Odijian's bass playing is still solid and Daron Malakian's guitar playing is still as complex as it is brilliant. His vocals however do tend to encroach upon Serj's talented voice.
Since this is the 1st of 2 I suggest that this may be the weaker of the two, this is brilliant so imagine what Hypnotize will be.
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on 5 June 2005
Owning all previous System albums, you could only expect something brilliant. The rapid lyrics and even quicker rhythm changes makes this an incrdible, pacey exciting album to own.
With the caning bass and drums similar to that of Rage against the Machine, with the comedic lyrics that only Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian can attain '...violent pornography, choking chicks and sodomy...'.
Though, as mentioned before, the rhythm changes really steal the show, and the bass keeps them in check.
1.Rhythm change
2.Amazing lyrics
3.Knowing that another album should be on the way!
1.The album is only 38 minutes long, though not much of a con
Songs to listen to when you buy this:
This cocaine makes me feel like I'm on this song
Violent Pornography
Sad Statue

So, if there is any doubt left in your mind and you havn't bought any System of a Down albums before, put those aside, this album isn't as scary and goth yelling crap, it is proper music.
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on 20 May 2005
This album seems perfect for a generation with MTV attention spans (it clocks in at about 38 minutes - shorter than an episode of 24!) but it is the first disc of a 2disc set so that may explain the short running time. There are moments of sheer genius on this record - 'Revenga' is one of the best modern rock songs I've heard and 'Lost In Hollywood' is truly haunting - but as a longtime fan of System I can't help missing Serj Tankian's presence as the overall frontamn.
Daron is all over this album - guitars (obviously), songwriting, lyrics, vocals, production - and while he's clearly the biggest creative force behind the band the fact remains that Serj is simply a more unique and quite frankly better vocalist. It would have been nice to have Serj still singing the majority of the lead vocals (for all his claims to have moved more to the musical side of things, the cd sleeve only gives him music writing credits on one song).
However, as an album Mezmerize is simply fantastic. The overall sound is massive and heavy as hell (although its disappointing that they've finally given in and started using Autotune more heavily) and the songs are leagues ahead of what most other bands are putting out these days.
If you've been a fan of System since the beginning you may have reservations about Daron's frequent lead vocals but you'll still thoroughly enjoy the album. Everyone else should just buy this immediately (followed by all their other releases) and get up to date with the greatest hard rock band in the world today.
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