Hypnotize

  • Record Label: Sony
  • Release Date: Nov 22, 2005
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 236 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 236

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  1. Nov 15, 2016
    8
    Hypnotise is perhaps the most important album System has ever released. This was their final album before they went on a long hiatus, which will soon be ending with their upcoming album. This also, perhaps, was their weakest album, and the hiatus will most likely allow them to spiritually clear their air, and allow them to head in a clearer, more musically interesting direction.

    There
    Hypnotise is perhaps the most important album System has ever released. This was their final album before they went on a long hiatus, which will soon be ending with their upcoming album. This also, perhaps, was their weakest album, and the hiatus will most likely allow them to spiritually clear their air, and allow them to head in a clearer, more musically interesting direction.

    There are some issues on this album, for example the overuse of Daron’s voice. In my opinion he works so much better as a backup singer than a lead vocalist, and it’s a shame he steals the show from Serj, who really is the greater singer. For one, Daron’s voice is high and whiny (intentionally so), which does suit the instrumentation, but wastes the manic singing of Serj, who really proved his skills in their debut. There are fewer moments in the vocals on this album that really resemble Spiders and Know, which evoke that middle eastern sound, which could really have helped these tracks.

    However, regardless this is a SOAD album, so it is still of a high quality, even if it can’t keep up with its predecessors. There are some standout tracks on this:

    Attack:
    We get a really fast, and thrash-like riff opening the album, and does remind me of the way 80’s bands tended to open their albums. This song does work, and has a lot of emphasis on Serj’s voice, which for me is a major plus.

    Kill Rock ‘n Roll:
    Another solid SOAD track, especially the comedic lyrics. “I felt like the biggest ass” goes to show there was some honest musicianship on this album, and even some hints of experimentation in their songwriting, which meant this album was anything but tame. Very re-listenable.

    Hypnotize:
    Great lyrics (“can you say brainwashing…brainwashing” as an example), this was a great track to choose for the title, but what I especially love is the solid balance between Daron and Serj’s vocals. If they want more Daron singing, this is the way to do it, with very prominent backups. Sadly the song isn’t as heavy as Mesmerize before it, but compensates with a very catchy and modern melody. Not a song you can really headbang to, but one you could really sing along to.

    Holy Mountains:
    This song sounds like something straight off their Debut. A long and heavy track, with massive religious criticisms (on the edge of redundancy and revolutionary), like a mix of Mind and Know. There is an eerie soundscape throughout the track, and makes the pacing of the album so much better. The 3 songs before this were very short and heavy, adding up to about 10 minutes of fast riffs, then stopped for a massive stomping track filled with huge riffs which live up to the name. This was an expertly written song.

    She’s Like Heroin + Vicinity of Obscenity
    They experiment even more She’s Like Heroin, and succeed in making something quite catchy, and re-listenable. This is quite a different tone for SOAD, as this is the first time they (kind of) touch on songs about love, but in their own, mildly psychotic way. Then with Vicinity of Obscenity they come full circle with the veritey of this album, this song is ENDLESSLY relistendable, with some standout lyrics, even on this album. Really great song, which I believe was previously released on a few of their older singles, which goes to show that they had some of their roots in this album

    Lonely Day:
    This song has a great melody, and ‘memorable’ lyrics, which I really don’t know what to make of… Daron has leads, and it just goes to show what a shame it is that Serj isn’t as present on this album, and he could really have carried the melody a bit better. Regardless the song sounds good when you listen, and is one which really feels like a hit, which works to the advantage of those re-listening to the album.

    Soldier Side:
    The album ends with the opposite of the opening track. What a good track this is. Like a semi-ballad, it has actually interesting anthem-like lyrics about war. Serj and Daron have harmonising vocals that work here, because of the anthem like quality of the song. A great way to end the album.

    Overall this cannot be considered a disappointment. It could compete with all of SOAD’s discography for its clear and distinctive style, and its melodic focus. I only wish there was less emphasis on Daron’s voice, and more softer and harder moments.

