Katherine gave this album
System of a Down (SoaD) is a group I never just have on in the background. Maybe it's just that their music is a little harder than what I listen to on a regular basis, but maybe also music as rich and detailed as that on Hypnotize deserves to be given my full attention. Listening to tracks like Dreaming or Holy Mountains where complex thoughts are lyrically laid out in close harmonies so redolent of Eastern Europe, you sense not only message, but place. This album (and its sister Mezmerize) suggests that the artists have the hard-earned wisdom of generations whose lives were lived out in hard labor and adverse conditions but are also modern enough to feel the lulling pull of popular culture.
Thematically Hypnotize plays out two major ideas: the vacuousness of modern society, and the mutuality of life (rendered negatively in Attack as "if we fall, we all fall"). This first idea forms the messages of the title track and "U-Fig" and supports as a minor premise "Kill Rock 'N Roll" and "Stealing Society". The second theme can be heard clearly in "Attack" and "Soldier Side", but in some ways underpins much of the "message" of SoaD and explains the band's involvement in movements for social justice. This is not to say that the album is one of dreary and serious tracks; "Vicinity of Obscenity", "Kill Rock 'N Roll" among others demonstrate genius level mastery of humor and the ridiculous.
As a listener interested in lyrics, I appreciate the extremely clear diction that I find usually lacking in groups that get shelved in metal. Musically SoaD is doing work that nobody else is doing right now in America (perhaps because no one else can). These skilled musicians have been heartily missed during their hiatus; hopefully, when they return, they will continue to challenge our hearts minds and ears with their unique contributions.
|3||Kill Rock 'N Roll||9||Vicinity of Obscenity|
|4||Hypnotize||10||She's Like Heroin|
|5||Stealing Society||11||Lonley Day|