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Review: "Toxicity" by American Nu Metal Band System of a Down

Updated on May 10, 2024
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


How "Toxicity" Is a Memorable Album

Toxicity is the very good 2001 album by Nu Metal band System of a Down. The album may be their best work musically. I got into this album because of the groovy song Forest. This is one of those albums that is memorable for me. I found out about this album at a Best Buy store in the city of Burbank, California while working at an office for the company Countrywide Financial Corporation. This is how groove metal should be composed.

The Importance of the Song "Forest"

Serj Tankian switches between regular vocals to a sort of scream which makes things interesting. The song is a look at walking through a forest that is contaminated as humans are in denial about its condition. The father takes his son for a walk through the forest and then tells him to come back inside.


Why is System of a Down One of the Best US Metal Bands?

The next song called "ATWA" starts with some nice guitar instead of the usual groove that we hear from these guys. Sometimes we don’t have anything to lose by living a certain way. Then comes he very heavy, fast, and short song called Shimmy. The song makes a quick reference to the fact the US has suffered because of a sort of dumbing down of the population. As usual, the band’s focus on socially introspective lyrics makes for a great learning experience for the residents of the US if they even want to pay attention to them. Many people in the US are just satisfied with things being a certain way without being aware of what is really going on. System of Down along with Metallica and Testament are three of the best US metal bands ever and that is quite a statement to make. The lyrical content of the songs of System of a Down is one big factor in me having made this assessment. System of a Down really made their voice heard with their excellent 1998 self-titled debut which has songs such as Know and Sugar. The song called "Bounce" is a humorous attempt to show how fun it can be use a Pogo stick and bounce up and down with it.


The Importance of the Song Called "Prison Song"

The prison system in the US is in total disarray as the amount of incarcerated people has really gone up, doubling since 1985. That is what the song called "Prison Song" is about. Meanwhile, the US has declared a war on drugs as they use that money to finance, prop up, and support dictators around the world. The song Deer Dance is about the police using their brutality against people that may be protesting unjust government policies.

"Chop Suey"

Chop Suey Is An Influential Song As Well

"Chop Suey" is another memorable song on this album because it raises awareness about what can happen when someone wants to cover up the fact that they are depressed. They want to somehow mask the pain so that no one notices that they are on their way to self-destruction.


How Good of an Album is Toxicity?

Overall, Toxicity is a better album than 2002’s Steal This Album! It may be their finest album as a band though that’s a tough call because their first album is solid as well. These guys can make you look at the United States a slightly different way. The album is an example of a group of people that are genuinely concerned about the direction of the world and they want to bring positive change to it. The best songs in this album are Needles, Deer Dance, Chop Suey, Forest, and Psycho.

Final Score: 85 out of 100 points (rating for now but this may change)

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2017 Ara Vahanian


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