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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

System Of A Down

System Of A Down

1998

Wikipedia

System Of A Down

Rating

3.25

Votes

3732

Reviews

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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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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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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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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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5

Basically started a new genre. 🤘🤘

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5

Man does this entire album fuck. So god damned good

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5

Best album on this shithole called earth

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5

Everyone needs a mother fucker!

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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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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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4

🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

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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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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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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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4

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

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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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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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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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2

I respect this album but didn't enjoy it.

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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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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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1

ROOOOOOAAAAAARRRRRR!!!!!!

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1

Very loud.

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1

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

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1

Ekki kaffibollinn minn

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5

Love SoaD!

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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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5

Classic

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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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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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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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5

done

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5

!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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5

LOVE

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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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5

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

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5

banger

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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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5

Para chiflarse un rato

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5

Discazo!! A++

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5

9

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5

System are great. Cool debut

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5

Yes!!!

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5

Stupid teenage me only ever listened to Toxicity as a kid

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5

Fucking love this album.

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5

Reminds me of my childhood

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5

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

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5

This whole album is fire

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5

great one liners, some heavy bass lines

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5

A pleasant surprise. An excellent album

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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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5

Bra jäkla ös

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5

Classic of heavy genres!

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5

Good band bet never checked their first album before

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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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5

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

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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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5

LOVE SOAD

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5

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

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5

Flawless beginning to end.

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5

Mes cervicales désapprouvent.

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5

nu-metal gem

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5

Melhor música: Spiders

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5

LETS FUCKING GOOOOOOOO

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5

Gostei ❤️

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5

a classic.

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5

Their all albums are good enough to have 5 stars.

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5

Easy five stars

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5

brilliant

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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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5

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

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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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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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5

Well its a classic isnt it?

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5

100% slap machine

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4

OK

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4

Loud, angry, and more than a little cheesy (though I think that's the hindsight view). Still, brilliant in the sense that something shines continually. I can't help but be won over.

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4

Pretty good. Serj Tankian is a very theatrical singer, but it didn't annoy me.

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4

Been a fan of SOAD for a while so I'm biased. Feel like this album gets lumped into nu metal a lot, but I feel like it contains a lot more thrash and hardcore influence. Unhinged. Really great, high energy stuff. Favorite tracks: "Know", "Soil", "War?"

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4

One of my favorite

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4

This was good fun.

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4

badass

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4

Need to be active for this one

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4

Ensikosketus tähän levyyn. Jostain syystä jäänyt tutustumatta vaikka uudempia soad-levyjä on tullut kuunneltua paljonkin. Tutunkuuloista menoa kyllä. Ehkä vähän raskaampaa ja räyhäkkäämpää kuin myöhemmillä levyillä. Kokonaisuus toimii hyvin, vaikkei mikään yksittäinen biisi jäänyt mieleen erityisemmin.

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4

AHHHHHHHHHHHJJJJJJJJEJJDJDJEJEJIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YEEEaaaaaAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!

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4

Serj has such a dope voice. Know, sugar, spiders stand out bangers

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4

Love system 3.7

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4

první půlka šlape, Know, Sugar

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4

Heavier than expected, been out of metal for loong time. Would def relisten

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4

Derbes brett - 4

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4

7/10, what happened to nu metal since then?

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4

System of a Down is one of my favorite metal bands, I fell in love with them back during Toxicity. I wasn't as into their early albums as their later ones but after sitting down with this one, I appreciate it a lot. I didn't hear the back up singer maybe at all on this album which means maybe he worked his way into doing songs. Serg is just as incredible here as it is on his later albums. He has such a distinct and unique voice and while their later albums were more overtly political, this felt like them just trying to get some jams out and I love that. Standouts for me were Know and Spiders but I listened to this puppy straight through. Also, iconic album cover. I always saw this at Movie Trading Company but knew I could never buy it because it had a parental advisory label on it...those were the days...

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4

Cañero, como no se podía esperar de otra manera. Revolucionarios

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4

I didn't expect to like this but really enjoyed it. Such a fun album! The strong musical theatre vibes were a surprise. It reminds me of a marginally heavier Jesus Christ Superstar (which is very much a good thing).

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4

i love SOAD, but this album has always been a bit too quirky to be 5*

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4

takes me back to high school

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4

SOADia on jonkin verran tullut kuunteltua, mutta en tätä ekaa bändin nimeä kantavaa levyä ole kokonaisuutena kuullut. Ainoastaan singlenä julkaistut Sugar ja Spiders oli liveseteistä tuttuja. Vasta seuraavalla Toxicity-levyllä ollut Aerials taisi olla ekoja biisejä, mitkä ainakaan kuulin SOADilta. Ensimmäinen levy on näin jälkikäteen kuunnteltuna vahva lupaus siitä, mitä SOADin tuotannolta saattoi tulevaisuudessa odottaa. Jotenkin päällimmäisenä SOADin musiikista tulee mieleen nerokas hulluus ja omalaatuisuus (muusta MASSAsta erottaututuminen). Nelkun levy.

