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Sytem Of Down Consisting of vocalist, Serj Tankian guitarist Daron Malakian bassist Shavo Odadjian and drummer John Dolmayan
The Los Angeles foursome System of a Down began playing together in the mid-'90s and developed their own following amid the proliferation of Southern California metal bands -- including Korn, Deftones, Snot and Fear Factory -- that were emerging at the time. Despite their California home base, System of a Down has international roots and world music influences. Vocalist Serj and drummer John were both born in Lebanon and bassist Shavo was born in Armenia; the band mixes Middle Eastern, Native American, Armenian and tribal rhythms into their eclectic sound. Their self-titled debut, produced by Rick Rubin (Slayer, Red Hot Chili Peppers), was released in June 1998. The band followed with an extensive summer tour, and continued to be part of high -- profile summer package tours, such as Family Values '99 and Metallica's Summer Sanitarium tour in 2000.
........System Of A Down's hardcore style is a breath of fresh air in today's rap-metal world. releasing this on the world was exactly what the metal scene needed at the time. Fast, stomping, not giving the listener any chance for a break this band reaches new highs in terms of original content. Songs such as 'Sugar' and 'Peephole' hit the spots where other bands haven't reached, yet simply amazing. Tracks that stand out are 'Suite-pee' ,'Sugar' and 'War?'. The band's songs are fueled with rebellion and protest. And its diverse music which blends metal, rap, hardcore, jazz and Middle-Eastern melodies expresses the need to stir up the great American melting pot and unite against prejudice and injustice.
......Their live show, this time with the "Summer Sanitarium tour" at San Francisco's 3 Com Park on July14, was awesome. The slow, spooky invocation that is the song "Spiders" lulls through-out the arena into a musical swoon, which is quickly dissipated as Serj dives into amanic jig, rant a must-see act. His singing was intense, roaring with raw guttural tones one minute and pulsing into cross-firing like a wild man on the barely-controlled chaos.
......It's easy to be spellbound by the cast of System Of A Down. Unpredictable beats and crazy vocals make this band standout in an otherwise long line of Korn and Deftones imitators. At times, the band's music can get wacky, but its beats and riffs are so brutal that you will quickly giveaway to a full onslaught of moshable, hard rocking' enjoyment. Definitely one of the better performances of the day in the "Metal World music".

By Randy Cohen

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