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System Of A Down

System Of A Down

1998

System Of A Down
Album Summary

System of a Down is the debut studio album by Armenian-American heavy metal band System of a Down, released on June 30, 1998, by American Recordings and Columbia Records. The album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America on February 2, 2000. After the success of System of a Down's following album, Toxicity (2001), the album was certified platinum.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.26

Votes

8124
Genres
Metal

Reviews

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

Somehow, I'd managed to forget how much of an adrenaline-fueled, psychotic, circus side-show this album is. If you don't know (or remember, in my case) what you're getting into, hitting play feels like being physically assaulted for asking a coworker how their weekend went. But, if you can hang in, by the time "Sugar" rolls around, you've caught the fever and are happily riding the insane-train like the good little distopic droog you always knew you could be. It's just such a mad, manic ride from start to end. Impossible to get off, you just have to hold on and smile at the approaching and inevitable carnage of a head-to-head train wreck. All that to say, I quite enjoyed it.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
4

No way! What a welcome throwback. Of all the headbanging, nu-metal bands that Alex was into back in the day, SOAD was my favorite. I always loved how Serj Tankian's voice is so clear over these instrumentals. It's a quality that most other bands of this kind lack, as the vocals can get messy and unintelligible very quickly. I absolutely love how he sings on "Darts." Their instrumental performances are always impressive too, a surprising degree of clarity amid the madness. I love when they slow things down for an intro or section here and there. Of course, they are known for heavy, political lyrics. I rarely pick up on lyrics like that, but when I do catch them, it's a nice reminder that these guys (and Serj specifically) have good heads on their shoulders. I hadn't heard this album before, but it's really great. A fantastic debut. Favorite tracks: Darts, Suite-Pee, Suggestions, Sugar, Soil, Mind. Album art: Very strong. Apparently taken from an anti-fascist propaganda poster that said "A hand has 5 fingers! With these 5 grab the enemy!" Hell yeah. 4.5/5

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Tue Aug 31 2021
4

Did not care for SOD in the 90s, but re-listening now with the wisened (and slightly more hairy) ears of a 37 year old, these guys were really next level. I lumped SOD in with Korn and Slipknot and even Limp Bizkit. SOD is playing in a whole different league. This is Rage Against the Machine territory. They're messing hard with hard rock. Persian scales klezmer polka metal. This is Queens Of the Stone Age territory hard rock. Multiple personality singer brings at least 4 characters into each song. The standard, pro-level metal scream. The playful high pitch jumpy elf. That OOOOUUUGH low yell that metal singers started doing in the 90s. The possessed opera singer. I think the lyrics are actually meaningful at times too. If I liked metal at all I would love this album. A-

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

Best album on this shithole called earth

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Mon Jan 18 2021
3

ANGRYYY SO ANGRYYYYYY Sounds like a good album, definitely need to be in the right mood for it and a first and introspective listen isn't the right mood in the slightest "Mind" is possibly my favourite. I might come back to this album when I'm feeling a bit more anarchic. ANGRYYYYY

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Wed Apr 28 2021
5

Man does this entire album fuck. So god damned good

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Tue Mar 16 2021
5

Everyone needs a mother fucker!

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

SOAD proving from the get go that they are one of the most creative, unique, and fun acts in the metal scene. The politically charged lyrics still hit home today, fortunately or unfortunately, and the sequencing and pacing of the album, is top notch to make seamless transitions between silliness and seriousness. Not my favorite from the group, but an incredible accomplishment in its own right.

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Wed Sep 08 2021
4

Blows your head off and then shits down your neck. No punches pulled is an understatement

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Tue Dec 07 2021
4

Never listened to these guys before, and to my surprise I'm impressed. I had a brief flirtation with heavy rock back in the 80s, but I like this more. Will continue to explore this unexpectedly rich vein of entertainment.

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Tue Nov 16 2021
2

I respect this album but didn't enjoy it.

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Sun Jun 20 2021
5

Debut from the absolute best by-metal band. The album is new and different in the best possible way and rocks insanely hard. Listening to this was cool because it made me realize that while this band is weird, they’re good because they’re weird in ways we all are, but have put it on record for everyone to see. Kick ass instrumentation and a lot of powerful lyrical themes, this one hits all the right notes.

