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352 customer reviews

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Hypnotize [Explicit]
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Audio CD, November 22, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Hypnotize, System of a Down's new album, and part two of the two album set that also features Mezmerize. The final track on this album "Soldier Side" completes "Soldier Side Intro" which is the opening track on Mezmerize. This is a can't miss album from one of rock's greatest bands.

Closing out the second half of 2005 just as its predecessor Mesmerize closed out the first, Hypnotize completes System of a Down's finest hour to date. The two albums form a lean and nearly perfect whole that places this Los Angeles collective in league with the likes of Smashing Pumpkins and Pink Floyd. System has created an enduring body of work that challenges conventional notions about the nature of the contemporary rock album. More practically, they have given listeners a fine second act that attacks and attacks hard, inspiring as much headbanging as vintage Metallica and as thought-provoking as the Minutemen and the Dead Kennedys. (Vocalist Serj Tankian's barbaric yawp sometimes calls to mind head Kennedy Jello Biafra.)

The album's first half features the most brutal, perfect and direct rock ‘n' roll that's come down the old mainstream this year: "Attack," "Kill Rock ‘n' Roll," "Tentative" and "U-Fig" lead the charge while "Holy Mountains" gracefully moves us toward this epic's final challenging moments. Latter tracks such as "She's Like Heroin" (Frank Zappa's idea of The Three Penny Opera) and "Lonely Day" fail to maintain the intensity heard early on but not don't prevent Mesmerize and Hypnotize from coming together as one of the most definitive heavy rock albums of the decade. --Jedd Beaudoin

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 22, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000BM6AVA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (352 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,628 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

110 of 128 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Adam Chupka on November 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
A recent article in The Washington Post so accurately assessed that System of a Down luckily, and yet, unintentionally, rode the coattails of the nu-metal era, though it cannot accurately be limited to the definition of nu-metal. Indeed, with the near death of that obviously baseless sound, System of a Down, unlike Korn, Limp Bizkit, Mudvayne, etc., remains a Billboard behemoth because this Armenian foursome possesses a truly unique formula.

The second half of its 2005 output, Hypnotize, to me, is much more of a logical step from Toxicity than the very good, yet still regressive, Mezmerize. Where that album toyed with a more tempered and simplistic formula, Hypnotize is a lethal dose of aggression and mayhem filtered through a refreshing maturity in the songwriting department.

Possibly throwing a middle finger to the critics who question the musicianship of the group, Hypnotize contains System of a Down's most impressive technical performance since its self-titled debut, hands down. I mean, in no way has this become a technical band, but the songs are far more dynamic, the time signature changes more frequent and complex, and the riffs noticeably more intricate. In fact, "Lonely Day" (not one of my favorites) contains a solo from Daron, which should put to rest the critique that he has limited ability while simultaneously highlighting the fact that he obviously does not believe in shameless self-glorification over song quality.
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67 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Rubin Carver on November 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Well, after Mezmerize left me with a great, but ultimately far too small taste of the new direction System is now taking, I of course had to wait impatiently for this second half to be released. I loved Mezmerize, and aside from the somewhat mediocre "BYOB," I thought it could compete face to face with any of System's other albums. It wasn't perfect, in my opinion, as it had some of System's laziest lyrics. But it was still a shocking revelation of how much System has grown and matured. Instead of slowly deteriorating and giving in to the wishes of short-sighted marketing executives like almost every other band from this era of metal, SOAD continues to create art and progress. For a more in depth opinion of Mezmerize, I have written a separate review, but of course this is a review of Hypnotize.

...and to be honest, I was disappointed upon first listen. The songs just wouldn't gel for me, didn't grab me emotionally like the best songs on Mezmerize. But this turns out to be a bit of a grower (albeit it a very fast one): three spins and I was hooked. Sure, it doesn't resemble the self-titled in quite as many ways as Mezmerize did. But it takes those elements that Mezmerize brought back into the equation and develops them even furthur. The frenetic, progressive Mr. Bungle-esque time shifts and dissonances are more seamlessly combined with the melodic sentiments carried over from the Toxicity days to create a new sound of sorts. System is going forward and won't be looking back anytime soon.

One major difference between Mezmerize and Hypnotize is variety - while Mezmerize had a more interesting variety of different sounds ("Old School Hollywood," "Cigaro," and "Question" for example,) Hypnotize shows a more cohesive sense of flow.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. W. Fairless on November 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Hypnotize, the companion CD to Mesmerize, completes a double album of the best music that System of a Down has ever created. This second half offers stranger and at times much more discordant tunes than Mesmerize. That is what is so good about it though. Hypnotize's themes are a little bit darker than Mesmerize's so the music is naturally darker. Many of the tracks are reminiscent of the older tracks of the original album. The sound, however, has evolved immensely with extremely complex guitar riffs, multiple layers of sound and amazing vocal harmony. The accompanying lyrics are also outstanding. You may find yourself headbanging and shedding tears in the same song. It's hard to describe everything that makes this album so awesome. If you like any of System of a Down's previous CD's, then you should buy Hypnotize...NOW!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cheyanne Welsley on March 16, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Ok I guess I will throw my two cents into the mix here. I am forty five years old and I have been listening to metal/rock since the '70s when I was in high school. So I bestow the following compliment with great caution keeping in mind the awesome stature of Hendrix or Zepplin, or any other rock/metal band - you fill in the blank. This was one of the best rock albums I have ever listened to. The music was complicated, well written, carefully orchestrated, and at times mysterious. I cannot remember a rock group that could "switch gears" so seamlessly going from long discordant perhaps 64th note phrases to a sudden group of very melodic half notes - many times in a different key. And in the middle of it all Daron and Serj juxtapose their very different voices to match the storm of music swirling around them. The effect created reminds me alot of John Coltrain's sax runs - a flurry of horizontal, vertical and diagonal notes, but somewhere down the middle is this beautiful humming theme. The best song on the album is Holy Mountains - a mysterious violin laced gut-wrenching seven minute rock symphony which may well go down as one of the finest rock songs ever penned. The first time I heard this song I thought to myself that System could have written an entire album using this single theme a la Tull's "Thick as a Brick" or "Passion Play." In any event this is great music. Enjoy.
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So, how many of you enjoyed Vicinity of Obscenity?
It's a funny song. I love it! Got it on my ipod! :)
Sep 1, 2007 by Amazon Customer |  See all 4 posts
Out Of Place
System of a Down is it's own genre of music in many ways. Overall it is rock, but there are also infusions of metal, pop, middle eastern influences, pan flute (bonus track of Toxicity), ragga, techno, and some things that just seem to defy categorization. They were on MTV, but really didn't... Read More
Jun 12, 2009 by Victoria Jacobs |  See all 2 posts
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