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4

Suite-Pee is probably the right ringtone I've been looking for...Insane first three tracks (Suite-Pee, Know, Sugar) I like the way the next few songs have a acousticy intros/riffs and then go full metal bomb...Overall brilliant album!

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4

I was first introduced to System of a Down by a friend in HS who put this album on in his truck while we drove to lunch. I hadn't really heard anything like it at the time. Skull crushing metal mixed with Serj's unique vocals. This album ruled then and it rules now.

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4

Not my favorite album of SOAD, but still a great album, it's quite different from all of their future releases. It is punkier and Thrashier than rest of their catalog. But i still enjoyed re listening to it, with better focus on lyrics.

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4

First time listening: 11/13 songs liked Damn....this album goes HARD. Not a lot of their more melodic works I'm used to, but it makes for a great listen. One song saved

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4

Pretty decent nu metal

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4

Great debut! I could never get into SoaD before but listening to this really clicked with me!

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4

A bit too energetic for me, but I enjoyed listrening to it in the background.

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4

Enjoyed this a lot actually, holds up well sonically and some obviously bold choices made throughout. Only major critique would be the slightly on-the-nose edginess - just borders slightly on the cringe side for me. But still great music overall. Really enjoyed the live tracks at the end of the Spotify edition.

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4

Loved the album but a lot of explicit content

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4

Energetic! But not out of control. This will pump you up. Love the drums in the mix. While I prefer Toxicity, this is still a great album of the era. Fav track: Spiders

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4

Love the bits of Arminian style mixed in with the metal.

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4

Nostalgic and Politically charged, but damn, I was getting anxiety listening to his screaming. That's the point though, right? To make you feel something.

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4

I really liked this. I feel a bit silly for convincing myself that I "didn't like metal" even though I had never really given it a try. It's definitely not something that I could listen to all-day-every-day, but a lot of the songs pack a real punch and I loved the political lyrics.

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4

have listened to b4

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4

Listening to this now is way more fun than it was all those years ago. Not sure if this is because I've listened to so much dreck between now and then that I appreciate it more, or (more likely) I'm just enjoying the comfort of familiarity.

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4

- Funky and energetic. A more musical RATM. - Great vocal delivery, lots of time for it. - Would have loved to hear more of the bassist and drummer

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4

Es hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Die Originalität der Band zeigt sich jedoch am besten in den Liedern, die die I liked it very much. However, the band's originality is best seen in the songs that cross the line between genres, both in the ethnic realm, especially the syncopated Middle Eastern metal fusion, but also the foreign musical accents , in the pop realm, like the bombastic power ballad Spiders. (8/10) Favorite Tracks: Spiders, Suggestions

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4

edgy angry sardonic high school energy. reminds me of high school

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4

Hard hitting album. Thought provoking. Still good and enjoyed listening 23 years later.

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4

I like it but I like other SOAD albums more

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4

I've heard Toxicity before and didn't like it. Chop Suey is one of the most annoying popular rock/metal songs in existence. Serj Tankian's singing grates on me, and I was in the middle of my "man, FUCK nu-metal" phase when they really blew up anyway. I may have heard a song or two from this around 98-99, I definitely knew OF them before Toxicity came out, but it's likely they were just lost among the rest of these bands. I wasn't exactly starving for nu-metal in 1998. Ok, this is way more "standard late 90s nu-metal" than Toxicity. I had assumed it would be full of Armenian-style melody/wailing - instead it sounds like a mix of Korn, Incubus and... Static-X? In hindsight it makes a lot more sense for a debut album to sound more like established bands. There's still a BIT of vocal silliness going on, but it's far more tolerable. Overall, this is pushing a 5 - the only thing holding it back is a few tracks using that cliche " subdued drum/bass/vocal verse, heavy unhinged chorus" formula that really didn't do the genre any favours. 3.5? 4?

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4

This is exactly what I remember SOAD being. I guess I appreciate it a little more now.

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4

great album

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4

Super heavy

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4

Rating: 7/10 Best songs:

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4

I want to give all metal albums a five, but have to be reasonable. I like very specific SOAD songs, and respect what they did for alt and nu metal, but this isn't a 5 album. A 4.5 sure, but not 5. || Mostly I'm impressed with their willingness to bring attention to issues that we are STILL grappling with today, 21 years later (Church sex abuse, armenian genocide denial, endless war). It's bummer how relevant this still is, but mad respect for them being so unapologetic.

