For a band that hasn’t released an album since 2005’s Hypnotize + Mezmerize, you might question the popularity of System Of A Down considering the decade+ wait fans have had for any kind of new material from the Armenian-American legendary metal band. That would be an incorrect assumption, though. The band’s sporadic shows and tours across the world routinely sell out rather quickly, and if you go by only Spotify data, their hundreds of millions of streams are impressive for any artist – let alone one as uncompromising as System Of A Down.
Their 2001 album Toxicity, though, was a landmark album. Before that, I really didn’t understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on this record where Daron Malakian’s presence became more apparent. I think Toxicity is the group’s undisputed masterpiece. It’s an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding album. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism.