System of a Down

System of a Down

Steal This Album!

American / Columbia

First things first: System of a Down rocks. Understandably but unjustly lumped together with the nu-metal crowd, SOAD were always a far better band than their regular MTV appearances might suggest. And so, while there is “Innervision” to remind you of how a much better Coal Chamber might have sounded, SOAD have much more in common with the frantic trash-clash of Mr. Bungle and, for that matter, a punk King Crimson. Even at their lamest, SOAD eats nu-metal bands for breakfast, before puking them up and stomping all over their limp bodiez.

Now, with that out of the way, it might be worth mentioning that SOAD still have to make the really good album they surely have in them, and they’re not doing it with this one either. They do tend to lose focus underway, to throw in the one odd time signature too many, to stomp a bit too muddily around, and to write songs that sound too alike. But thankfully, what dominates on here is SOAD’s frenetic and crazed aggro-metal, their angular and pissed-off prog-stomp.

From the hyper hardcore opener “Chic N’ Stu” to “36”‘s raucous drink rock, and “Fuck The System” — the weirdest metal protest song this side of the millennium — SOAD define a varied and defining sound that allows them room to branch out in every possible direction they feel like, and at any one time. Steal This Album is still not the perfect SOAD album, but it’s by far their most realized yet.

System Of A Down: http://www.systemofadown.com

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