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Рецензия KERRANG! на альбом «Toxicity»

System Of A Down: explosive and infectious second album from America`s most inventive modern metal band.

THANK GOD they haven`t disappointed us. Three years on from a truly classic debut that arrived like a bolt out of the blue and System Of A Down have done the honourable thing and only gone and bettered it. Easily the most inventive and least predictable band of the great American metal Renaissance, the Los Angelino quartet actually have little in common with any of their contemporaries… which is exactly why they sound like the most vital band in the world right now. There`s no fronts here — no samples, no lame rapping, no convoluted notions of rebellion and no claims to be anything other than a band with something to say.

«Toxicity» is a beautiful cacophony that`s the result of four instruments colliding — guitar, bass, drums and Serj Tankian. The Serj is a little known instrument from Armenia by way of America that sounds a lot like a human being, yet is capable of sudden shifts from grunting metal menace to soaring punk rock operatics by way of a series of squeaks, howls, grunts and twisted, poetic verbal ejaculations. Behind him rhythm section Shavo Odadjian and John Dolmayan lay down the tightest foundations for Tankian and ever-evolving guitarist Daron Malakian to display their colourful approach and off-the-hook ideas as to what a modern band should sound like. And since this album has been pared down from 30-odd songs to 14, it`s most certainly a case of all killer and no filler.

Opener «Prison» is a statistic-packed onslaught about a justice system that sucks minor drug offenders in and spits them out as fully qualified criminals; a song that calls for the abolition of mandatory minimum sentences, a change in drug policies and an increase in rehabilitation — all in a little over three minutes. As such, it`s the greatest song that Rage Against The Machine never wrote and says more than Limp Bizkit have in their entire career. This certainly isn`t party music though, rather it`s rabble-rousing, twisted parole punk in the same vein as MC5, Dead Kennedys, The Clash, Nirvana or Rage. Music to dance, f**k and smash things to.

«Jet Pilot» meanwhile is a frantic tale of war; the sound of musical carpet-bombing that practically drags you speeding through the air along with it, complete with a chorus that`s itching to be roared out by a hundred thousand people. «X» follows and is probably best representative of this band: a hammered-out verse gives way to an increasingly apoplectic fist-in-the-air chorus where the fat has been trimmed away and an economical approach applied: few guitar solos, plenty of time changes and a clutch of international flavours. No messing about.

Then there`s songs such as «Suicide» — ferociously schizophrenic with a beautifully emotive harmony-laden chorus where «angels deserve to die» — the mosh-pit friendly «Bounce» or «Toxicity», which manages to sound like Cat Stevens fronting Bad Brains. Absurd? Yep, that`s System Of A Down. Punk rocker, nu-metaller, skater, Satanist, goth, hardcore fan… whatever, buy this album. It’s all the above and so much more.

Metal album of the year, hands down.

BEN MYERS
© Kerrang (reviewed: August 2001)

27.09.2008 Рубрики: Reviews

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