Heralded by Entertainment Weekly as the Number One (of 25) "Most Anticipated Albums," System of a Down announces that their new album will be titled "Hypnotize/Mesmerize," and will be a two album set with the CDs slated for release some six months apart. Disc 1 of the set ("Hypnotize") will be in stores late first quarter 2005, while Disc 2 ("Mesmerize") is expected to see a late Summer/early Fall 2005 release date on the American Recordings/Columbia Records label. The band is currently in a Los Angeles studio doing vocals.
"There has been a great deal of upheaval, very troubling times for all of us over the past year or so," said vocalist Serj
Tankian, "and that has brought forth a lot of emotional material. There's a good amount of social
commentary in the new songs, as well as songs where we deal with love, with reminiscing, relationships,
politics, and funny experiences."
System of a Down (Daron Malakian, guitars; Tankian, vocals; Shavo Odadjian, bass; John Dolmayan, drums) came up with the idea of a double album out of
sheer necessity. Malakian who wrote most of the new songs and is producing the album with Rick Rubin, explained, "When we started recording, we were
focused on making every song the best it could be, to really give a thousand percent to every, single track. Doing a two album set never entered into
our thought process. But when we looked at all the songs we had and arbitrarily tried to choose 'the best' fourteen for one album, we realized
we had two album's worth of really great songs, and that they all connected with each other. We didn't chase this idea, it chased us."
The decision to release the two discs six months apart was made simply to give fans time to get into and really live with the music from Disc 1 before
plunging into Disc 2. Both "Hypnotize/Mesmerize" discs will be completely recorded, mixed, and sequenced at the same time, before Disc 1 of the two
album set is released.
Malakian recently told Entertainment Weekly that the new music "is more mature," and promises "an orchestra, some obscure Middle Eastern
instruments, and 'pure schizophrenia.'"
"Hypnotize/Mesmerize" will be the follow-up to the five-million-selling "Toxicity" which was released in September 2001 and debuted in the Number
One position on the Billboard/Soundscan charts. Of that album, Rolling Stone wrote, "'Toxicity' resembles nothing else in contemporary hard rock,"
and the New York Times commented, "System of a Down is light years removed from the going trend in metal." "Toxicity" generated four Top 10 singles,
including the #1 smash "Aerials," and was named "2001's Best Album of the Year" by SPIN Magazine.