Harakiri
SERJ TANKIAN

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SERJ TANKIAN - Harakiri cover
3.70 | 6 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2012

Filed under Alternative Metal

Tracklist

1. Cornucopia (4:28)
2. Figure It Out (2:52)
3. Ching Chime (4:05)
4. Butterfly (4:10)
5. Harakiri (4:19)
6. Occupied Tears (4:22)
7. Deafening Silence (4:16)
8. Forget Me Knot (4:26)
9. Reality TV (4:09)
10. Uneducated Democracy (3:59)
11. Weave On (4:07)

Total Time 45:18

Line-up/Musicians

- Serj Tankian / Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Piano, Keys, Synth, Electronics
- Dan Monti / guitar
- Mario Pagliarulo / bass guitar
- Troy Zeigler / drums

About this release

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Thanks to Kingcrimsonprog for the addition

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SERJ TANKIAN HARAKIRI reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

arcane-beautiful
Ok, I think I won't lie when I say that if it wasn't for System Of A Down, I wouldn't be listening to metal today. They where that band that where interesting enough to keep me interested throughout their whole career. Sadly when they disbanded, a black hole was left in my heart.

Now Scars On Broadway (Daron's band) and Serj released albums. Now when they where released at the same time...they where quite good...but it felt like they needed to melded together to make the perfect record.

But now 6 or 5 years later...have these guys proved themselves as musicians and not just guys who used to be in bands. Yes...and no...

Serj has definitely done a lot since System parted ways. To me he has proved himself as an artist and to his credit he has done whatever he has wanted. Now people will argue that at times his sound at times will be a lot like System's sound...but the dude was part of that sound.

Now this album has kind of taken a new form for Serjs sound...and adopted something that we, and I think even himself didn't expect. When the album was released he stated that it was “punky” and a little more like “System.” Now I won't lie, at times there was some very System esque moments. But also their seems to be something else.

This album has a quite odd flirtation with prog, jazz, art rock, electronic music and metal. Now if you mix them all together...this is what you get with this album. This is an album that might not grab your attention straight away, but I do recommend you give it one or 2 listens to let it properly sink in. Some songs aren't as striking, but some are if you really dig deep into them.

Lyrically Serj has also seemed to have gotten a lot better and even gotten a little better. Vocally Serj will never be as angry as he was in the days of early System, but the dude is in his 40's. And this album prooves that there are emotions that anger.

1. Cornucopia – One of Serj's best songs and one of the best songs released this year. I love the arrangement and how simple and effective the chorus is. 10/10

2. Figure It Out – It's like if Megadeth got a proper singer who overdubbed his vocals a lot and talked about Marxism. It's a bit repetitive, but I guess you really gotta drill the Marxism into people. 10/10

3. Ching Chine – For some reason this song gave me a weird Nu Metal flashback It's a bit silly this song yes, but you will remember it...even if Limp Bizkit creeps into your head. And I do like the chorus too. 8/10

4. Butterfly – One of the more standard songs on the album. I do like the lyrics a lot too...and the rather punky feeling to it. And the melody of the verse is rather hypnotic too, even if I swear I heard it before in a System song. 8/10

5. Harakiri – This song seems to have nothing to do with the act of harakiri. The lyrics are really beautiful and the melodies are too. But I think the song is ruined by the cheesy key change at the end. 8/10

6. Occupied Tears – This song would be a lot better if it focused on the outbursts of random musical parts (e.g. the use of electronics and the jazzy breakdown in the middle). Other than that, its pretty standard. 8/10

7. Deafening Silence – An electronic ballad. Yes this does exist. Love the use of vocals in the song. A very beautiful song. 9/10

8. Forget Me Knot – One of the more diverse songs on the album. The bit where he sings in falsetto is very impressive, and just proves that this dude can still sing his heart out. 8/10

9. Reality TV – One of the oddest songs on the album. Very odd lyrics that make laugh every time I think of them. Also a rather odd look on our modern culture. At the end of the day, it is all about sex. And with a lyric like “nipples, tongues, testicles cheeks, ” can you really go wrong. 10/10

