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System of a Down

Hypnotize [Clean]

Format: CD   Release Date: 11/22/2005
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It wasn't a lie when System of a Down said the packaging for Mezmerize and Hypnotize would slot together. Released in November 2005, roughly six months after its counterpart, Hypnotize does indeed feature a tri-fold design. But the extra cardboard slotting's a little extraneous, as are some of the sonic parts on both albums. Truth is the motor for System's spazzy, modernist thrash. It drives the boiling rage in Hypnotize's "Attack," "Stealing Society," and "U-Fig"; on "Holy Mountain," it inspires SOAD to transform the sad facts of genocide into the album's most vicious, powerful, and arresting moment. Of course, truth also drives SOAD to make passionate, if slightly screwy, decisions: Serj Tankian's ADD sputter of "eat 'em eat 'em eat 'em eat 'em" and "banana banana banana terracotta" on Hypnotize; Mezmerize's detour into celebrity baseball game outtakes on "Old School Hollywood." These moments are head-scratchers, no doubt, but they're integral to the experience -- System of a Down confound and irritate even as they rock. And it's precisely because of that weird aggression/aggravation dynamic that Mezmerize/Hypnotize is as strong a concept/double album as metal can offer in 2005. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi

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