    This was a great success, and should really get everbody excited for the SOAD album, which is even as half as good as this (which will easily be) then we might have their new masterpiece on our hands.
    Expand
  2. martinw
    May 11, 2007
    10
    the best band of its kind!!!
  3. UnclePhil
    Nov 23, 2005
    5
    A disappointment, and a clear indication that Rick Rubin ought to have forced the band to pare all this down into one album. While he was at it, he ought to have stolen Daron's mic, and let Serj, the truly distinctive vocalist in the band, shoulder singing and lyrical duties. After hearing "Vicinity of Obscenity," it's hard to know whether we can still trust even Serj for A disappointment, and a clear indication that Rick Rubin ought to have forced the band to pare all this down into one album. While he was at it, he ought to have stolen Daron's mic, and let Serj, the truly distinctive vocalist in the band, shoulder singing and lyrical duties. After hearing "Vicinity of Obscenity," it's hard to know whether we can still trust even Serj for halfway decent lyrics, but at least we wouldn't have to listen to Daron flunk middle school English while he whines about "the most loneliest day of [his] life." 3/4 of the songs from Mezmerize combined with 1/4 of the songs here might have comprised one of the better hard rock (and protest) albums of the decade, but it's too late now. For a band positioned to be making the best music of its career, they sure do sound uninspired. I'm far from hypnotized. Expand
  4. KyleL
    Feb 10, 2006
    2
    VERY upsetting! I loved 'Toxicity', but SOAD is getting out of control. I absolutely hated this album.
  5. AndyW
    Nov 22, 2005
    0
    B.Y.O.B. is a pretty messy single. It jumps from fast screamo type heavy metal to absolute dance shit. I can't tolerate this music, it's too painful to listen to. This is like listening to Alexisonfire on speed!
  6. JosephS
    Nov 26, 2005
    0
    Why won't this crap just DIE?
  7. Cramped
    Nov 26, 2005
    1
    Take a few known riffs, throw some new vocals in and call it a second album? This album should be renamed: How To Ripoff Our Fans - System of a Down.
  8. JordanL
    Dec 1, 2005
    0
    This isnt music. system of a down tries to make a politcal statement, but remain too uneducated to do so. I find it funny how they criticize consumers, yet all own hummers. this attempt at melody is an embarrasment.
  9. GaborA
    Dec 28, 2005
    1
    Even if you're unaware of what real metal sounds like how can System fans ignore how repatative the band is? Or maybe thats what these morons love about them.
  10. Mike
    Nov 22, 2005
    1
    anyone who thinks critically about the music they listen to and believes that this is good, you need to be removed from society
  11. Dec 22, 2012
    7
    Hypntize and Attack are the big reason this album is alive. Mostly Hypnotize.
  12. AaronA
    Nov 30, 2005
    8
    listend through once and im happy with this c.d being a huge s.o.a.d fan meant i had high expectation and i love how this album sounds like their first, fast thrashing heaven i still prefer mezmerise and toxicity but this is a welcome addition
  13. JonS
    Jan 14, 2006
    10
    I don't know who would ratethis group (ever) less than 8, i mean they have awsome music, they criticize, and they get in your emotions whether you are happy or mad. This band is by far the best, and kicks every Rapers or country singer's ass.
  14. TejasP
    Nov 26, 2005
    7
    Since their debut, System of a Down have been one of the most original and pioneering bands in rock music. It is a testament to their quality as a band that their works have been so consistent and so true to their style. Their vision of a dual album Mesmerize/Hypnotize was an ambitious one. Double albums are always a tricky thing to pull off, and more bands have failed than succeeded in Since their debut, System of a Down have been one of the most original and pioneering bands in rock music. It is a testament to their quality as a band that their works have been so consistent and so true to their style. Their vision of a dual album Mesmerize/Hypnotize was an ambitious one. Double albums are always a tricky thing to pull off, and more bands have failed than succeeded in this regard. To this extent, System of a Down have to praised for so thoughtfully realizing and delivering a double album that does maintain unity. However, some slight errors of judgment by System of a Down leave this album a notch below classic status. Firstly, System made a wise choice by separating the release of each album by 6 months. Releasing them together would have been a bit too much to handle. "Attack", the