10. Uneducated Democracy – Probably the quirkiest and most craziest song on the album. And probably one of the most enjoyable. The lyrics are a great addition to the song because not only are they informative, but they are funny as well. 10/10

11. Weave On – This song apparently was supposed to be in a musical. There is a quite musical esque feel to this song, especially with the use of jazzy brass. Interesting topic for a song too...because their ain't a lot of songs about weaving. 10/10

CONCLUSION: I really didn't expect too much from this album, and I'm really surprised that I actually got at least something from this album. In my opinion there are some of Serj's best songs on this album. I don't think this album is as strong as his first 2 albums, but this album has definitly got me excited for his future releases. And for a first listen, this is surprisingly taking a good amount of effect on me. So that must be a good thing.

8.1/10
Kingcrimsonprog
Harakiri is the third canonical full-length studio album by System Of A Down front-man Serj Tankian as a solo artist (he has released EPs, live output and a collaborative album with Arto Tunçboyac’yan as well however).

It was released in the summer of 2012, lasts around 45 minutes and was self-produced by Tankian. The album was written, in an almost Trent Rezonor-like move, by painstakingly assembling new songs out of thousands of samples from his previous albums on an iPad.

Some people will hate this album. If you’ve always disliked Serj’s personal politics (or agreed with them but wished he’d keep them out of the music) then lyrics about Occupy Wall Street and corporate corruption are going to be a sore spot. If you seriously disliked some of the musical moves Serj made with his previous album there are parts of that sound still on here, and if you come from a more metal background there is relatively little metal on this album at all. Furthermore, If you’ve ever said that some artist or other has disappeared up their own backside or became too pretentious, then this is an album that you may want to approach with caution so as to avoid disappointment.

If you have heard the album’s first single ‘Figure It Out’ and were very excited by its musical direction, with the chugging and double-kicks, then you may be disappointed to know that it is actually a little out of place on the album, and that there are really only two more tracks that are in any way similar, those being the album’s final two tracks. You get some punky, almost Crossover Thrash sections scattered throughout those three tracks, although obviously through the filter of Serj’s solo career style.

Elsewhere, stylistically, the album as a whole is a bit of a mixed bag. There are throwbacks to his debut album, such as `Butterfly’ which is a very melodic rock/metal track, there are songs closer to the style of his more electronic second album Imperfect Harmonies such as `Reality TV’ and `Ching Chime’ (the latter of which also fills the album’s token wacky/silly moments quota) and also the aforementioned small minority of faster heavier tracks. Then there’s the track `Occupied Tears’ which sort of bridges the gap between all those styles and which is an album highlight.

There are touches of eastern sounding music, a lot electronics (particularly percussion) and relatively little straight up piano or guitar sections like there were on his debut. The album has a sort of arty and experimental feel in a way that could be as equally described as impressive or pretentious depending on your point of view on Serj himself or indeed any other slightly progressive artist that doesn’t fully jump into the Prog market.

If I was being critical of the record I would say that it left a bad first impression and that it felt a little too disjointed and felt more like a compilation or soundtrack album than a proper studio album, although repeat listens do dull this niggling feeling.

With all that being said, I just like Serj. I really enjoy his voice, his phrasing, the feel of his finger style on keys/piano. I could live without the wacky part of his repertoire (although there is less of that here than on any other album so far) but it isn’t ever enough to put me off him altogether. This album provides a mixture of the disparate styles from his previous work and gives the listener another set of songs with his voice. That is enough for me, but if it doesn’t sound like it would be enough for you then I would recommend that you maybe give this one a miss.

Overall, long after Serj is dead I can’t imagine that this is the album people will hold up on a pedestal and remember him by, it doesn’t feel like a classic album and there are quiet a few nit-picky problems with it, but if you are OK with that and aren’t demanding a flawless masterpiece then it is still worth a place in your collection or at the very least, a curiosity listen.

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