Release Date: May 17, 2005
Record label: Columbia
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative, Metal
Adjectives like "ambitious," "jagged," and "startling" have always defined System of a Down, and their third official full-length is no different. Prerelease, the band described Mezmerize as being the first part -- the first side -- of what's essentially a double album. The records' packaging would even slot together, making the eventual Mezmerize/Hypnotize whole.
System of a Down are among the nu-metal elite whose albums are apparently so likely to be illegally downloaded that their labels won't send out advance copies. But the Down have more going for them musically than most, and Mezmerize (sic) will be top of the file-sharing charts before you can say: "All this, and accordions too." As with their two previous albums, the Los Angeles quartet's un-metallish influences, ranging from jazz to their own Armenian heritage, give Mezmerize its zip. Along with fierce gusts of grunge, it's permeated with Russian melancholy, which gives singer Serj Tankian licence to be operatically hammy.