Hypnotise is perhaps the most important album System has ever released. This was their final album before they went on a long hiatus, whichHypnotise 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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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