Not long ago, accepted sonic belief held that rock music, certainly hard rock music, had been stretched, manipulated and tinkered with to its logical end. With no new forms looming, the genre would slip into malaise and the kids would look elsewhere for an outlet. Enter Los Angeles quartet System of a Down, who, over seven years and two albums have revived and revitalized heavy music with their manic brand of post-everything hardcore. Millions of records on, they charge into the new century as living proof that for those brave enough to snub convention, greatness follows.
Six months after System of a Down's Mezmerize album, the uncompromising and outspoken quartet returns with Hypnotize, part two of a promised two-album set.
Both the CD and DualDisc versions feature 12 new songs as well as artwork by Vartan Malakian, father of SOAD's guitarist/singer Daron. The packaging for Hypnotize is specially designed to physically join Mezmerize and Hypnotize together, forming one unified product with continuous artwork. Additionally the DualDisc edition will contain exclusive behind-the-scenes footage showing the making of both records.
More importantly, the albums interlock musically. The final track on Hypnotize, Soldier Side completes Soldier Side Intro, which appears as the opening track on Mezmerize.
Produced by Rick Rubin and Daron Malakian, Hypnotize maintains System of a Down's reputation as full-spectrum agitators who adeptly channel righteous rage into compelling, provocative and relevant rock. Daron, singer Serj Tankian, bassist Shavo Odadjian and drummer John Dolmayan recorded some 30 tracks for Mezmerize/Hypnotize at Rubin's Laurel Canyon studio between May and December of 2004. The songs are more complex, more progressive, more unorthodox and more experimental than ever, while retaining the idiosyncratic, ironic and schizophrenic qualities that make System of a Down so distinctive.
The album's title track Hypnotize is set to impact at radio mid-October. Shavo-who came up with the performance-based concept-will again be directing the video which will be delivered by the end of October.
Starting with the Los Angeles-based band's 1998 genre-defying self-titled debut to 2001's breakthrough Toxicity, System of a Down have become a critical and commercial success on a global scale. The group have sold more than 13 million records, earning 64 platinum, gold and silver awards, around the world. Each release has achieved multi-platinum status, including the current Mezmerize which topped the album charts in a dozen countries and is the single biggest alternative hard rock debut of this year.