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4

Better than expected, the vocals are good and you can see the talent very clearly; however I get overwhelmed easily by the sound

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4

some nice songs but the rest eh

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4

Really thrashy

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4

bara ágætt

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4

Great album

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4

System Of A Down had their sound basically fully formed on this album, in time to lead as kings of the nu metal scene. They have this sense of dynamism and groove that is so rare in this space. Tankian's voice soars on Spiders. Soil and War? both have powerful lyrics. Mind I am not too fond of.

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4

Track 01 - 4/5 Track 02 - 3.5/5 Track 03 - 4.25/5 Track 04 - 3.5/5 Track 05 - 4.25/5 Track 06 - 3/5 Track 07 - 3.25/5 Track 08 - 3.75/5 Track 09 - 3.5/5 Track 10 - 4/5 Track 11 - 3.25/5 Track 12 - 3/5 Track 13 - 3.25/5 Overall: 4/5 Album Art: 3.5/5

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4

I remember System of a Down from when I was in middle school and high school. I was not allowed to listen to them. I was extremely pleasantly surprised to find a very interesting album with interesting melodies and guitar lines. It kept my attention the whole time and this is a genre I never listen to by choice.

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4

I'm not sure why I can explain why I like System of a Down. Or why I still like them? I had this album back in '98. But I have only listened to SoaD in scattered bits in the last decade. Would I still feel the same way at 41 as I did at 18? Turns out the answer is yes. And there are definitely things I listened to in the late 90s that I no longer feel the same affinity for. But surprisingly SoaD is not one of them. I still really like the wild and weird variety with which Serj Tankian uses his voice. Sometimes it's lovely, sometimes it's guttural and gritty and ugly. And he shifts so effortlessly between those extremes. I think I'm gonna be the outlier in the group here, hellyeah. No spread of every score 1-5 here, I may be the only one with a positive review. But I can't quite give it a 5. A few more on the level of "Spiders" might've gotten it there. I liked "Toxicity" even more than this one back in the day. I'll have to revisit that and see if it can earn a 5.

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4

I love this album - I'm listening to it on vinyl today, which should give you an idea! Within four opening tracks, you have Suite Pee, Sugar and Suggestions, three wildly different tracks showcasing the crazed mix of styles SOAD can deliver - often within the same song. This is an alb for anyone who has ever thought metal is a one note genre. You're wrong. Serj Tankian's lack of inhibition when it comes to his vocals is a delight, moving from traditional metal growls and screams, to opera, to ridiculous comedy squeaks is a pure joy. And yet, while making such a fun album, they also manage to raise serious political issues. I genuinely cannot think of another artist who has done more to raise awareness and recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey a century ago, and made genuine, brilliant progress.

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4

I've never been a huge SOAD fan, more casual, but there are some tracks I really enjoy here.

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4

meh not for me but I can see why someone would like it

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4

Fun. I was more used to their later work, so it is great to hear an earlier album.

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4

Good and highly unique/creative album. Very much liked the "up and down" between hard metal and softer parts

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4

Probably the most famous contemporary Heavy Metal band. And certainty the most underrated when it comes to sheer talent, musicianship and songwriting. This albums is produced so well, has a timeless aspect to it, and the signature dynamics and vocals of the band really make them stand out. A bit too long of an album, and lacking in big singles, but a great album nevertheless!

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4

Love this, but I can’t go to 5. It’s a hell of a first record and set a standard for 15 years of metal, but not quite as complete as Toxicity or Mezmerize/Hypnotize.

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4

Oh wow this is going to be fun, haven't listened to System since high school. I always loved Serj's voice in contrast to the heavy metal instrumentals, and their goofy ass lyrics as well as the political stuff they get into. I also remember being so proud of my little trivia tidbit that Serj was an opera singer before SOAD, hence his ridiculous ability to switch up vocal styles. Turns out I still dig it, you can tell they really MEAN their political stances, it's not angsty teenagers this is a lived experience. The music bangs, it's loud, it's angry, and it kicks ass. Also, the squirrely dude isn't singing much on this one which is a plus, let Serj handle the vocals.

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4

I’m surprised that this album is on the list and not Toxicity. That was the album that really broke the band in to the mainstream.

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4

This album could be pretty annoying in large doses but as a one-shot it can't help but get you pumped up. Lyrics are incredible and the energy is off the charts. Can't handle more than one listen in a row though.

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4

This is a great debut by a very creative band, that always challenge the limits of alt and nu metal. The lyrics are, mostly, great, tackling genocide and religion. And I say mostly because System of a Down always finds a way to sound a little conspirational. But in 1998 the world was completely different and it feels more naive than insane. The instrumentation is great, especially Dolmayan's drums - a great influence for other nu metal bands. They also chose the right singles, since "Sugar" and "Spiders" are the best songs.

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4

System of a Down has such a unique musical, vocal and lyrical style that stands out from other heavy bands.

