System of a Down Dares Fans to ‘Steal This Album!’
By Randy J. Klodz
Sure it has been nearly a year since the November 2002 release of System
of a Down’s “Steal this Album!,” but the 16-track compilation of previously
unreleased tracks from the hard-rock heavyweights is the latest material System
fans can sink their teeth into.
System of a Down—which includes Serj Tankian on vocals, Daron Malakian
on guitars, Shavo Odadjian on bass and John Dolmayan on drums—first
made waves with its 1998 self-titled debut and debut second-stage stint on
The OZZfest tour. With the exposure of The OZZfest second-stage performances
and success of the singles “Sugar” and “Spiders,” System of a Down quickly
became a force to be reckoned with in the hard rock community.
System later released “Toxicity” in 2001, an album that many critics
deemed one of the best albums of that year—a feat not many politically
driven hard-rock acts could earn. With the vast success of the singles “Chop
Suey!,” “Aerials” and “Toxicity,” the band earned a coveted spot atop 2002’s
The OZZfest tour. No second stage this time, though. The band took the highest
spot on the tour, appearing with a full set right before the Price of Darkness
himself, Ozzy Osbourne played his set.
The band toured relentlessly behind the success of “Toxicity” and have
since, according to reports, begun work on a new album that they are reportedly
attempting to complete by the end of 2004. In the meantime, fans have “Steal
This Album!,” a great set of songs that may not be new to the band, but were
new to fans upon the release of the album.
The band released a controversial music video for the war-inspired “Boom!,”
a two-minute rant with the chorus “Every time you drop the bomb / You kill
the God your child has born.” “Mr. Jack” starts with Malakian’s slow one-minute
guitar strum, then turns heavy with Tankian’s vocals altering typically from
near whisper to barking growl. “Roulette” takes things down a notch with a
subdued acoustic number that fits right in with System’s clever melding of
heavy hits and lighter numbers.
“Streamline,” the final track on “Steal This Album!,” may be the only
track familiar to fans, in that it was System of a Down’s lone track on the
movie soundtrack for “The Scorpion King” which released in March of 2002.
For more information on the band, log on to www.systemofadown.com.