System Of A Down - Toxicity  » Music  »
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  • I think Tankian sounds great on this track but I'm not a fan of Malakian's screams on this track at all, Tankian should've just done backing vocals
  • I wouldn't call the song terrible, but for me, the song is just boring
  • They do try to change it up during the bridge by slowing it down a bit but it isn't anything very interesting
  • I mean I know this song is only two minutes but I personally think it should even be shorter, this song could've been a lot better than what it was despite how simple it is
  • Bounce - Another track which wastes no time getting into it, but fortunately I like this song a lot more than Jet Pilot

    • by Grimmy101

      Overview - Toxicity, System Of A Down’s second record, takes the heaviness, aggression, and attitude they had in their first record and combines it with some melody to produce an overall better balanced and more varied record. By no means does this mean that this record is light - it’s still an extremely heavy record and none of the songs are truly ballad-like from start to finish. To fit with the change in music, Tankian does less screaming and focuses more on aggressive singing, although he still does scream in quite a few places throughout the entire record, his vocals are actually extremely varied throughout the whole album, something their debut album seemed to lack. Overall, the songwriting is much better and the band doesn’t sacrifice energy, intensity, or lyrics to make it this way.

      The Lyrics - I’ve personally always really liked Tankian’s lyrics just because of how broad and abstract they are, they don’t really get straight to the point and they force you to look for what he’s meaning to say - which can turn out to be many things just in one song. Lyrical topics range throughout the entire album from criticizing the prison system along with the drug policy to suicide to brutality. Just as the first record, Tankian writes some extremely angry lyrics here but they aren’t to the point of childish, even if they do seem that way at first - there will be more to them, I can guarantee that.

      The Music - As said before, the music keeps its heavy feeling without sacrificing much of anything, but it also combines melodic elements into it - not only vocally but also musically. Malakian is still playing the heavy steady rhythms that were featured on their self titled debut record, but on this record he features clean guitars more often and also works on changing up times and feels within one song - he doesn’t seem to feel the need or even the desire to keep a song going fast and heavy the entire way through, showing how he’s developing as a songwriter on this record.

      The Tracks -

      1. Prison Song - Vocals and lyrics, or even more like statistics, take the center stage of this song as Tankian and Malakian criticize the failure of the prison system in relation to the drug policy. Malakian’s guitar doesn’t actually carry the verse too much during the verse - this would be done by Odajian’s bass, a nice change. This song is

      one of those songs I talked about where the feeling and mood would change completely during a song - the verse is relatively light and laid back while the chorus is extremely heavy and aggressive which eventually gives way to an even lighter bridge. I think Tankian sounds great on this track but I’m not a fan of Malakian’s screams on this track at all, Tankian should’ve just done backing vocals. Good track overall though and great way to start the album.

      2. Needles - I personally thought that the combination and transition from lighter to heavy in Prison Song was great, this transition is slightly less natural on Needles and just doesn’t work as well. The heavy part is good on its own, and the verse is average by itself, but the transition between the two isn’t great. This aside, I absolutely love the bridge where Malakian takes the spotlight on vocals and the entire mood is very grim and dark, excellent part. Besides the awkward transition this song is pretty good overall and aggressive throughout.

      3. Deer Dance - Starts out with a similar type of rhythm that I’m used to hearing from System’s debut album but switches into a much less heavy riff to go along with a pretty laid back verse before it gives way to an extremely heavy and angry chorus. Once again, I think Tankian sounds great on this track, but I really don’t like Malakian’s backing screams very much - Tankian should’ve done them himself. Malakian sounds alright in most parts but not when he’s screaming. Excellent melodic bridge in this song, especially because of all the guitar layering Malakian does which goes great with Tankian’s vocals. Yet another song that changes feels a lot just throughout the song, yet another good song.

      4. Jet Pilot - This track wastes absolutely no time in getting right into it and starts out with Malakian’s heavy rhythm with Tankian screaming straight over it. Unlike the first three starting tracks, I really don’t like this song all that much. I’m not a fan of the chorus at all and the melody during the verse just does absolutely nothing for me. I wouldn’t call the song terrible, but for me, the song is just boring. I’d say a big reason of this is because it basically keeps one feel throughout and doesn’t really change around like the other songs do.

      5. X - First of all, excellent build up but slightly disappointing that the band slowed it down after this - if it would’ve gone straight from intro to verse this could’ve been brilliant. Extremely straightforward lyrics and delivery by Tankian which basically matches Malakian’s riffs here. They do try to change it up during the bridge by slowing it down a bit but it isn’t anything very interesting. Aside from the great build up in the intro and the energy of the verse this song doesn’t have too much. I mean I know this song is only two minutes but I personally think it should even be shorter, this song could’ve been a lot better than what it was despite how simple it is.

      6. Chop Suey - Excellent guitar intro by Malakian here and actually great riffs throughout the whole song. After the first five songs I started to take a bit more notice to Dolmayan’s drumming but I haven’t really said anything about it, but I’ll say right now that he’s doing a great job on this record. Yet again this song goes from a lot of different moods throughout, the verse is heavy while the chorus is light and the transitions are heavy. I’m not a huge fan of the melody during the verse, it sounds slightly close to rapping but not completely, but excellent lyrics and the chorus is simply brilliant. The bridge is also basically split up into a heavy part and a melodic part - the melodic part is simply brilliant and actualy uses a piano during it, fitting and adding to the mood. Great song, one of my favorites on the record.