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4

Distilled rage produced well as an album

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4

It was good. Rock on metal.

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4

Thoroughly enjoyed the album. I haven't listened to System of a Down in-depth and found that I liked most of the songs. They're different and heavier than what I normally listen to

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4

Great one

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4

I think this and Korn have made me realize I like more alternative metal/nu metal. Always though metal wasn’t for me but I can get down with this.

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4

This was pretty much as far as I went with nu-metal. I always thought they had something more going on than, say, Crazy Town or Papa Roach; revisiting it now reminded just how short most of these songs are, too, they did quite a lot in these short spaces. Gets a bit wearying at times, perhaps, but solid on the whole.

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4

Not as familiar with this as some of their later stuff, and it's weird this is on the list rather than "Toxicity", but hell, it still rocks _hard_. Fave track - "Peephole" this time around...

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4

Creo que ahora sí valió la pena tener un disco debut porque este es bastante bueno y no lo conocía. Sí tenía la noción de que Toxicity no era el primero, pero no había buscado más. Y bueno, no es cualquier debut… Aunque las rolas no sonaron tanto como las del siguiente disco, igual ya traían a Rick Rubin de productor y la verdad es que en general es muy entretenido y con muy buenos gritos y tamborazos. Se gana la 4a estrella.

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4

J’aime la prod de ce band. Ils ont une façon de faire de la musique agressive mais pas agressante. C’est toujours « rond ». J’aime mieux Toxicity qui est un peu moins brouillon que celui-ci, mais c’est bon pareil. Serj Tankian a toute une apacité vocale quand même. C’est aussi le fun d’entendre les influences arméniennes dans le son du band.

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4

Highlights: Sugar Spiders Mind Peephole Artwork: 7 / 10 Rating: 7,5 / 10

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4

Every single boy aged 13-17 that I went to high school with in the early 2000s seems to have been fucking obsessed with SOAD. My nu-metal loving skiddy husband was stoked for me to get some System today, his all-time favourite band. He’s a man of his time. There’s more than meets the eye here. I appreciate that it’s not just metal, loud for the sake of loud. The socially conscious hyper-aware lyricism driven by angry, furious instrumentals is so effective. It’s a compelling, well-structured album that rocks.

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4

The beautiful musical madness of SoAD begins.

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4

This was System Of A Down’s explosive introduction to the world at large: crunching riffs, sinuous shapes, kombucha mushroom people and all. Play 'Sugar' as the first dance song at your wedding.

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4

This one is tough to rate. SoaD is such a good band, but I can't stand the screaming growling vocals. If he would just sing, I think they would be one of my favorite bands.

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4

Neki dan slušao, najdraži njihov album, a isto tako i najžešći. Jutrima dost dobro dođe do posla. Jedan od bendova koji po meni nemaju baš ono loš album, Steal this Album ima svoje loše trenutke, ali općenito sve kad se uzme imaju jako dobru diskografiju.

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3

Ok, but earlier versions of this sound are better, like RATM or Primus

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3

3,5

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3

Crunchy, wandering

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3

Not to my liking

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3

Spiders seems like the route into Toxicity - Self Titled was good, but not my favorite

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3

This group will forever be associated with the late nineties and early 2000's

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3

Aged poorly but at the time good.

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3

3.5 stars. Not their best album but still good

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3

As much as I wanted this to end this was also absolutely rippin in some parts and will listen again.

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3

Not their best album

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3

didn't love this :( 4/10

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3

Better than I thought.

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3

Glad to have listened to it. Funnier than I would have thought. Both in explicit jokes and musical quotes

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3

Not my kind of music anymore but I still really enjoyed it.

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3

Riffs are kinda fun. Hard not to compare to their contemporaries, bands like Tool or RATM. Compared to them, SOAD does everything worse. Album is still alright. 5-6/10

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3

I liked this more than any other "metal' albums so far. More melodic, and also doesn't seem like it's taking itself too seriously. It's also not way too long, like Slipknot was.

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3

7/10

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3

Black tie white noise

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3

Some great tunes here, and incredible vocals.

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3

Bändin hittibiisit on tietysti tuttuja ja olen joskus jotain levyäkin tainnut kuunnella, mutta ei minusta ole fania tullut. Aikanaan isot pojat puhui että tää olis sellaista muusikoiden musiikkia ja teknisesti haastavaa jne. Minusta tämä on taiteellista rymistelyä, laulajan persoonallisesta äänestä en erityisesti ole koskaan tykännyt. Biiseissä kyllä tapahtuu sen verran paljon, että tylsistymään ei päässyt.

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3

Hadn't listen to them a lot before. Great drumming, and good background for running or the gym.

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3

Noisy metal

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3

You can't argue with the musicianship that was already on display for this band. It laid a strong foundation to continue their growth on notably with Toxicity and future efforts.

