In 2000 my cousin went to OzzFest. A Week or so later he put on the self-titled debut of System of a Down and said ‘This band is going to be huge soon’. How right he was. A few months later Toxicity came out and became both the most bizarre heavy metal album ever as well as one of the most accessible heavy metal albums (an impressive feat in it’s own right).
For some reason despite it’s Prog-Rock style time signatures and tempo changes the album is full of catchy poppy hooks. Singles like Chop Suey, Toxicity and Aerials all have a sing-along quality to them that you rarely find in Metal as aggressive as SOAD.
The opening track Prison Song is a great introduction to the music that would come later in SOAD’s career. Extremely political, goofy and containing plenty duel vocal pieces. All of these elements would later appear on the Hypnotize/Mesmerize albums.
On the flip-side of the coin you’ve got songs like Bounce that are just packed with a weird goofiness. Sandwiched between a song about suicide and a song with an enviromentalist message is a song about riding a pogo stick.
There’s not a single boring or uninteresting moment on the album. It almost feels wrong to call it a heavy metal record as it lowers some people’s expectations. Regardless this is one of the rare Heavy Metal appearances on this list.
Matt Kelly can also be found hosting The Saint Mort Show, Co-hosting the Reddit Horror Club Podcast, Writing for Geekscape,Tweeting and running Dollar Monday Promotions.