Uuuuuggghh. I hate System of a Down as a whole, but this is where the band's silly dadaism and squirreliness really spiralled out of control. Like SOAD's other albums, this album is loaded with tonal whiplash in that some songs deal with textbook liberal politics ("Prison Song") and some others deal with overdone silliness ("Bounce").
The musicianship on this album is really poor, especially in the guitar department. Daron's guitar riffs are total nu-metal flatulence with the occasional Arabic noodle here and there. Not a ripping guitar solo to be found. Shavo's bass is barely noticeable, the drumming is passable at best (forgot the drummer's name), and Serj's vocals are laughably bad in that they try to be aggressive and fail miserably, and even try to be "emotional," and sound even worse.
If you want some politically-minded music that's GOOD, check these albums out:
Public Enemy: It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back Napalm Death: Scum
Skip this goofy, dadaist nu-metal crap and check out these following albums that are actually metal:
Dark Angel: Darkness Descends Kreator: Pleasure to Kill Morbid Saint: Spectrum of Death Coroner: RIP Sodom: Agent Orange Sadus: Chemical Exposure
I'm glad my fandom for "Toxicity" and SOAD only lasted a few months when I was a teenager. And finally, I think the guitarist once said something at a music awards show along the lines of "Party time!! And we're no bullshit political punk band!!"
He's right, they're a bullshit political nu-metal band.
Seriously, this is an incredible album and System of a Down are a truly unique band that have become the success that they are through creating music like nothing heard before. "Nu-Metal" is simply a genre label that was created in order to allow other bands with a "unique" sound to belong to. This is something that System of a Down created, they were a band that stripped away that label of being a rock band and essentially created a genre of their own. Serj Tankian the lead vocalist of the band … more
System of a Down's sophomore effort is a musically and lyrically ambitious 14-song collection that's even more left-of-center and powerful than their 1998self-titled debut. Here the Los Angeles-bred foursome tackle everything from government ("Prison Song") to cocaine-crazed groupies ("Psycho") in a more pointed and aggressive manner thanRage Against the Machine. Serj Tankian's hardcore vocals and occasional Middle Eastern flourishes ("Science") contribute to the unique, ultra-intense, and quirky qualities of System circa 2001. Unexpected time changes and death-metal-like intensity give way to mellower moments, all of which make for demanding but irresistible listening.Toxicityis a masterful, unusual, and forceful opus. This release includes a bonus CD-ROM that includes behind-the-scenes footage, band commentary, and concert clips.--Katherine Turman