opener of the album is all out hellfire. It is fierce and vicious, and Malakian and Dolmayan play it at a nearly superhuman speed. "Dreaming", "Kill Rock'N'Roll", and "Hypnotize" are all quality songs. "Tentative", "U-Fig", and "Holy Mountains" along with "Attack" have to be the best songs on the album. Overall, the quality of the lyrics in Hypnotize has drastically improved over Mesmerize. "Tentative" and "Holy Mountains" have some of the best choruses on the entire double CD set. It is here where we are treated to some the worst System of a Down songs on this album (and possibly ever recorded). "Vicinity of Obscenity", "She's Like Heroin", and "Lonely Day" are all frustratingly inert. From the wonderfully painful "Freedom! We're free!" of Holy Mountains, we are reduced to hearing "Terracotta banana" and Daron Malakian screaming "ASS!". The whole album has been gradually building upon itself, and these songs can best be called fillers. It truly is an anticlimax to everything that we have been treated to. In fact, as grand as the double album sounds, System of a Down have always been known for their economy. Several amazing songs from Steal this Album! just never made the cut into Toxicity ("Streamline" and "Bubbles" for example). One would have wished that System of a Down exhibited the same parsimony here. There are several songs in Mesmerize, but especially so in Hypnotize, that just did not need to be there. Instead of delivering two albums six months apart, System of a Down could have delivered one classic album, filled with all the unity and form that they wanted. It was an error of judgement in my opinion. It is unfortunate that System of a Down set such high standards for themselves, because this album is still really, really good. It just does not live up to their other mesmerizing albums, "System of a Down", and especially "Toxicity." Expand
  15. V.Z.
    Nov 30, 2005
    8
    Being more coherent, but less innovative than Mezmerize, I rate it lower (I'd give Mezmerize a 9 or 10). Hypnotyze suffers from more mediocre songs in the middle, but akes up for them with Track 8 and everything that follows it. You realize the impact of Mazmerize when a song like U-Fig sounds a little uninspired. Also, I get the feeling that the bad parts of the lyrics are more Being more coherent, but less innovative than Mezmerize, I rate it lower (I'd give Mezmerize a 9 or 10). Hypnotyze suffers from more mediocre songs in the middle, but akes up for them with Track 8 and everything that follows it. You realize the impact of Mazmerize when a song like U-Fig sounds a little uninspired. Also, I get the feeling that the bad parts of the lyrics are more striking on this album. Anyway, still a great piece of work. What a thrill! Listening to the two albums, you get the feeling that you are listening to rock music being made. And no, I am not saying "metal". Listen to some of the beats in this album. It is rock, in some cases even punk rock, with heavy metal influences. Expand
  16. TristanL
    Dec 8, 2005
    10
    Fantastic album and a great great component to the hypnotise/mesmerise double album. good music and nice and brutal. Excellent stuff.
  17. tonyak
    Oct 6, 2006
    10
    i love it...this is the first SOAD album i've owned and it's my favorite. i love all the political aspects: there are some great points, very deep. and, of course, the music is great!
  18. MikhailV
    Feb 10, 2006
    10
    Absolutely amazing, It's a bloody masterpiece. I have no idea how some people can put down S.O.A.D. and their music. I saw a comment saying "this isn't music". That person can go and burn. Each song on this album is amazing and send shivers around my body. I don't know if this happens to others? If i had to pick a least best song, it would be She's Like Heroin as it Absolutely amazing, It's a bloody masterpiece. I have no idea how some people can put down S.O.A.D. and their music. I saw a comment saying "this isn't music". That person can go and burn. Each song on this album is amazing and send shivers around my body. I don't know if this happens to others? If i had to pick a least best song, it would be She's Like Heroin as it sounds kind of rushed. But still great. System rock!!!!!! Expand
  19. yoG
    Jul 30, 2006
    10
    Awesome album.Better than 10 out of 10.Holy Mountains is the best song ever written.
  20. Gnarles
    Nov 25, 2005
    7
