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Mezmerize
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Daron Malakian (vocals, guitar); Serj Tankian (vocals, keyboards); Shavo Odadjian (bass guitar); John Dolmayan (drums).
  • Audio Mixer: Andy Wallace.
  • Editors: Dana Nielsen; Jason Lader.
  • Many rock bands talk endlessly about their "sound," refining a basic formula until it's either perfect or perfectly boring. System of a Down, however, developed a loyal fanbase with the opposite approach--the group mixes genres so freely that describing what their music sounds like is nearly impossible. Sure, SOAD is, at its core, a metal band, but on MEZMERIZE's first two songs alone, vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Daron Malakian and crew zigzag their way though Beach Boys-like stacked vocal harmonies, Anthrax-esque hardcore thrash, Cameo-style funk, and prog rock of a CARESS OF STEEL-era Rush variety. "Revenga" adds a touch of swooping Freddie Mercury vocal drama to the mix, while "Sad Statue" sports a guitar riff that sounds like a Greek bouzouki. Even sharper, tighter, and more ambitious than System of a Down's previous albums, MEZMERIZE makes for a consistently surprising listen.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (No. 975, pp.67-70) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "[E]verything on MEZMERIZE hits and splits with viciously honed purpose..."

Spin (p.101) - "Moods are muddled even more artfully on MEZMERIZE." - Grade: B+
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