System Of A Down - Toxicity

System Of A Down! System Of A Frown more like. I've never seen such a bunch of miserable looking buggers in all of my entire life. "Toxicity" like Korn and The League Of Gentlemen's theatre company Legs Akimbo are all about issues. Worthy stuff i'm sure. The the ludicrous and pretension hippy ideals of "Aerials" is a clue to what's in store with the absolutely atrocious line "life is a waterfall". It treads a very thin line of either being deep and meaningful or just plain daft. Not ones to shy away from their culture Serj Tankian brings ethnic rhythms and tribal chanting to the mix.

"Prison" was partially inspired by Daron Malakians fury at the LA Police when he was arrested for a small amount of marijuana. Its crunching guitars, whispering vocal of "we building a prison" has a relevant if a little obvious social message. "X" isn't about Malcolm X as you might expect. Its about physical love or 'boning' as Americans would probably refer to it as...but perhaps its also a parable about birth control or the over population of the planet with the lyric "we don't need to multiply" which is repeated to fade. Short, direct and to the point - its a little belter. For all its fairy tale story telling and bizarre prog rock mechanics Genesis going all heavy metal the track "Forest" is what can only be described as a filler.

System Of A Down perform with their hearts on their sleeve and a determination but they're a little too obvious in their targets. Veering very close to Spinal Tap ridiculousness they still are a cut above the usual suspects of nu-metal and are well worth checking out when they arrive next year for their rescheduled tour of the United Kingdom.

Nicholas Paul Godkin