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Fri May 12 2023
5

ok, listen. system of a down is not for everybody. their later music is much more palatable, and their early music is rather abrasive metal, though there are some people who don't like any of their music. but honestly and musically, this album SLAPS. is it unusual? yes, but i love it. the screaming, the harsh guitar, everything. i have always admired their lyrics and topics. soad has never shied away from any topic. it's because of system that i learned about the armenian genocide when i was a teenager. more than that, they question the meaning of war, describe existential breakdowns while on drugs, deliver scathing criticisms of the catholic church, and plenty more. song after song, system delivers such a strong message. i found myself drawn to this sarcastic lyric of "mind" today: "free thinkers are dangerous." there's so many more i could pick out, but they manage to have such purpose in their lyrics while providing us with such amazing metal music. it's hard to find another artist like system. while i don't think this album is their best, this album was markedly different for its time. i'd give this a 4.5 on the lower side, but since this is the only system album on the list, my loyalty from my youth has me rounding up to 5. it's still a banger of an album after two and a half decades.

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Fri May 07 2021
4

Frantic, melodic, heavy, political, fun, weird. I listen to this when I work out because it's got it all. I always liked the heavy factor when I was younger but I can appreciate the complexity these guys put in. Toxicity they really came into their own but this album is still great, therefore 4 stars

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Tue Feb 09 2021
4

It’s funny. I’ve always known SoaD as a metal band but all the songs I’ve heard from them always seemed to almost transcend the genre. All genres in general. But from this intro track, I definitely feel the metal description. Also very cool opening riff. Ok I know it can’t be but the lyrics to “sugar” sound like “THE KOMBUCHA”. This is some solid metal. I can’t imagine me listening to it a lot since I’m not in that headset but this stuff is pretty good. “Soil” is a rad song. Cool lyrics and guitar. “Peephole” is another dope song. I kinda feel like this would be a 5 star album if not for being a genre I don’t love. The glitchy/tremolo distortion backing vocal is a cool ass effect. I might steal that for something. Ok now I’m just to the bonus live tracks. Great album. If I could do decimals this would probably be a 4.5ish but I might fall back to 4 just because I’ve definitely heard better albums so I need to reserve those 5s. But damn... still a great freaking album. Glad I listened to it.

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Sat May 29 2021
4

This shit got my blood pumping. First time I listened to an album in one sitting in awhile. Made me wanna get in a fist fight with a customer. Gave me a stiffy. TWU

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Thu Mar 04 2021
3

Not a Rage fan, but there are some cool songs (like Soil) that have excellent guitar work. And, all of the songs definitely have an energy about them (coping, expressing, celebrating) that while this record doesn't do it for me, I do understand it on some level. Steve and his daughter Emily are huge fans, and it wasn't until Emily's wedding reception that I was like "ohhhhhh, it's so much more for them". Emily had the DJ play like 30 straight minutes of Rage towards the end of the night, and about 15 folks (including Steve AND his pregnant wife Kristin) were jumping and singing and smiling. It was cool to be a witness to the joy that transcended the pain & sorrow that so many Rage fans find healing from.

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Thu Feb 11 2021
5

Basically started a new genre. 🤘🤘

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Fri Feb 05 2021
5

This album gets me so pumped! Didn’t know prior to listening to this how much of an influence SOAD must’ve had on my fav metal artists today. The heavy drop and breakdowns sound so good.

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Tue Mar 16 2021
5

You can hear the middle eastern influence weaved in the rock sounds, I'd never heard this full album but with out a doubt it deserves to be in this list. Not to mention the great amount of activism they do through their platform.

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Fri Jun 25 2021
5

Stupid teenage me only ever listened to Toxicity as a kid

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Sat Oct 09 2021
5

A pleasant surprise. An excellent album

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

What I love about SOAD is that the vitriol is coming from a genuine place. They're not just overgrown teenagers ranting against their parents.

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Fri Jun 11 2021
4

Ah, teen angst. But this drives hard and meaningful. It's harder than their more popular stuff so a bit difficult to get into. I'm a fan of Tankian's vocals but they make everything work. I suppose this could be considered the "heavy metal" that I actually like. I don't think it counts. Favourite track: "Know"

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Thu Mar 30 2023
4

SPIDERS, this song is so amazing. I first heard it on the Scream 3 soundtrack, I really love this album. I sit, in my desolate room, no lights, no music, just anger.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
2

Christopher Cross with some Patti LaBelle should've done an album together. A duet of sorts. I imagine that if Patti and Christopher's album had materialized, it would sound a lot like this SoaD album. The deep soft vocals of are soothing and relaxing especially when they hit those low thud-y notes. And the chorus' rwwrawwhhh, rwawrahhhh is incredibly inspiring. This is something you'd put on for an enjoyable Sunday morning with the family or right before you marched into Taliban territory outside of Kabul.