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3

Great fun

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3

Heavy metal. Great lyrics that speak to issues that you don't typically find in most music (genocide, religion, etc.). Glad this made the list to learn more about SoaD.

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3

There are a few albums that sound like high school to me, and this is one of them. I'm not exactly a SOAD fan, but I remember liking this album then, and I like it now. Can't say the same for their other offerings, but...yeah. this one slaps. Highlights for me include "Know" and "Suggestions", with their obvious Armenian influence, and "War?" just because it's f*cking brutal and hits that metal itch I get every once in a while

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3

Great debut album. Clear sound and influences from the start. SoaD are consistent since the early days. 6.5/10

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3

Not the best SoD album, bit dissapointing

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3

Bra album! Bästa låtar: Sugar Suite-Pee Spiders

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3

SOAD :D Iha jees, mut ei tääkää mikää hullu oo 3/5

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3

S.O.A.D is like kinda mid overall, expected way more. Sugar and Spiders are certified bangers and a couple other tracks like War? and Suite-Pee are great head-bangers. The rest of the album is lyrically dense and filled with panic but suffers from a lack of quality 'song writing'. While kinda bland SOAD is often nice metal background music, haha

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3

Le chanteur est s9ide et les musiciens aussi. Mais l’album est bof. Surtout si on compare a leur auivant… 3

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3

Solid. I like Toxicity a bit better, but still a good album.

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3

3.5 - It's definitely better than other examples of nu metal I've listened to recently, like Slipknot. I like the dynamism, especially in the vocals. Serj Tankian sounds like some unhinged court jester - his performance is exceptional. I also appreciate the near eastern influences. I'm too old to relate to the rage and angst, and some of the politics, so probably the opportunity for me to love this sound has passed. It's a fun listen that I don't see myself returning to.

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3

decent metal album that stylistically doesn't stand out much but isn't bad either

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3

Loved this album when it came out, though I don't think SOAD really came into their own until Toxicity. Some fun stuff going on here that I think they really refine in subsequent albums.

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3

Оп, система! Слушал их достаточно, но с этим альбомом практически не знаком. Местами интересно, но в целом мне не нравится манера пения Сержа Танкяна, эти нервные выкрики. В музыкальном плане тоже скучновато, хотя и местами разъёбно. Тематика песен опять же мне не по мне. ---- Буду ли я переслушивать этот альбом? НЕТ, но какие-то треки бы оставил в плейлисте (Know, Sugar, Soil)

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3

1998. Spiders, War?, Sugar

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3

This album is so full of energy, it makes you want to get up and jump around head-banging. It's a politically charged album throughout, being anti-war and touching on topics of genocide, religion and brainwashing. All of these themes make sense when you realise that the band-members are Armenian, whose people have been subject to tragedies. Best: Sugar; Peephole Worst: Spiders

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3

Great album. System is a band that is so weird. I’m surprised there a huge band. Listening to this album you hear so much strange instrumentation. It’s wild

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3

Better than I expected, but essential? Probably not.

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3

Lidt for ensformigt, men udemærket Hard Rock. Husker det som bedre

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3

Listen. I get this. It just caught me on the wrong day. I can recognize that this has some damn good sound, but I just don’t feel the rage and anger that I need to enjoy this.

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3

Brutally whimsical and frenetic energy that forces itself into your brain. Strong melodies and interesting sounds.

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3

Pretty much what I remember from listening to it a time or three 20 years ago.

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3

kinda worse than chop Sui

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3

Eh. Budget TOOL. Spiders was the standout song.

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3

It’s ok. Not really my cup of tea. I do enjoy the song Sugar.

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3

I had heard a few songs from this, but not most of it. Sounded a lot more like regular metal before they found their sound.

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3

Too much rock and roll for me

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3

It’s fine. I’m not really a fan of the genre! I remember liking Toxicity in high school. It’s a good album, but not for me, not me as I am today.

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3

Very passionate album. Strong anti-war, religion, and other themes throughout. The album cover is apparently from an anti-fascist poster from 1928. I'm not a huge metal fan but I can appreciate it for what it is. Solid album

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3

6/10

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3

not my bag, but so important. first albums are always better than second albums

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3

I prefer the more polished sound of Toxicity

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3

The best of this album IMO: - Know - Peephole - P.L.U.C.K. (for the chorus) Easy to listen to. Non-stop action. 3.2/5

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3

I did not know this album existed. I guess I thought System of a Down sprung into the world fully formed with Toxicity, a good album. But here's their debut and I get why it's on the list. Rock in the late 90s was mostly the tail-end of grunge and all the quirky band that had a go in the era of the high-profit CD. Then along comes this and it sounds like nothing on the scene. It's rock, it's metal, it's alternative. It's Los Angeles by way of Yerevan, bringing Eastern European sounds to the bratty LA rock scene. The whole thing works. It sounds nothing like what came in the years before not what was to come in the nu metal years after. And when SOTD come for kombucha people, that feels like an arrow shot 20 years into the future.

