System of a Down - _Hypnotize_
(Amercian Records / Sony, 2005)
by: Jackie Smit (
Guns 'n' Roses got lambasted for this back in the long-forgotten days of _Use Your Illusion_, and you can bet your bottom dollar that System of a Down have exactly the same coming to them. In fact, probably even more so. At least Axl and the rest of the Gunners didn't attempt to mask their adherence to corporate capitalism with relentless political grandstanding -- and both of the _Use Your Illusion_ records, though not exactly always on the mark, were actually quite lengthy. _Hypnotize_ outruns its predecessor and still fails to eclipse the fourty minute mark. Not only that, but when a very uninspired and muddled chorus breaks out of "Stealing Society", it becomes blatantly obvious that by ridding both records of their respective fillers, _Mesmerize_ and _Hypnotize_ could very comfortably have been squeezed onto a single disc. The radio-baiting dribble of "Lonely Day" and "Holy Mountains" are further examples of self-indulgent excess; the band merely repeating ideas that were effective on past efforts and now just sound redundant. Still, _Hypnotize_ is not without its merits; "Tentative" is a brilliant reminder that for all their flaws System of a Down is still one of mainstream metal's most exciting recorded propositions. It's just a shame to see that even the most determined souls aren't immune to the taint of success.
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