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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

System of a Down: Victims of a Down

IMG_1649System of a Down (also referred to as S.O.A.D. or "Soad") is a four-piece alternative metal band that formed in 1995. Their name was inspired by a poem written by band member Daron Malakian entitled "Victims of a Down" (commonly mistaken for what is written on the back of their first album). Fellow band member Shavo Odadjian felt that "System" was a much stronger word.

All four members are of Armenian descent and are widely known for their outspoken social and political views found in many of their songs. System of a Down is a part of the Axis of Justice, a non-profit organization formed by Tankian and Tom Morello that is dedicated to bringing together musicians, music fans and grassroots political organizations to fight for social justice. System of a Down’s main influence is mostly from early alternative rock bands, as well as from heavy metal, punk rock, jazz, fusion, Armenian folk music (Harout, Paul, Armik) classic rock, blues, industrial genres, and definitely Middle Eastern music from Lebanon (Dolmayan and Tankian were born there). The band has used a wide range of instruments, including baritone electric guitars, electric mandolins, sitars, 12-string guitars and Middle Eastern ouds. Daron has stated on several accounts that his songwriting is inspired heavily by The Beatles. Shavo's and Daron's first influences were KISS.IMG_1645 System of a Down has been labeled as "nu metal" by some fans and media since their incarnation. This can be attributed to the release of their first album, which occurred during the “nu metal” boom of the mid-to-late '90s, though they'd actually been making music and touring before nu-metal had been created. The song structure is also arguably done mostly conventionally.

Those who disagree with the nu metal label argue that System of a Down feature guitar riffs strongly reminiscent of those found in thrash metal. There are guitar solos on every album and the drumming tempo doesn't rise above the midtempo range of the chorus and bridges. The lyrics deal mostly with political and social issues or just pure randomness, rather than personal issues. In addition, some people do not consider System of a Down nu metal due to the band not using turntables in their songs.IMG_1654Others believe that System of a Down's genre and song structure varies by song and album so one label can not be used to describe the band.

Guitarist Daron Malakian has said in a Guitar World interview that he is glad System of a Down has not slipped into the nu metal genre. During a 2005 concert, he announced, "They used to call us nü-metal, now they call us prog rock. I think they'll call us anything that's popular.

system of a down - reading festival-26.08.01 Link fixed

asf Video File: average quality


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