System of a Down - Mesmerise/Hypnotise

Is it just me, or is there a growing epidemic of people producing more than one thing at a time. I mean, the whole 'movie trilogy' thing is getting out of hand, and now the 'separately-released double-album' thing is more popular then ever. Not that I am complaining too much. Anyway, System of a Down has jumped aboard this concept with their separately-released double-album 'Mesmerise/Hypnotise'. The title track to the second half 'Hypnotise' being the first single to be released to the masses of fans this band has accumulated over their seemingly short career.


What does it offer over an impressive back catalogue of anthemic and rebellious 'hits' that have caused such a sensation in not only the metal community world-over, but many other sub-cultures at that?


Honestly, not too much, it just doesn't jump out at you as much as SOAD of old. Though the band are renowned for almost never changing their trademark sound, that of which they pretty much created and made popular by old heavy-metal influences and Armenian/Nth American cultural roots, 'Hypnotise' just doesn't seem to have the effect that SOAD usually manage with precision and ease. The song itself can be categorised into the same bracket as previous songs 'Spiders' (From the self-titled album) and 'Aerials' (From the 'Toxicity' album), being the slower, more melodic and haunting band they can be at times.


Ok, so I am not giving the song itself a great deal of empathy right now, but I will make sure I make it sound good, as there are still some decent qualities in this, well, lack-lustre single. 'Hypnotise', for one, actually proves that guitarist Daron can actually sing with melody behind Serge, making for some nice sounding verses, crossed with some clean (and ethnic?) sounding guitar.


One of the more noticeable attributes to the track is the fact that there is little heavy guitar, just some smooth distortion where needed, but not before it speeds up a bit into a more traditional SOAD song, before regressing back into melody. 'Hypnotise' is a song that wouldn't go too far astray at Woodstock, surprisingly enough, with it's 60s rock sensibilities and almost hippy-ish undertones, and the trademark politically fuelled lyrics.


All up, it is an alright song, but I doubt it is good enough to compete with the success of their older songs that it will undoubtedly be compared to, but it gives a nice indication to the different steps they are taking with the overhauled sound. Hopefully the 'Hypnotise' album will have a new sound, as to not confuse it with the other albums that all sound a little too similar.

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