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System Of A Down - Steal This Album!
System Of A Down has to be one of the most incredible succes stories in the history of metal. Last year they broke through, out of the blue, there they were. Topping the charts all over the world. And even for the people who had been following metal more intensely, the story goes the same. For them, it was a case of mouth to mouth advertising. Out of the blue, there was System Of A Down, playing Ozzfest, supporting Slayer and Ozzy... But the music is of such an original kind, and the sound is so bleeding catchy that you have just can't resist to move and yes, within 2 listens you know the albums by heart, the squeeqie voices, the low grunts, the tempo changes... It's what makes System Of A Down what a lot of metal/hardcore crossovers are not. Now, one and a half year after their still second album (although it seems like SOAD has been around for ever) here is their third. You'd think. But hell no! Whats this? Left overs from the 'Toxicity' recordings? So System is taking a well deserved rest, and they have an album out with old music to fuel their bongs? Well... Yes and No... First of all, the sixteen songs featured on 'Steal This Album' are all quite decent, have that typical SOAD style, and some might even be better than the average "Toxicity" track. Besides, you are not obligated to buy a cd ever, long live the internet, (hence the title?) and download it there. Because, I have to warn the SOAD fanatics, it is absolutly nothing new! The real System freaks probably already own all of these songs, since they've been circulating on the internet for a long time. Enough. It's music we're interested in! Shut up you pessimistic reviewer dick! Okay, the cd opens quite familiar with an up tempo beat (typical soad style) with the track "Chic N Stu", an homage to pizza. The song contains all the standart ingredients, although I must say that on this song Serj Tankian's vocals don't even make me grin, they're almost annoying even. So ZAPPP; next track is "Innervision" a more down tempo song with standard riff, yet catchy singing by Tankian. This would have suited easily inbetween the Toxicity songs. Fine track, no idea why it didn't end up on the cd and a so-so song like "Prison Song" did... "Bubbles" presents to us a fine riff and slamming drums followed by a typical System tempo change, and a very melodic chorus! VERY melodic, even to melodic for Toxicity, i reckon. "Boom!" is a song that starts in quite an unusual manner, with a short vocal speech part, sounds promising but totally collapses when the Tankians flat vocals (yes Tankians FLAT vocals) kick in. And after the thirty-fifth "BOOM!" you really want to change songs. So a no-go for this track, i'm not suprised it didn't end up on the actual cd. Next in line is "Nuguns". And quite suprisingly, this tracks sounds like the System I've beenm listening to for 15 minutes now. A bit uninspired, yet nice melodic parts and a cool allmost "spanish" guitar in the middle of the song. Okay so things can change, here we have a very nice one. "A.D.D." contains an ear-peeling intro, followed by a riff, and do i hear a string section on the background? Followed by the Serj Tankian I wanted to hear, melodic, beautiful and most of all agressive during the up tempo parts. Nice one! This is where the album is taking a very interesting turn, because where the first number of songs are quite boring frankly, this is a song that SHOULD have been on toxicity come in. Take "Mr. Jack" for instance. This is one hell of a major neck buster of a song. Okay so it's slow and earie. So what, this is one hell of a song. Here's the big fucking suprise of the cd. "I-E-A-I-A-I-O". Besides the bizarre song title it's a type of song i missed so dealy on "Toxicity"!! It's the style they used on their self titled debut. The Armenian influence is easier to detect, the tempo changes are once again insane, and the chorus is simply amazing with the letters of the song title sang in a sort of arabic manner, followed by a short "Knigh Rider" eye-wink and Serj talking like a drunken shoarma-shop owner. "36" is even more like the debut over the top tempo changes. Why the hell didn't this end up on the bloody cd?! I still don't understand it. Same goes for the more down tempo "Pictures", to me it would lovely fit in after "Needles" on toxicity. But hey, who cares what I say, right? "Highway Song" is something I have actually never heard from SOAD. I suspect this song was scraped off the cd because it is to far from the SOAD style. It's a quite slow ballad, with a nice chorus and melodic (as ever) vocals, that builds up to a heavy rocking ending. Back to speedy metal shit as we listen to "Fuck The System". This actually IS System as pure as you can get it. Weird voices, tempo up and down, and even a short Grind Grunt! Like the old days, indeed. "Ego Brain" is once again a slower track, with the double vocals, the greatest finding of the Toxicity cd I think. Nice track, a but standard, reminds of Spiders in a way. Another nice track featuring Serj's insane Shoarma singing again is "Thetawaves". It's quite amusing but somehow I feel that the band needed a kick in the rear when they were recording this track. The album ends with a ballad, "Roulette" and the quite okay song "Streamline". Okay so this is nothing new, you get zero artwork because there is no booklet, only a backside. So here is my tip wether you are a fan or not: Steal This Album. It's not worth buying, because it features some quite okay stuff you heard a million times before, but still has some nice songs you might want to own as a metal/soad fanatic. The album as a whole is very unbalanced, there doesn't really seem to be a beginning nor an ending, and the price in the Dutch shops is redicule. Let's hope the Soad guys will try to keep the bullshit inside the studio and will be making up for an amazing official third album, due in 2004. Review By: Napalm Lex
System Of A Down - Steal This Album!
59/1001Details American
Released on Tuesday Nov 30th, -0001

Writer @Lex on Thursday May 20th, 2004

Tags: #System Of A Down
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