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3

My 14 year old self loved toxicity, don’t think Iv ever heard this album before. Given Iv grown to hate Nu-Metal I Enjoyed this album much more than I thought Or probably should, great heavy guitars and drums, vocals not so much. Would I listen to this album again? Probably not, I’d put on toxicity given I have the nostalgic connection to it.

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3

On this album they have one trick. They do it very well but it's not enough for me, and I much prefer Toxicity, which feels more mature and varied.

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3

3/5

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3

YEAAHHHH

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3

What is this? Death punk metal? Jane's Addiction do it better.

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3

Nice bit o’system

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3

ah

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3

Not my metal cup of tea but I dig their attitude.

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3

Not my speed, but decent album

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3

Finally but the bullet after 10 days (couldn't face Armenian-American thrash metal). But you know what? Took it out for a walk with dampened earphones. It's not bad - some musical talent, and small familiar snippets (clips felt like XTC or Split Enz!). Unusual, not unbareable. No headache recorded.

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3

I've always thought System Of A Down was just okay. Not bad, but not really good, either.

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3

I can appreciate the energy in this group, and am particularly impressed by some of the technical guitar playing. Reminds me of college when this type of music was in.

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3

Nice one

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3

Fully smashing - and hilarious at points

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3

Not my favourite genre, but an interesting showcase of it I suppose.

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3

While this is not where I gravitate to, I do love the vibe and the lead singers voice

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3

A veces, demasiado confuso y pesado

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3

I think that metal groups in the 90s and 00s had a harder challenge in front of them then is generally recognized. They had to produce music that definitively sounded like metal without continuing to works that were substantially similar to what came before. I like metal, but it's sound can be restrictive. Bands like System of a Down did a great job of walking that line. I don't like this album as much as Toxicity, but still, you can clearly hear the innovation of their sound here. In a genre where it can be hard to stand out even with very talented musicians, SoaD manages to be instantly recognizable. That being said, this album still sags in places. Their song writing would improve in future works, but it's not quite there yet on this work 3/5

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3

They have such a great, unique sound. Best when played loud! Great for the genre, but not something I listen to very often. When you are in the mood - this is a great one to listen to. 3/5

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3

Yeah

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3

I like System of A Down, but I can't really tell why. They're definitely unique - the only band I can think of that can be describe as Heavy Metal Shuffle. It's a weird mix of metal, country, and punk. Serj may also be the first one to put the microphone all the way into his mouth and scream - that's something. I don't think this is their best album (so I assume we'll see another on the list), but it definitely made a splash as their debut and has held up.

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3

When you're in the right mood, this can be a great one to get your blood pumping. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Not what I normally listen to though. 3/5

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3

While hard rock, metal is my jam, I have never been fond of Serj’s voice, I find it grating. Decent album, just that voice!

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3

04/28/22

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3

Wow, was not expecting to enjoy that. *sugar*

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3

Oni su mi opcenito zanimljivi i mislim da dobro zvuce ali neb si ih nikad pustila. Tak i s ovim albumom

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2

A generous two for having elements of unusualness.

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2

i dont remember much from it but it was ok i guess 2.5

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2

not for me

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2

Lots of interesting things going on with time signatures and I think it might have a good sense of humour to it but TOO SHOUTY FOR ME

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2

eh

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2

CANT DO IT Painful, did 1.5 songs

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2

I really like System Of A Down, but this album has lots of songs I really do not like :p

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2

i like a tiny bit of it

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2

kinda seems like the songs I like are the ones with the least amount of shouting ...

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2

Nope! Maybe on another day but not really my thing.

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2

I've always been Impressed by the technical composition and tightness of their music, but just don't like the musical style of SoaD.

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2

Not my thing

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2

While I can understand the appeal, just not my thing. A few of the songs are sort of listenable.

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2

olisin ehkä teininä tykännyt.

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2

Eh, not for me. Too angry. But, I can appreciate the energy and the provocative lyrics. I also really like the musical quirks contributed by their Armenian heritage. Also, I prefer Toxicity.

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2

not my favorite

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2

1998, heavy Metal, gar nicht mein Ding, nur halb gehört, schwache 2

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2

Not really my thang

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2

not taken by this

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2

heavylongo, siniestro, voces de loco.

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2

Really average listinening , some tunes pop up

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2

It’s not for me Clive

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2

Nah.

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2

It's Nu Metal. It didn't age well. There are much worse examples of it though.

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2

Meh. Wea esquizofrenica si

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2

Wild & Crazy !!! Not a fan but makes for interesting listening.....Spiders was my favorite

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2

Not my style

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2

Yeah I'd have liked this 20 years ago. But now it's just edgy crap. Some weird portmanteau of punk, metal and alternative that really doesn't make the mark anymore.

