System of a Down

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System of a Down is an alternative metal band from Glendale, California, USA consisting of Serj Tankian (vocals, keyboards), John Dolmayan (drums), Daron Malakian (guitar, vocals) and Shavo Odadjian (bass), and known for their distinctive dress styles and goatees. All four members are of Armenian ancestry, and some of their songs are said to be about Armenian-related issues (such as the Armenian Genocide). A common dispute amongst fans is their genre.

System of a Down uses a wide range of instruments, including baritone electric guitars, electric mandolins, sitars, 12-string classical guitars and many other East Asian instruments. Their main influences are noticeably earlier alternative rock bands like Kon, but they also draw on punk rock, jazz, fusion, Armenian folk music, classic rock, blues, rap, and industrial.

The band enjoyed moderate success with their first singles, "Sugar", "Suite-Pee" and "Spiders", from their debut album System of a Down. However, their big break came from their critically acclaimed second album, Toxicity , which debuted at #1 on the American and Canadian charts, eventually going multi-platinum. The album was #1 in America on the week of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Their first big hit was the controversial "Chop Suey!", released in the late summer of 2001. System of a Down received constant airplay in the United States throughout late 2001 and 2002 with their hits, "Chop Suey!", "Toxicity", "Aerials", off their second album, Toxicity , and "Innervision" off their third album, Steal This Album!.

Their third album, containing songs from the Toxicity recording sessions that didn't feel right for Toxicity were released as Steal This Album!. Early recordings of most of the songs had leaked out onto the internet and were well received by the fans resulting in the subsequent release. There are five different designs of the album available. One version of the CD resembles a CD Recordable that was labeled with a felt-tip marker, and the other four featured designs by individual band members: Serj, Shavo, Daron and John.

In 2004, the band recorded two brand new albums for release in 2005 that are being released approximately 4 to 6 months apart from each other. They are Mezmerize and Hypnotize. Mezmerize was released in the United States and Europe on May 17 2005, and was released in Australia on May 22 2005, while Hypnotize will be released approximately four to six months after. The dates and order of release for these two albums were somewhat controversial among fans in early 2005, as some believed that the release was supposed to be in the opposite order and the first one was supposed to be released in April. In early January, 2005, a new track called "Cigaro" was purposely leaked onto the internet to be praised from fans, followed by the release of the single "B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bombs)", which is working its way up the North American singles charts. The band has also announced that song 8, 'Question' will be the second single from the album, with bassist Shavo Odadjian directing the video. Mezmerize immediately shot up to the top of the US charts, making it the group's second consecutive number-one debut. First week sales rocketed to over 800,000 copies worldwide, with the album debuting at #1 in over a dozen other countries, including Canada, Japan, Australia, Germany, and France. Initial critic reviews have been overwhelmingly favorable.

Serj Tankian - Vocalist & Keyboardist, Daron Malakian - Guitar & Vocals, Shavo Odadjian - Bass, John Dolmayan - Drums


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