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Album Review: Hypnotize is much better than Mesmerize

Peter W | Interrobang | Lifestyles | December 5th, 2005

For those of you who missed last week's column (shame on you), I took a look at the first half of System of a Down's double opus of the year, Mezmerize. I gave it 6 out of 10. Nonetheless, I was at the store to purchase Hypnotize the day it came out hoping that it would be a tad bit better. What's the verdict? Let's see…

First off, I just want to say, what the hell happened here? It's almost like the band said, “Let's put all of our weaker material on one CD and then just crush the hell out of the listener with the second.” From the very first track, “Attack” to the end, this CD doesn't stop rockin' or keeping you entertained, even with the somber “Lonely Day.”

The songs are more serious (except “Vicinity of Obscenity”) and the duel vocals between Serj and Daron work even better on this disc, although Serj is more of the lead vocalist again on this one.

Another neat thing about having both CDs (bought, not burned) in your possession is how the two packages can be combined into one digipack. The inside artwork for both discs mesh together perfectly and I have to say bravo to the marketing team (or the band) that thought up this concept. It looks really good.

I picked up the dualdisc version of Hypnotize for a few bucks more because with my main player being my DVD player and hooked up to my surround sound, I'd rather listen to the disc in enhanced stereo for that extra bit of goodness. The dualdisc version also has the videos for “BYOB” and “Question!” and a “making of” feature, although it isn't very pleasing to the eyes. It's all disjointed with random shots of the band talking politics with sound clips from both CDs. You really don't see the band doing anything in the studio, which is why I like watching the “making of” extras. I won't be sitting through this extra again.

It's safe to say that System of a Down has once again put together a CD that you can listen to all the way through without having to hit the skip button. I expected that from the band and that's why I was perhaps so harsh on Mezmerize. If you can only pick up one of these two discs, I highly recommend Hypnotize. 10 out of 10.

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