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This is a great look at SOAD's beginnings and development as written by a self confessed fan (it may be biased, but at least he acknowledges that!). The info is pretty comprehensive and there are also a few pictures in the middle photo plates. You really get a feel for what inspires and motivates this band and come away with a deeper appreciation of their music. It also points out various places to find alternative music and art by the band that are not included on the albums. As the only source (that I know of) of this information on the band, this makes this book invaluable for fans who want a biography of an outstanding metal band. Well worth a go.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 24 July 2006
"A death glam and rap-inspired metal band with Eastern European polka rhythms singing surrealist protest songs about economic imperialism. Sounds great. To a few dozen mad fuckers worldwide, perhaps."

What this remarkable book about a remarkable band does very successfully is to explain how such an unlikely looking and sounding mob of Armenian refugees managed to achieve world wide commercial success, including 6 million albums sold and two consecutive number one albums in America (within 6 months of each other!) all without compromising their sound or their message.

System of a Down are a walking contradiction, a band that in theory should never exist. Who else would combine heavy metal with unashamedly intelligent left wing politics, or mix huge gut busting rawk solos with delicate Eastern European noodling, and get away with it? And not just get away with it, but make a huge genre shattering success out of it, while still looking like rejects from a bearded men's convention.

Ben Myers, with his usual knowledge, painstaking research and genuine love of ground breaking, attitude packed music, manages to locate these contradictions in the history both of the individual band members but also in the history of Aremenian oppression by Turkey. He explains clearly how the band rose out of the LA scene, making their name despite the scoffers and doubters who thought them too extreme, musically, aesthetically and politically, and then going on to show how they have stayed true to the ideals that inspired them. What I love about Myers' writing is his sense of commitment; like a fanzine writer he does NOT want to be an impartial commentator on events, he is a fan on the front line, taking an unapologetic stance on all the issues that matter, whether this be Bush's mad war games or the preponderance of pre-packaged and meaningless MTV "pop-punk" bands. There are many first hand interviews with the band within the 200 pages of this book, and many personal gig experiences, as the author pours so much of himself into his account.

It is this impassioned, personal writing style combined with the fact that System of a Down are a band who have the substance to warrant such a thoughtful, thorough examination, which make this book invaluable for anyone wanting to understand how music can still be challenging, inspirational and committed in the twenty first century.

Rosey R*E*P*E*A*T
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
This is a great look at SOAD's beginnings and development as written by a self confessed fan (it may be biased, but at least he acknowledges that!). The info is pretty comprehensive and there are also a few pictures in the middle photo plates. You really get a feel for what inspires and motivates this band and come away with a deeper appreciation of their music. It also points out various places to find alternative music and art by the band that are not included on the albums. As the only source (that I know of) of this information on the band, this makes this book invaluable for fans who want a biography of an outstanding metal band. Well worth a go.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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on 14 September 2012
Though not an official biography, this is a really nice account of SOAD's origins and of what the band stands for. Far from complete, it is more like a collection of interviews and information gathered by an obviously big SOAD fan. By telling bits and pieces of their story, it touches subjects like politics, immigrants' problems, life as a growing kid in LA, the story of a generation, war etc. I'd say it is well worth the money, as it nicely adds up to the ideas of their music, making a more complete picture. And these guys are definitely an eye opener!!
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on 9 July 2009
Any System Of A Down fan should read this, it includes sections on their Armenian bacckground, childhood of each band member, each album and other interesting SOAD stuff.
I'm glad I bought this book - I reccomend it to any of my SOAD loving friends.
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on 24 May 2009
This book is essential for any fan of SOAD who wants to learn more about the members early lives, the band's formation, troubles behind the scenes and inspirations for their music.
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on 20 September 2010
Not bad for die hard SOAD fans but certainly not the best music book I have read. Quite a few mistakes and it only takes a few hours to read.
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on 8 October 2015
cool book but not much influence by the band
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