    While it's much better than the gaudy near-idiocy of Mezmerize, Hypnotize still suffers from two huge weaknesses that sabotaged its predecessor: Daron Malakian's "singing" and excessively blow-dried, pro-tooled production and mixing. Malakian is clearly getting fuller of himself with no end in sight; in fact, on Hypnotize's liner notes he's even credited first, before While it's much better than the gaudy near-idiocy of Mezmerize, Hypnotize still suffers from two huge weaknesses that sabotaged its predecessor: Daron Malakian's "singing" and excessively blow-dried, pro-tooled production and mixing. Malakian is clearly getting fuller of himself with no end in sight; in fact, on Hypnotize's liner notes he's even credited first, before Serj Tankian! Shut up and play your guitar, you balding jackass. Or at least I think it's a guitar: thanks to the usually reliable Rick Rubin and Andy Wallace, it often sounds like the band is playing inside a hermetically sealed box. Listen to Hypnotize and Mezmorize together, then go back and listen to Steal This Album and you will see what I mean. It just sounds NEUTERED and mall-metalish; much too glossy. However, complaints aside, hints of the old System show up on Hypnotize. The lyrics and songwriting are sharper and the music is more focused, and overall it's just not as wearying to get through as Mezmerize. These two albums, edited together as one cd with a different, rawer mix, might have been System's crowing achievement. As is, though, you get a two cd near-rip off that sounds like it was cut with Linkin Park's digital editing software. A 3 and 7 do not make a 10. A shame. Expand
  21. MarkU.
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    I think that Mesmerize/Hypnotize is one of the best rock albums in a long time. System of a Down's use of different influences reminds me very much of Queen.
  22. KarlM
    Nov 26, 2005
    10
    I am A huge System fan, i own every album and every song they have ever created. I love every cd, especialy hypnotize and mezmerize. All of the songs are really amazing, Serj and Darrons voices are totally fuckign sweet.
  23. JacobS
    Dec 2, 2005
    9
    The reason that i think this album is great, is that there is a thin line between the entire album, and all the songs work as a whole, while almost every song also stand strong on its own. The only downside is that there is a bit repetitive lyrics every once in a while. 9/10
  24. JasonG
    Jan 10, 2006
    10
    A brilliant album on it's own, but must be listened to along with Mezmerize to truly appreciate it. These guys are on their way to becoming the next metal legends
  25. LeeW
    Jan 10, 2006
    9
    Great cd Hipnotise awome song
  26. GregH
    Jan 20, 2006
    10
    Wow. And I say that as an objective listener rather than an avid fan. Point for point this album surpassed my expectations. Though much more somber than Mezmerize, the songs still retained their typical energy. I particularly liked "Stealing Society", "Holy Mountains", "Tentative", and "Dreaming". Overall, this album was by far an excellent purchase.
  27. donna
    Feb 21, 2006
    9
    not bad, not bad at all. their mixture of goth and funk has proven itself to be sellable.
  28. ChrisJ
    May 5, 2006
    9
    Superb. Loses its way a little between Holy Mountains and Soldier Side but the class shines through. If I ever hear a better song than Holy Mountains I'll consider myself very lucky..........still prefer Mezmerize though.
  29. Myles#13
    Sep 6, 2006
    10
    Great great GREAT album! Along with 'Mesmerize', this is THE album to have of the year, and firmly puts SOAD at the top of the musical field. SOAD dares to rock the boat, both musically and politically and remains one of the most truly original bands of our time. Fav's are 'Attack', 'Holy Mountains', 'Vicinity of Obscenity' and the hauntingly Great great GREAT album! Along with 'Mesmerize', this is THE album to have of the year, and firmly puts SOAD at the top of the musical field. SOAD dares to rock the boat, both musically and politically and remains one of the most truly original bands of our time. Fav's are 'Attack', 'Holy Mountains', 'Vicinity of Obscenity' and the hauntingly beautiful 'Soldier Side'. Expand
  30. simong
    Nov 22, 2005
    9
    more great stuff from sod
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Billboard
    70
    Not that the band's blend of metal; world music; jagged, breakneck rhythms; and non sequitur lyrics don't still connect, but it is nowhere near as dazzling as it was on its first two go-arounds. [26 Nov 2005]
  2. Entertainment Weekly
    83
    It's a strange brew that may not be everyone's cup of tea; still, there's no denying these cats have their singular system down pat. [25 Nov 2005, p.100]
  3. Los Angeles Times
    88
    "Hypnotize" has some of the circus-is-in-town surrealism that links System to the Frank Zappa avant-rock tradition, but overall it's more of a fundamental rock album. [20 Nov 2005]