STEAL THIS ALBUM!
published by Rolling Stone
System of a Down are an absurdist blast of political rage, silly theater and shattered math metal. Few bands are better equipped to release an odds-and-sods record such as Steal This Album!, because SOAD songs already seem like bits and pieces of different songs welded and held together through sheer force of will. The fact that they shred isn`t as important as the oddly vulnerable noises they make when they (momentarily) cease said shredding. The delicate, spindly passage of guitar and chimes in «Highway Song» is one of these moments, and «Roulette,» a scared, wounded love letter, complete with violins and acoustic-guitar plinking, is another. When these moments come, like occasional glints of light in a black bombed-out building, System of a Down seem to be proposing that rage only matters if it`s underpinned with compassion. And that’s pretty cool.
© Rolling Stone (RS 911 — December 12, 2002)