      7. Bounce - Another track which wastes no time getting into it, but fortunately I like this song a lot more than Jet Pilot. Tankian does all the main screaming parts, or at least he’s the highest in the mix, which is how I feel the rest of the record should’ve been. I’m extremely glad Malakian didn’t do backing screams on this song just because his screaming on this record has been extremely disappointing so far. The lyrics are going to be a bit strange along with the delivery but the energy of this track is great, and probably what was needed after coming out of Chop Suey.

      8. Forest - The verse of this song has a great vibe and rhythm to it, it’s hard to describe but it’s very “bouncy”. Tankian builds up the verse great with his vocal delivery and the chorus doesn’t let down at all. Unlike some of ...

      • System Of A Down - Toxicity
      the other songs on the record where the choruses get a lot more aggressive, this song’s chorus stays relatively melodic or at least keeps with a tempo steady to the verse which works very very well. I personally think Malakian should’ve tried soloing on this track, but the vocal part after the instrumental bridge is excellent. I talked about how Tankian built it up well in the first two verses, it’s even better here. Great song.

      9. A.T.W.A. (Air, Trees, Water, Animals) - So far this is the most melodic track of the record and has been the closet thing to a ballad so far as far as light verse with heavy chorus. I personally think Tankian and Malakian sound great during the verse but the chorus just seems to come in abruptly to me and I’m not a huge fan of this part - especially once it gives way to the bridge where Malakian does some screams that just don’t fit. Not a great track but decent overall.

      10. Science - First off, great riff from Malakian, its nice to hear work from him that isn’t just powerchords. I’m not a huge fan of the verse in this song, just because it feels like Tankian isn’t completely with it, but the chorus is a lot better and he sounds a lot more fitting. Excellent bridge on this track - sounds extremely full and layered, brilliant work by Malakian. A different verse delivery could’ve made this song a lot better to me but overall it wasn’t bad, and the bridge was extremely impressive - good sign.

      11. Shimmy - The intro of this song reminds me of a bad punk band but the verse riffing gets better as it goes on. Tankian sounds extremely energetic during the chorus and even the verse, but I’m just not a huge fan of the verse for whatever reason - it just doesn’t strike me as anything special. Good build up and crescendo during the bridge back into the chorus but then Malakian comes in with some more of his screams, not great. There really isn’t very much to this song and it’s nothing special by any means.

      12. Toxicity - First, more great drumming by Dolmayan, I’m really not giving him as much credit as I should but he’s been great the whole record. Unlike some of the other songs where the transition from a light verse to a heavy chorus felt strange and unnatural, the flow in this song is great

      and it works perfectly. Decent bridge, although it was slightly boring with no vocals or no solo but it was alright. The only thing about this is that the outro, especially the vocal delivery, seems extremely random and I personally don’t like that part at all.

      13. Psycho - Good build up in this song, and unlike X, they didn’t disappoint with what they followed up with. The song doesn’t slow down for the verse and it gets even more aggressive. The song does eventually get more melodic as it goes on and you can hear hints of Eastern tones in Malakian’s playing, I would only hope for him to solo on this song - and he finally follows through here. Excellent solo on this record, actually probably his best out of any System record, and it translates extremely well when played in a live setting. Malakian’s eastern solo is joined by a string arrangement before it ends, great work by him here.

      14. Aerials - Another song which is similar to a ballad but not really something I’d call a ballad. Tankian sounds great during the verse and the harmony between Malakian and Tankian during the chorus is great as well, with a very fitting riff behind them. The first half of this song is pretty good but the build up into the chorus is great and this is where it really starts to shine. The riff Malakian uses is extremely simple but also very heavy and effective. Good song overall, one of the better ones on the record.

      Conclusion - As said before, most of the tracks on this record don’t follow one straight feel all the way through - they change it up in some way during the song to keep it from being very one dimensional. While the debut record had a lot more straightforward songs, Toxicity contains songs that have a lot more substance to them and just have better songwriting overall as well. There were still a few songs where all the changes in the song may not have felt very natural but at least they attempted to try it. Malakian continues to improve as a songwriter on this record and after hearing certain parts of his playing as a guitarist, most notably the solo on Psycho and the bridge in Science, it makes me extremely confident that he’ll start to incorporate more intricate playing onto System records rather than just straight powerchords. Overall, great songwriting on this record and a lot of improvement.

Tharaka Nuwan says :

re : Bounce - Another track which wastes no time getting into it, but fortunately I like this song a lot more than Jet Pilot
It’s a heavy metal band. the song only feel for heavy metal lovers is about feeling.not just listening.
Tharaka Nuwan says :

re : Bounce - Another track which wastes no time getting into it, but fortunately I like this song a lot more than Jet Pilot
It is not.its a very punch song.
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The review was published as it's written by reviewer in July, 2009. The reviewer certified that no compensation was received from the reviewed item producer, trademark owner or any other institution, related with the item reviewed. The site is not responsible for the mistakes made. 141507761610931/k2311a0715/7.15.09
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