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Audio CD, September 4, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2001 album from the California Metal quartet led by Serj Tankian. The album was produced by Rick Rubin.

System of a Down's sophomore effort is a musically and lyrically ambitious 14-song collection that's even more left-of-center and powerful than their 1998 self-titled debut. Here the Los Angeles-bred foursome tackle everything from government ("Prison Song") to cocaine-crazed groupies ("Psycho") in a more pointed and aggressive manner than Rage Against the Machine. Serj Tankian's hardcore vocals and occasional Middle Eastern flourishes ("Science") contribute to the unique, ultra-intense, and quirky qualities of System circa 2001. Unexpected time changes and death-metal-like intensity give way to mellower moments, all of which make for demanding but irresistible listening. Toxicity is a masterful, unusual, and forceful opus. --Katherine Turman

1. Prison Song
2. Needles
3. Deer Dance
4. Jet Pilot
5. X
6. Chop Suey!
7. Bounce
8. Forest
9. Atwa
10. Science
11. Shimmy
12. Toxicity
13. Psycho
14. Aerials

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 4, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000021YQV
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (997 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,814 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 71 people found the following review helpful By J. Brittman VINE VOICE on September 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I really doubted the SOAD could top their incredible self-titled debut, but they have...and FAR surpassed expectations. This album is such an amazing accomplishment of modern metal that I find myself almost speechless. Serj Tankian is this generation's Jello Biafra. His lyrics are pointed, political, and biting. He does not flich when giving his opinions, whether it be on the state of modern collegiate education (Shimmy) or the overcrowded penitentiary system of the USA (Prison Song). As a whole work, Toxicity succeeds on EVERY level, the music is raw and hits you like a blast of adrenaline. The best thing about Toxicity is that it plays as a WHOLE album, something that is extremely rare in today's watered down metal climate. Every track on this cd is strong, it is UNRELENTING and BRUTAL. Some of my very favorites are Jet Pilot, Prison Song, Forest, Aerials, and Toxicity. The song Toxicity anchors the album and is the absolute best thing that SOAD has done so far. Bringing in Rick Rubin was a great decision because the strengths of SOAD have been maximized(Tankian's ranting, fast and numerous tempo changes, and Dean's heavy riffing) and the weaknesses simply no longer exist. The track placement on Toxicity is to be commended as well and much credit should go to Rubin. I never thought I would say this but this album smokes TOOL's LATERALUS by miles (and I'm a huge TOOL fan). Toxicity will hit you like a scud missile quick and deadly, but the remains will be with you for a lifetime. HiGhLy ReComMeNdEd.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By missmagenta on November 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Many fans awaited this album with a single question in mind:Can SoaD possibly make an album better than their first? Well, the answer has become blazingly clear-YES! From the first jolting chord of "Prison Song" to the final whisper of "Aerials" it is quite obvious that you aren't dealing with a mere rock band, but a musical force to be reckoned with. So many young bands suffer the "sophomore curse" when it comes to following up a breathtaking debut, but SoaD has managed to outdo themselves and what a pleasure it is to listen to. Always the consummate showman, vocalist/lyricist, Serj Tankian is definately the biggest standout of the group. His voice has matured quite a bit since the first album, and this transformation is very apparent. His dynamic range can only be described as awe-inspiring. He infuses his lyrics with such emotion that the words take on a life of their own. I have read quite a few reviews that dismiss his unusual lyrics a simply psycho babble, but this could not be further from the truth. There tends to be a fair amount of symbolism in SoaD's lyrics. If you simply take the words at face value all the time, of course some of it isn't going to make very much sense, but if you take your time to interpret the words for yourself, the meaning becomes very obvious. For example, "Bounce" may at first seem like a silly song about pogo sticks, but upon close listening, you'll find that it is actually a song about a promiscuous woman. Guitarist Daron Malakian also stands out. In a way, he has the ability to produce music that is just a unusual as Tankian's lyrics. He can go from heavy ("Science") to beautifullly soft (the opening of "Chop Suey!").Read more ›
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Smith on September 8, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I had high hopes for this album and surprisingly System of a Downs sophmore release, "Toxicity," doesn't disappoint. I have been a fan of SoaD since their self-titled album. Although I loved that album there were some songs I just didn't care for and I found myself skipping 2 or so songs everytime I listened to it. This is not the case with "Toxicity." Every song is awesome. From lead singer Serj Tankian's rants about the U.S. prison system to the get up and dance song "Bounce," in which he sings about a pogo stick. It's interesting the way Serj's voice and guitarist Daron Malakians voice seem to fit together in harmony. It just sounds so perfect. If you like System of a Down then your going to love this album. If you've never heard System of a Down then chances are you'll still love this album. Pick this one up before you pick up Slipknot's "Iowa," you won't regret it!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Stutheit on April 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Unless you have a grudge against political rock, I don't see how anyone can trash this C.D. or say it's overrated. This C.D. is one of my favorites and, in my opinion, was the second best C.D. of 2001 (second only to Tool's "Lateralus".) I wouldn't call it nu-metal-- sure, there are typically heavy riffs and drum beats, but the soulful vocals (sometimes soulful, granted they sometimes yell) and meaningful/thought-provoking lyrics make this more than nu-metal. I'd call it intelligent metal. The lyrics aren't entirely political (although they often are) also deal drugs and groupies, and other issues (over population, and science failing "mother earth").

Highlights include:

"Prison Song" opens with a hard hitting riff which startled me at first. It then turns to chugging, machine gun riffs and drums, in between which singer Serj Tankien whispers "they're trying to build a prison." The song's "boom-boom" riffs remain throughout the song while Serj's angry voice sings Rage Against the Machine-esque paranoid lyrics about the government, prisons, and drug money.
"Needles" is as heavy as "Prison Song", but it has a dark theme and when guitarist Daron Malankian sings two minutes into the song (and Serj later joins him), it turns melodic. It then turns to turns back to hard, chugging guitars while Serj alternates between almost soulful and yelling.
"Deer Dance" is a personal favorite. The guitars are slower, but equally as heavy. Lyrically, it's about crooked cops shooting little kids. My favorite part of this song is when Serj's voice comes down after the chorus, he sings the following verse slowly (whispering at some points) until the build up of the next chorus. Here, you'd think there'd be a heavy break down, but Serj and Daron sing a capella for about two seconds.
Read more ›
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