Mezmerize

  • Record Label: Columbia
  • Release Date: May 17, 2005
Metascore
85

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Mezmerize doesn't fail to be unique.
  2. There is no other hard rock band around who can match the audacity, intensity, progressive nature, and accessibility of System of a Down, and with Mezmerize, they've simply topped themselves.
  3. Mezmerize's strongest moments are when the band drops the eccentricities and just rocks out.
  4. Uncut
    80
    Confirms System Of A Down as one of the most innovative bands in modern rock. [Jun 2005, p.110]
  5. Q Magazine
    90
    Rarely are albums this thrillingly original. [Jul 2005, p.120]
  6. At its reckless best, which is a lot, Mezmerize is thrilling confrontation, a graphic reflection of a nation tearing itself apart in anger, fear and guilt.
  7. New Musical Express (NME)
    80
    If you want it to be, it's brilliant. It's also a record so ambitious, so angry, and so mad-as-a-goose that there are otherwise intelligent people who will hear it once and straight away deem it an interminable racket. [30 Apr 2005, p.61]
  8. Perhaps they're settling into their identity... Fast and furious often, melodic often, powerful often, diverse always.
  9. Who'd have thought you could describe a metal band as "intriguing"?
  10. While "smarter than most metal" sounds like faint praise, it may be the best way to describe the faintly praiseworthy System Of A Down.
  11. Spin
    83
    Tankian remains the sort of agitprop trickster whom partisans on both side so fthe aisle are wise to distrust. [Jul 2005, p.101]
  12. Entertainment Weekly
    91
    It's heavy and hooky. [20 May 2005, p.73]
  13. There’s no filler here; there’s barely space for a spare breath. But amidst the bombast, there are a few moments of clarity, and though fleeting, they’re certainly worth the wait.
  14. Mezmerize works as a synopsis of the most effective weapons in the band’s arsenal.
  15. Even if "Hypnotize" is simply more of the same, with SOAD operating at such astonishing creative and emotional heights, it'll still leave every other metal band on the planet scrabbling in the dust.
  16. 'Mesmerize' is a frantic, frenetic brutal assault on the senses. It mashes up the most intense hardcore, the fiercest fire-starting punk rock with ridiculously complex riffing that’s like amphetamine prog.
  17. You'll be left wondering why other bands aren't so daring.
  18. Mezmerize should be enough to keep A.D.D.-ers occupied for six months.
  19. Mezmerize is on par with 2001’s Toxicity as SOAD’s best offering to date.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 429 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 260
  1. Deanna
    Mar 5, 2008
    10
    Possibly SOAD's best album. It is pretty much perfect. Some people say it is too political. 2 of the songs are Violent Pornography and Possibly SOAD's best album. It is pretty much perfect. Some people say it is too political. 2 of the songs are Violent Pornography and This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm On This Song. Political? Not so much. It really has something fror everyone. If you like fast, in-your-face songs, then B.Y.O.B. might be the song for you. If you like slow, depressing, skip to Lost In Hollywood. And there is everything inbetween. Full Review »
  2. Dec 22, 2012
    7
    Same as Hypnotize, BYOB,violent you know what,and This you know what makes me feel like I'm on this song are main reasons why I like this album.
  3. Nov 17, 2016
    8
    Mesmerise is so good. It’s not as hard and heavy as their debut, nor as melodic and dark as Toxicity, but it has a very quirky, and nicheMesmerise is so good. It’s not as hard and heavy as their debut, nor as melodic and dark as Toxicity, but it has a very quirky, and niche charm, mixing comedic and electronic elements. The album, like every SOAD album is extremely re-listenable, but this one in particular comes closer to the success of Toxicity because of the non-stop attack of solid songs, each very distinctive from one another.

    Soldier Side:
    I love it when SOAD take the time to set the mood, or even just slow it down for a bit, making it easier to listen to, and better paced than a constant barrage of hard hitting and manic songs. This is melancholy sounding intro, and I believe a full version of this song can be found on Hypnotise, which is a nice touch, really drawing those two albums closer together.

    BYOB:
    Edgy and fast, just like something off of their earlier albums. This song is a huger hit, and works on a few levels. Firstly the writing is lively, and the delivery of the lyrics is manic and exciting, especially at the ending “why do you always send the poor?”. Instrumentally the riffs are very similar to the title track of Toxicity (especially the ending of that song, compared to the intro of this one) just play Toxicity, and the BYOB back to back, and it would sound like the same song, in a good way.

    Revenga:
    The eastern-inspired sound of the vocals reminds me of why I love Serj’s voice so much. There is a lack of good lyricism in this song however, and makes the classic mistake SOAD make, where they repeat the same few phrases over and over again. This song despite this is a real head-banger, and is just a joy to listen to.

    Cigaro:
    Besides being hilarious, this song has so much raw and catchy instrumental work. The riffs are off the charts when it comes to the chorus, with the high notes spiralling down make the song just so “bouncy” in nature, and easy to listen to. Strangley, the lyrics being stupid as they are, do sound like they carry some social commentary (possibly in the vapid nature of our consumerist society, maybe?).

    Radio/Video:
    Just like Revenga, there is so much eastern sounding singing and instrumental work on this song. Lyrically it does the thing of shouting a chorus over and over, but has a softer, more melodic segment, like anything off of Toxicity. Really it works in its own strange way, and actually sounds like it could get radioplay, because of how accessible it is.

    This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I’m on this Song:
    Besides the stupid name this song ROCKS, like really is a heavy piece of headbanging. Reminds me so much of their debut, and is a classic example of not needing to be complex to make a re-listenable song. Sure anybody can write a 10 minute epic with multiple solos, but most SOAD songs have so much impact in only a fifth of that time.

    Violent Pornography:
    Lyrically I actual relate to this song. So much messed up stuff is available especially nowadays online, that people are becoming less profound, and more desensitised to very stupid and strange things, like bizarre pornography involving torture, and bestiality. Ugh. The song also has a nice melody, and keeps the average song quality on the album high.

    Question and Sad Statute:
    The two weaker songs on the album essentially just fill a gap. The riffs are usual SOAD, and the lyrics especially for Question are super, but they don’t have too much impact through either a melodic edge or even that hard hitting guitar. Can’t really say too much on this topic.

    Old School Hollywood:
    This is such an uncharacteristic song for SOAD. Daron has a lot of the vocal work on this song, which I personally do not like, but he does do his best lines here (“Tony Manza cuts in line” I think the words were). There is a very cheesy robotic voice going “old school Hollywood” is just a pointless touch, which you either love of hate. I mean this is like SOAD’s D’yer Maker, strange, but isn’t downright terrible, and has a lot of actual value to the song. The story behind the song isn’t too bad either.

    Lost In Hollywood:
    I really cannot get over Daron’s voice. I just don’t see why they would use him over Serj. The song itself is pretty great. Reminds you of a less emotional version of Spiders (minus the good vocals). I do however like the lyrics here. Touching on the same things Aenima did, this song talks about the pricks who live in Hollywood, and the false and sinister nature of the eccentric larger than life characters that inhabit the streets. The lyrics are well written and can easily be interpreted, and are a nice long song to finish the album on. I do recommend this, even if I do see missed potential in the vocals.

    Overall I do like this album (very slightly more than Hypnotise), but I do fear that they lost most of their political and social edge in the lyricism, besides the songs I named. The instrumentals don’t at all work as well as their early stuff. The drumming does not even come close to their early stuff, and there are fewer, less interesting hooks in this. The guitar still has the edge visible in BYOB, but is lost towards the end.
    Full Review »