Serj Tankian

Elect The Dead

Written by: PP on 15/11/2007 03:35:29

System Of A Down is a band far too often overlooked by music fans and critics alike. I rarely find myself adding a SOAD song to my regular playlist, which is kind of strange because almost everything they've written to date has been absolutely amazing by all counts. So when they announced their indefinite hiatus about a year and a half ago, the world reacted with mixed feelings. Some said "and so what?", while others were damn near desperate merely because they were one of the most original bands around; even today there aren't any bands sounding like them. Following the hiatus announcement, the band also said that various members would focus on their solo efforts, which ultimately has lead into this review of lead vocalist Serj Tankian's excellent debut "Elect The Dead".

Multi-talented Serj plays almost all the instruments on the record himself, which is an impressive achievement in itself, but even more so when you add the fact that nearly every track on the record is superb. As long as you liked System Of A Down, you'll feel at home straight from the beginning, as "Elect The Dead" sounds undeniably like System Of A Down minus the influence of the rest of the band members. You've got the sudden, frantically paced shouts of "Money", the atypical System Of A Down chorus of "Saving Us", as well as the traditional Armenian influence on "Lie Lie Lie".

One of the strengths of the album is absolutely Serj's lyrical work. His left-wing ideological concepts are convincingly written, ranging from the political analogies ("Clearing the way for the oil brigade") to the denouncement of religion ("Praise The Lord And Pass The Ammunition"), all meaningful enough to pass through as reading material for any literary analysis class. And when that lyrical content is packed inside a hell of a punch of solid riffing, odd time signatures and beautiful piano ballads, you're in for a SOAD-wrapped present.

However, I'm not sure how much of the SOAD parallel is drawn just because Tankian's voice is so unique and unmistakable that it immediately makes you think of the band. Nonetheless, the formula is similar; artsy metal heavy enough to appeal to the metalheads but catchy enough to gain significant airtime on the radio stations across the world. And you thought the indefinite hiatus announced by the Armenian art metallers System Of A Down was a bad thing? Think again.

8

Download: The Unthinking Majority, Money, Saving Us
For the fans of: System Of A Down
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.10.2007
Serjical Strike/Reprise

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