Toxicity, System of a Down Sony/Columbia

Paul Wong
Courtesy of Knopf

System of a Down”s second album carries where the first left, an explosive power grind

SOAD”s discolored mix of tempo changes and aggro-harmonized vocals drive tunes like “Jet Pilot” and “Prison Song” to the edge of nu metal fanaticism with a mettalic sharp edge.

Toxicity does more than reach at the tits and bras Fred Durst tilted crowd and it reaches further than the simplicity of “Nookie,” and the countless Fred Durst-a-likes. SOAD reaches towards a socio-economic point, stretching beyond “asses” and “fine bitches,” and to novel conscience loosening thoughts such as freeing the imprisoned, (even if it is Charles Manson).

SOAD”s newest album changes gears growling like an Audi on the Autobahn, unleashing and unwinding through the straight-a-ways and humming around corners. The crossover”s between Tool and Staind are ties that bind, but not ropes that confine and SOAD rises above any bad Aaron Lewis jokes.

Grade: B

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