System of a Down

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System of a Down is a heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California, USA consisting of Serj Tankian (vocals, keyboards), John Dolmayan (drums), Daron Malakian (guitar, vocals) and Shavo Odadjian (bass). All four members are of Armenian ancestry, and some of their songs are about Armenian history and politics.

History, style and influences

Their diverse instrumentals range from baritone electric guitars, electric mandolins, sitars, 12-string classical guitars to many other East Asian instruments. Their main influence is noticeably the heavy metal veterans Black Sabbath and Slayer, but they have many other musical influences such as jazz, fusion, Armenian folk music, classic rock, blues and industrial metal. They also sometimes play short Armenian songs live such as 'Julieta' by Harout Pamboukjian which was played at London Astoria 2005 by the guitarist whilst singing to it and 'Im Nazelis', which was played by the guitarist at Souls 2004. The vocalist Serj Tankian always sings 'Yes im anoush hayasdani, arevabar' in between the Armenian sounding song from the Toxicity album, 'Science' whilst performing it live.

The band enjoyed moderate success with their first singles, Sugar and Spiders, off their debut album System of a Down. However, their big break came from their sophomore effort, Toxicity, which debuted at #1 on the American and Canadian charts, eventually going multi-platnium. The album also has the dubious distinction of being the #1 album in America on the week of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Their first big hit was the controversial "Chop Suey!", released in the late summer of 2001. The title comes from a poem of Father Armeni, who wrote about Armenia after the genocide of 1915. He asked God why have you forsaken me in your eyes. Father Armeni also said that in Armenia a self righteous suicide has taken place. 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 session, was released as "Steal This Album!" because early recordings of most of the songs had leaked out onto the Internet. There are four 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.

In 2004, the band recorded two brand new albums for release in 2005, to be released 6 months apart from each other. They are Mezmerize and Hypnotize. Mezmerize was released in April whilst Hypnotize will be released approximately six months after. In early January, 2005, a new track called "Cigaro" was leaked onto the Internet (some say it was leaked by the band itself, considering it was leaked onto a web page which featured a "mesmerizing" spiral and was performed by the band at their Big Day Out appearances several days after the leak) to praise from fans.


Previous members

  • Rodrigo Dolmayan - Drums


  1. System of a Down (30 June 1998)
  2. Toxicity (4 September 2001)
  3. Steal This Album! (26 November 2002)
  4. Mesmerize (17 May 2005)
  5. Hypnotize (15 November 2005)

Music videos

  • "Sugar" from System of a Down (1998)
  • "Spiders" from System of a Down (1999)
  • "War" from System of a Down (2000)
  • "Chop Suey!" from Toxicity (2001)
  • "Aerials" from Toxicity (2002)
  • "Toxicity" from Toxicity (2002)
  • "Boom!" from Steal This Album! (2003)
  • "B.Y.O.B." from Mesmerize (2005)
  • "Question!" from Mezmerize (2005)
  • "Hypnotize" from Hypnotize (2005)(yet to be released)


  • "Poopy Pants" from System of a Down (1998)
  • "Spiders" from System of a Down (1999)
  • "War" from System Of A Down (2000)
  • "Chop Suey!" from Toxicity (2001)
  • "Toxicity" from Toxicity (2002)
  • "Aerials" from Toxicity (2002)
  • "Psycho" from Toxicity (2002)
  • "Innervision" from Steal This Album! (2002)
  • "Boom!" from Steal This Album! (2003)
  • "I-E-A-I-A-I-O" from Steal This Album! (2003)
  • "Cigaro" from Mezmerize (2005)
  • "B.Y.O.B." from Mezmerize (2005)
  • "Question!" from Mezmerize (2005)
  • "Hypnotize" from Hypnotize (2005)

External links