||System Of A Down
Many rock bands talk endlessly about their "sound," refining a basic formula until it's either perfect or perfectly boring. System of a Down, however, developed a loyal fanbase with the opposite approach--the group mixes genres so freely that describing what their music sounds like is nearly impossible. Sure, SOAD is, at its core, a metal band, but on MEZMERIZE's first two songs alone, vocalist/guitarist/mastermind Daron Malakian and crew zigzag their way though Beach Boys-like stacked vocal harmonies, Anthrax-esque hardcore thrash, Cameo-style funk, and prog rock of a CARESS OF STEEL-era Rush variety. "Revenga" adds a touch of swooping Freddie Mercury vocal drama to the mix, while "Sad Statue" sports a guitar riff that sounds like a Greek bouzouki. Even sharper, tighter, and more ambitious than System of a Down's previous albums, MEZMERIZE makes for a consistently surprising listen.