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Thu Sep 07 2023
2

I am not, decidedly not, a nu-metal fan. I like some metal, especially 70s-style doom metal and stoner rock. Slow sludgy, heavy shit. With an actual vocal melody, for preference. More recent metal, which tends to veer between screaming and cookie monster growling just gives me the irrits. And I like a groove, so stuff that gets overly proggy with too much clever clogs changing all the time and widdly-widdly bits is also annoying. And the tendency of nu-metal to get overly wrapped up in its own white-boy super-angst misogynistic bullshit is just awful (I'm looking at you Jonathan Davis and Fred Durst). So, that brings us to System Of A Down. Given all of the above, they are far and away the most tolerable nu-metal band I have heard. But being compared to your Limp Bizkits and Korn and Deftones and whoever else is a pretty low bar. I like that the singer can actually sing and choses to from time to time, and they are politically right-on, which makes their lyrics 100 times better than most nu-metal bands. I was talking to my 18 year old son, Hal, and he pointed otu that they strike a really great balance between dumb (which is an important element of all metal) and clever clogs. He also pointed out that they change time signatures and feel suddenly throughout the song, but they don't do it to be clever (like a prog band would); they do it to fuck with you (which is funny). As we were listening, some bonus live tracks came up, and they were awesome. The band was heavy and tight, and you could hear the crowd singing along. It sounded like a really compelling and fun gig. The album itself I found well recorded and energetically performed, but a little boring and repetitive, with some minor sparks of interest (like the oompah band and willfully obtuse guitar solo on 'Peephole'), but I could totally see myself having a great time at a System Of A Down gig. Yesterday I reviewed the MC5s first record, which was recorded live, and these bonus tracks made me wonder what would have happened if SOAD has taken a similar punt with a live debut record. Note to Dimery: why on earth is this record on the list, not Toxicity, which was their big hit, and clearly the more influential album? Final verdict is that this is not really my thing, but the best in class. 2.5 stars, rounding down for the missed opportunity of recording the whole album live.

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Wed Mar 17 2021
1

Nope. Didn't make it through the first song. Definitely not my sound, groove, or anything else. I know a lot of people just love this, but I would commit 0 stars if possible.

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Sun Mar 07 2021
1

If I could give this less than 1 I would! Not my cup of tea at all!

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Mon Jun 06 2022
1

I never want to hear this again. Give me some yacht rock instead of angry music.

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Sat Feb 20 2021
5

I don't think I've listened to this since high school, and I was afraid it wouldn't hold up, but it absolutely did. I put the entire album on my 1001 Albums playlist. Best song: Sugar

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Mon May 24 2021
5

I love SOAD passionately. They came along just as I started thinking I'd never fall in love with a band again the way I had in the early 90s. I debated giving this album its 5 score, because some of the SOAD tracks I like the least are on this album. But then amongst the gold you find Spiders, which is worth more than a 5 all on its own, it's just so beautiful. These guys have such an original unique sound and I adore it all.

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Wed Feb 17 2021
5

You'll never hear me complain about this first album. I remember the first time I heard this when Ben Skinner let me listen to his CD in health class. It has rocked since then.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
5

A suburb debut album. This album hits the same as it did 20+ years ago when I first heard it.

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Mon Mar 22 2021
5

System ist einfach Programm. Maschinen ey. Liebs. 5/5

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Fri Feb 12 2021
5

System are great. Cool debut

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Tue Aug 24 2021
5

Quando uma música é capaz de deixar o álbum perfeito. Sugar garante isso.

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

great one liners, some heavy bass lines

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

Good band bet never checked their first album before

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Tue Nov 30 2021
5

Vecchia conoscenza! Mi ha avvicinato al metal e al genere di musica più alternativa/sperimentale. Capolavoro, come il resto SOAD.

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Sun Dec 19 2021
5

Exactly what I would predict an early SOAD album to sound like. Unrefined only compared to later works.

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

This was an excellent listen as always from SOAD. They really bring something unique to metal that I don't think any other group does, including their intense sound, operatic performance, and potent message. Always going to be a 5.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
5

I've loved this album for 20 years - it still rocks! Part of the permanent soundtrack of my life.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
5

Mes cervicales désapprouvent.

