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.