This album marked the full breakthrough of this controversial and poetic band. This album spreads through a vortex of enticing subjects: suicide, war, drugs, the meaning of life, the destruction of nature, and group sex. Many people have mocked SOAD
for being a pussy nu-metal band but the metal influence is shown clearly on all 14 hard hitting tracks. Most SOAD
fans would agree that this is the band’s breakthrough album. Incorporations of thrashy guitar solos mixed with Middle Eastern music, melodic vocalizations, Serj’s very distinguishable death growth, and very chaotic and epic drumming. The unique thing about the lyrics is that at first you think they make no sense and are just random shit being shouted or sung into a microphone, but once you acually sit down and start to interpret them you start to get the point of what the band represents and is trying to get across. Take the radio hit Chop Suey!
for example. This song has been constantly mocked for being just random lyrics that sound deep but has no actual meaning. Since SOAD
sparsely releases what the songs mean I have to give my own interpretation which is that the song is about a man’s spirit who killed himself and is watching his wife get ready to go to his funeral. This album isn’t just music it’s a puzzle that has to be unraveled over time.
For those of you who enjoy hard hitting music but aren’t necessarily into extreme metal this is a must have. For those of you who are into extreme metal but like a little variety on your mp3 player this is still a record for you. For those of you who are looking to get into System or extreme metal this is the perfect gateway album for you.
Overall I would give this album a 20/20. Sadly this album marked the end of Serj’s use of his signature death growl, but there is always hope for the future.