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2

Fun guitar work. Otherwise, not really my thing

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2

Not even as good as toxicity

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2

Cool song transitions. So incredibly loud.... really heavy too heavy

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2

Not my type of music, but it was pretty decent. I would give it 2.5 / 5 if possible.

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2

Vocalist has a cool voice, but otherwise not much here for me

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2

I am angry, laakee music, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH, OOOOoooOOOOOooooOOOOO,

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2

Erm, not really my thing. I'm sure it's a good album for those who enjoy System of a Down, but I didn't find it the most enjoyable.

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2

They yell a lot, it's a bit exhausting.

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2

Va ser força reconegut quan va sortir, una mica d'aire fresc enmig de tot el gruix del nu metal que dominava l'època. Ara, però, es fa difícil d'escoltar. Molt del moment i tot i la seva originalitat els temes no destaquen i molts d'ells són directament mediocres. Una banda que va anar de menys a més, indiscutiblement

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2

This album lacked all the Armenian/classical training vibes that, to me, are the strengths of System of a Down. Rarely, he lets his voice shine and you see glimpses of the songs they became famous for, harmonic, beautiful and melancholic. This album seems to fall into the many pitfalls of hard rock from the era, it feels immature, like music for teenage boys. I was expecting at least one of their classics to float this album up, but it never came. 2.

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2

I will give them credit for a unique sound. But though songs like spiders are dark and aggressive, too many songs are handicapped by a singing style i don't particularly like... a novelty crooning metal opera. It becomes tiring after a while. The music is better than the vocal delivery.

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2

System of a Down by System of a Down (1998) Four young American men of Armenian extraction have some serious beefs with religion, politics, social constructs, interpersonal relationships, and historical indignities. Some of these beefs are entirely justified (e.g., the Armenian Genocide in “P.L.U.C.K.”). They choose heavy metal, an appropriate métier, to express their ire, and on some levels, it works. While it cannot be denied that System of a Down takes metal to another level, their work is tainted by Serj Tankian’s limited (and elvish) vocal delivery, and an anti-melodic savagery that distracts from the art. Apart from that it’s pretty good, and it has its moving moments. But then they move on. A listener struggles to laugh and rage simultaneously. 2/5

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2

La verdad que cansa. O sea no me pareció una mierda pero me pareció un gran tema largo. Pasa mucho con el metal que suele ser bastante lineal. Le pongo 2 pero me gustaría ponerle 5/10.

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2

Yeah what I imagined. Ok I guess

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2

Nothing against them, just not my style

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2

I'll give it 2 stars for the production. It's very slickly produced but not my thing at all.

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2

Not my cup of tea yo

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2

I am so. Tired. Of this long stretch of man-rock. I can't even care. This is right on the edge of my tolerance

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2

O was there when this was trending, I remember and like many of these songs but 24 years later I just don’t get any joy from this… I heard once that metal (in its many forms) is a teenage phase, and that men who don’t grow out of it don’t grow out of teenage either, maybe it’s true

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2

Not for me, but I can see the appeal

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2

le mec est vénère

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2

some bangers but mostly not to my taste

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2

Most definitely not my thing. Might be more tolerable if the vocals were a little less....aggressive? I think there were 2 songs that I could possibly enjoy in another context, but in this context 2.5 🌟

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2

2 stars for the passion and dexterity, but otherwise it sounds horrible

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2

Can definitely do worse than System of a Down in terms of nu metal but it still isn’t the greatest. Not horrible by any means

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2

Not really my cup of tea. Not bad as such but it didn't really engage me.

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2

I kind of get it. At times I like their style, it's very iconic and individual unlike some of the other heavy metal albums we've had, I just don't particularly like it in my ears.

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2

I appreciate the musicianship and the unique sounds presented by SoaD. But metal/nu-metal isn't really my jam. I owned their follow up album (Toxicity) but never was able to listen to that one completely. 1.5/5

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2

Highly frenetic album on a day when my soul cried for soothing. Yea I get it. The guy can tweak the strings impressively fast. Oy!

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2

Turkey is a lovely place to go on holiday. System of a Down do not support this view

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1

Could not listen to it. Not my type at all!

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1

Got through 5 songs. I HATE System of a Down

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1

Did not really care for it. Not my type of music

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1

Meh

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1

No more metal

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1

nope, hate it

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1

I did not liked

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1

Screaming not singing, too heavy.

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1

NAFF

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Ouch my ears are sore. Not a fan. And they say “Sugar” doesn’t go bad😯

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1

I turned it off after 30 seconds.

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1

Het is heel bekend maar ik vind het helemaal niks

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1

Can I give no stars?