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Sat Mar 05 2022
5

Their all albums are good enough to have 5 stars.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
5

Un autre album produit par Rick Rubin. J'ai découvert System Of A Down avec Chop Suey! qui jouait à The Buzz. Je me rappelle très bien où j'étais à ce moment. J'ai été frappé par ce que je venais d'entendre. C'était nouveau, original et j'avais instantanément envie d'en entendre plus. J'ai adoré Toxicity et comme bien des gens, je suis arrivé par la suite à ce premier album du groupe. Et je n'ai pas été déçu. La force du groupe est définitivement dans son énergie et sa culture musicale intégrée dans ses pièces. Ce n'est pas redondant. La voix de Serj est bien particulière et elle sert très bien le groupe. J'aime aussi le fait que le guitariste Daron Malakian apporte également sa voix bien originale au groupe. La basse est un peu molle, mais ça amène quand même tout un son (je pense notamment à Spiders). Côté drum, le jeu de John Dolmayan n'est vraiment pas ennuyant. J'étais vraiment content de réécouter cet album. Pièces préférées: Spiders, War?, Sugar, Suite-Pee

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Sat May 07 2022
5

Does exactly what its meant to do. Rock HARD! 5/5

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Tue May 10 2022
5

Genre hopping experimentation, heavy as hell and insanely catchy, that's a trick very few bands can manage. SOAD are, and always were, so much more than the knuckle dragging nu-metal bullshit they got lumped in with. It's frankly an insult to compare songs about the Armenian genocide to doing "it all for the nookie". I'm not even sure this can accurately be described as metal as there is so much other goodness going on here. Even though SOAD sound almost nothing like them, the only comparison point I can think of is Faith No More. Well, Faith No More but not shit. Faith No More with the white boy funk dialled down and the Slayer dialled up. It still blows my mind that Toxicity was even more wild than this and yet it somehow pushed them into the mainstream.

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Tue May 10 2022
5

well that's one thing i didn't think this list would do for me. I am apparently a System of a Down fan and i didn't even know it.

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Tue May 31 2022
5

I'm 61, but courtesy of my sons I know, and love SOAD. This album is a nice introduction to this band. This introduction, however, isn't a handshake. It's a musical assault of glorious insanity. I mean, it's seriously warped. It's ANGRY! They are unique, they are wonderful. I'm a little afraid that I won't sleep well tonight. Or at all.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Doesn't quite reach Toxicity (which is their magnum opus) but this is still amazing and wildly creative. The raw production fits the ferocity well. No one sounds like SOAD.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Already loved this album. Haven't listened to it in a long time though. It really holds up.

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Mon Jun 20 2022
5

Nu-Metal may be a mixed bag, but at the very least it brought SOAD to the mainstream. With a debut like this, that's honestly pretty shocking. With some exceptions, most of the songs are filled with bizarre choices in structure where any song could change its intensity at the flip of a switch. That, along with Serj's wide range of wacky ways to sing and scream, can understandably turn off many people, but if you're into the experimental side of music and metal, even if just a little bit, this is absolutely worth checking out. Overall, I love this album. While I consider later albums more accessible and better, I was still really glad to revisit this. Favorites: "Suite-Pee", "Sugar", "Suggestions", "War?"

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Sat Jul 09 2022
5

Lekker hard album! Wel nog zaliger om deze band live te zien. Maar deze blijft in mijn favorieten lijst staan

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

já curti muito esse som aha

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Mon Aug 29 2022
5

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Wed Aug 31 2022
5

Durchgehend entertained Sehr enjoyed

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Tue Sep 13 2022
5

This was an awesome album, especially considering it's their first album, would. Definitely listen to more

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Sat Sep 17 2022
5

This is one of my top ten nu metal albums, I was so excited to relisten to this album after not listening to it in almost a decade. It also led me to listen to Toxicity immediately afterwards. I think that this has rekindled my love of SOAD.

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Wed Oct 26 2022
5

Tämä levy sekä Toxicity, talvi 01-02 ja pitkä viikonloppu Tahkolla. Voi JUMA! Nuori mies oli aivan myyty miten vahva fiilis välittyy musiikista ja kuinka yksinkertainen voi olla lopulta niin monipuolisen kuulosta. Kyseisen orkesterin levyistä ei ole likimainkaan paras, mutta "paskinkin" on puhdas timantti.

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Tue Nov 08 2022
5

I don't like metal very much, but System Of A Down has always been different. I really like System Of A Down, but I hadn't heard their first album before, so I was excited to listen to it. Luckily, it still has the same quality that I like about their later music. I absolutely love the singer's voice, and that still holds true in this album. My favourite song was Suggestions.

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