Why is System of a Down’s Toxicity on my best 1,000 albums ever list?
A genuinely unique, truly eclectic (oddball?), moving, memorable, alternative (nu?) metal rollercoaster.
Some stats & info about System of a Down – Toxicity
- What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock, Rock Music, Metal, Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal
- Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
- All Music’s rating – 5 out of 5 stars
- When was Toxicity released? 2001
- My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #797 out of 1,000
System of a Down’s Toxicity on Spotify
What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?
Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.
But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.
What does System of a Down’s Toxicity mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?
“Chop Suey!” is a genuinely unique, eclectic (oddball?), moving, memorable, alternative (nu?) metal rollercoaster of a song. Not bad. Like many, I suspect, it was my introduction to System of a Down and, I also suspect, prompted me to ask the same thing as many others, “who are these guys?”
It’s got slow parts, it’s got great harmonies and an emotional, evocative section, it’s got tremendously exciting thrashy metal riffs, it’s got a very specific Armenian American thing, and importantly it has a rap-metal thing that’s way, way better than most who would ever attempt to do a rap-metal thing.
And then you get to the part where the name of the song, “Chop Suey!”, seems like kind of a throw away, jokey title, but the song lyrics emotionally get into something related to suicide and angels deserving to die or something? It’s all pretty confusing. And exciting. It’s a great song. Sometimes best to just leave it at that.
And that’s just “Chop Suey!”
The title track, “Toxicity,” also plays with some of the same dynamics as “Chop Suey!”, but focuses on the soft-loud transitions while going lightly on the rap-metal side of things. Overall, it’s very effective.
Other songs, like “Jet Pilot” and “Shimmy,” skip the “soft” part and just gun it for two minutes of hardcore heavy metal. Here’s “Shimmy.”