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1

nope! terrible

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1

Did not like

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1

Not the sound that I was looking for.

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1

hated this

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1

Hard pass. Get it off the list. Songs 4 and 5 started with some promise only to revert to annoyance. This is the album you'll hear after you die on an endless loop in hell.

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Definitely not for me, you wouldn't pay me to listen to something like this again. 1/5 stars.

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Noise by any other name. Funny that, though, because I can think of 2 nice System of a Down songs, it's just that they weren't here.

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Not my Wavelength at all. Really struggled to connect with any of it.

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Not a fan

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I think I like Mumford more than the Lumineers. This is all to say that I normally listen to music with a little bit of intent, and I can't seem to find it here.

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What the hell was that?!

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shite - managed 4 songs and just not for me. 1

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Didn't finish it. I may be a bit harsher on nu metal because I used to like it when I was younger, but really, there's a good reason I don't listen to it anymore. It's all just so boring. All the songs I listened to were under 3 minutes, but I checked to see how much longer I have to listen for all of them. The music is so generic. Not a huge fan of the vocals, either.

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The music is mostly dreadful The lyrics are near unbearable Cringy and dated Just pretty awful to be frank

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Rough

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screamy, whiny high pitch voice

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Meh

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Remember the stories about how some dude took angle dust, cut his skin off with a broken mirror, and fed it his dog? I’d rather do that, without the angel dust, than listen to this again. Halfway through Mind, the words “Go away, go away” appear. I wish SoaD would have heeded their own words. From the “r” rolling to the scream-o, this is a 13 song heaping pile of shit. I’m offended 1 star is the minimum. This album can properly fuck right off!

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Too fast and thrash and hard for me

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No thanks!

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Comical vocals like the singer has multiple personalities/voices. The fun is a little spoilt by the aggressive lyrics. Disjointed music. Occasionally good hard rock, but a bit too out there for me.

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Possibly the one genre I just can’t take. Thankfully all the songs were pretty short. I have been in a couple of mosh pits in my time and there’s something cleansing and exhilarating about them. And I could see System of a Down’s concerts being one massive mosh pit which I could’ve enjoyed when I was a young pup. Read thru the lyrics with each song because you can’t understand them otherwise! Hoping to find a gem but just couldn’t do it. Did chuckle at the Kombucha mushroom people line in Sugar. They were ahead of their time referencing Kombucha in 1998! But it’s like they try too hard with the lyrics, or maybe not at all? Shake your spear at Shakespeare? Loud and noisy, strong refrigerators? Makes me think of Eminem’s ‘Lucky You’; why don't we make a bunch of fuckin' songs about nothin' and mumble! Granted, Eminem was referring to rap and System of a Down definitely doesn’t mumble! But not sure screaming is any better. It’s like it’s a formula (but traditionally speaking, this shit works, right?). Say some shit about religion and gods (Suite-Pee, War, Darts), a song or two referencing the devil (DDevil), write a line for the chorus (‘We will fight the heathens’ ‘Humans everywhere, canned Cliche people organs rare’) and angrily scream it over and over into the microphone as loud as you can so it’s barely coherent. Rinse, repeat. Spiders may have been the most tolerable as far as listening. Thought Mind may have been something but then it went off the rails. Soil probably the best lyrically. Overall, I thought Peephole may have been something but feel the lyrics are contrived trying to be deep but really meaning nothing. P.L.U.C.K may have been the best…because it was the last song. But being the second longest song, truthfully, I shut it off with a minute left, just couldn’t do it anymore. I try to include an understanding and appreciation of the genre and the work and effort that goes into it all when I rate if it’s not my ‘cup of tea’ but I just can’t with Progressive/Thrash/Heavy Metal.

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C'est bon je l'ai écouté avant de mourir.

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Nope

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Not for me. If I could rate it 0 I would

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Couldn't listen to it all. Nu-metal, or whatever this is, is not for me

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Not a fan at all and my heart sank when I saw this. At the moment we're having one heavy/thrash metal thing a week and its doing my head in! Hoping we're passing this phase, just not enjoyable music for me at all. Its just TOO much - do people genuinely just chill to this?

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I was so not up for this yesterday and I still am not haha. I only listened to the first couple of tracks and I could not get into it sorryyyyy.

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nope

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I'm familiar with who system of the down is but personally, this album doesn't do it for me.

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They lost me at RRRRAAAAAAAAA!

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fuck this album and this band in general

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Never really been a fan of System of a Down. Need to give them a chance and check out their catalog.

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No me gusta mucho.

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Heyy these are the people who made Chop Suey! Which I've never listened to but heard it's good. Pretty hard stuff, feels like snorting shrapnel. Punk rock? Metal? Idk I gotta get better at identifying music genres. Cool, but I probably won't listen to them voluntarily. Nicky might though.

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