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System of a Down - Hypnotize
This year, on the 17th of May I already had the privilege to review System of a Down’s latest record ‘Mezmerize’. The album contained eleven songs but there was still another piece of work to expect. Half a year later, the second part ‘Hypnotize’ of the dual disc is yet to be released. After the first part I had the feeling that something very special was about to be finished. ‘Mezmerize’ was, in my opinion, such a great piece of art, but yet unfinished. The influence and characteristics of the second part could make the concept of a dual-album a magnificent appearance…..or one of the worst decisions in music history.
As I mentioned above, this album has to be viewed in two different perspectives. One of them is the album with the twelve songs, the other one is the concept of being a half of dualism, together with ‘Mezmerize’. We’ll just start with the first one, shall we?

KABANG!! Attack! There it is, right on the table. Did I mention the artwork for ‘Mezmerize’ being beautiful? This one’s even better. Check it out on the website or in your music store. The idea of hypnotizing has came out brilliant. And with that, instead of ‘Mezmerize’ the album starts with an explosion in the form of ‘Attack’, the first song. Daron Malakian has been taken responsibility for the vocals even more than before, but the strength of Serj Tankian’s incredible voice becomes not under graduated.

The whole album contains, sort of speaking, a combination of the ‘familiar characteristics’ of System of a Down, but the band is able to combine their strong aspects with new influences and ideas. Try ‘Vicinity of Obscenity’ and follow the lyrics: ‘Banana banana banana terracotta, banana terracotta terracotta pie’. The typical sound of the (acoustic) guitar, the dualism between the two vocalists (my god, I could dream away with ‘m) the extremely heavy and fast parts, the immediately follow-up between the songs, the political themes in the lyrics and the squeezing, playful vocals from Tankian, they’re all there. Besides these themes we all (should) know, the sphere is a bit different than before, more friendly, almost as experiencing a fairytale. The songs ‘Hypnotize’ and the incredible ‘Tentative’ are good examples of that, by the combination of melody and strength. There are so many different sounds to hear that are, at first, not noticeable. I really had to sit down alone and gave the album some time to get into my thoughts. It’s weird, but at first sight I thought the album was a bit of a disappointing, but after I had ‘exposed’ myself to the record, I could understand the records way better. After that, I could enjoy it and let it take control over myself, like if I was hypnotized. Try to experience that same feeling by listening to ‘Holy Mountains’ and you’ll get the point. So please, when you consider to buy this record, keep in mind that at first sight, the album might not meet your expectations. Take some time.
Then the second part, ‘Hypnotize’ as being a part of ‘Mezmerize/Hypnotize’. In terms of material, the concept is worked out well.

The two different cd’s are separately great to have, and due to a construct in ‘Hypnotize’ you could bring the two packages together like a puzzle into one dual-cd. Besides that, the last song from ‘Hypnotize’, Soldier Side, smoothly combines with the first track from ‘Mezmerize’, called ‘Soldier Side Intro’. In this way, I’d like to demonstrate the fact that the two albums together rise to an even higher level, combining the meanings of the two separate parts into one new creation.

The two albums together contain everything that should be included into music these days: drama, joy, sadness, anger, tenderness, but most of all, beautiful and incredible songs. Who could not fall for the ballad ‘Lonely Day’ as the eleventh track of ‘Hypnotize’, the attractiveness of the two voices, the amazing artwork? If this isn’t music, then I don’t know anymore.

To all of you who are in doubt of what to think about a (big) act like System of a Down. Let me tell you that a lot of different people have come in contact with their music, even people you’d not expect to. That’s just because this band manages to bring the creation of music to a higher level, the artistic level. Therefore, I’d like to change the status of the members from musicians into artists, with a clear goal and a desire for making their pieces of art.

The score, I thought of the possibility to give this record the maximum score but, due to the fact that I believe that a perfect score is impossible and the fact that the double cd will cost the fans about 40 euros (or dollars off course) I decided not to do so. Considering this record and its influence on the whole concept of the dual-disk, the score equals ‘Mezmerize’, plus one.
System of a Down - Hypnotize
92/1001Details SONY/BMG
Released on Tuesday Nov 22nd, 2005

Writer @CarpeSiem on Monday Nov 21st, 2005

Tags: #System of a Down
Tracklisting 1. Attack
2. Dreaming
3. Kill Rock \'n\' Roll
4. Hypnotize
5. Stealing Society
6. Tentative
7. U-Fig
8. Holy Mountains
9. Vicinity of Obscenity
10. She\'s Like Heroin
11. Lonely Day
12. Soldier Side
Line up Serj Tankian: vocals
Daron Malakian: guitar
Shavo Odadjian: bass
John Dolmayan: drums