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System of a Down

System of a Down

System of a Down are an Armenian American quartet based out of Los Angeles, and one of the few major nu-metal bands whose popularity far exceed, and then outlived, largely unscathed, that particular style’s limited life span as a dominance musical force. Active in one shape or another since 1992, System of a Down was eventually championed by producer-to-the-stars, Rick Rubin, who signed them to his American Recordings in 1997. For a while, though, it seemed as though SOAD’s eponymous debut (a game-changing, critically acclaimed affair, once described as Faith no more jamming with Slayer) might prove too original and idiosyncratic to attract a mainstream audience. But, with the help of relentless touring over a near-three-year period and the resulting, snowballing word-of-mouth, System of a Down saw their 2001 sophomore LP, ‘Toxicity,’ explode straight to number one upon release, eventually selling an estimated 12 million copies worldwide. A collection of unfinished demos named ‘Steal this Album’ was released in late 2002, after MP3s of the songs were accidentally leaked, and the band’s popularity continued to build, up to and beyond, the dual release of ‘Mezmerize’ [SIC] and ‘Hypnotize’ in 2005, both of which also debuted at number one. The following year, SOAD initiated an official, four-year hiatus while its principals explored other projects, and the group reunited for touring purposes in 2010, with no immediate plans to record new material.

  • Selected Discography: ‘System of a Down’ (1998), ‘Toxicity’ (2001), ‘Mezmerize’/‘Hypnotize’ (2005)
  • Related Artists: Serj Tankian, Daron Malakian, Shavo Odadjian, John Dolmayan, Scars on Broadway
  • Further Reading: 10 Best System of a Down Songs
Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down)
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

System of a Down’s Shavo Odadjian on New Album: ‘It’s Not Happening’ Right Now

During a Q&A with fans, System of a Down bassist Shavo Odadjian said a new album is 'not happening' right now.

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American / Columbia
American / Columbia

19 Years Ago: System of a Down Release Self-Titled Debut Album

On June 30, 1998, System of a Down made their presence felt with their self-titled debut disc.

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System of a Down
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

System of a Down Perform ‘Pictures’ for First Time in 17 Years, Unleash More Deep Cuts at Switzerland Show

System of a Down broke out a bunch of songs they haven’t played in over a decade, most notably 'Pictures,' which System haven’t performed live since 2000.

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John Dolmayan
Facebook: These Grey Men

System of a Down’s John Dolmayan: Lack of Progress on New Album is ‘Very Disheartening’

Though John Dolmayan is disheartened about System of a Down's progress on their sixth album, he has high praise for the material they've written so far.

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YouTube: Rob Scallon
YouTube: Rob Scallon

Rob Scallon Riffs His Way Through Every System of a Down Song in Four Minutes

Here's your four-minute crash course in System of a Down courtesy of YouTube favorite Rob Scallon.

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YouTube: Rob Scallon
YouTube: Rob Scallon

Rob Scallon Dishes Out Tableside Cello Cover of System of a Down’s ‘B.Y.O.B.’

A miscommunication leads Rob Scallon and a friend to cover System of a Down on cello at a restaurant full of well-dressed customers.

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Serj Tankian
Mary Ouellette, SheWillShootYou.com

System of a Down’s Serj Tankian Delivers Moving Performance at ‘Game of Thrones’ Live Experience

Serj Tankian delivered one of the most moving performances of his career, singing 'The Rains of Castamere' at the 'Game of Thrones' Live Concert Experience.

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American / Zoo
American / Zoo

System of a Down vs. Tool – Metal Madness 2017, Round 2

It's System of a Down vs. Tool in Round 2 of Metal Madness to determine the Best Debut Metal Album of All Time. Vote now!

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American / Columbia
American / Columbia

System of a Down Albums Ranked

See how we ranked System of a Down's albums from weakest to strongest.

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American / Relapse
American / Relapse

System of a Down vs. The Dillinger Escape Plan – Metal Madness 2017, Round 1

It's System of a Down vs. The Dillinger Escape Plan in Round 1 of March Metal Madness to determine the Best Metal Debut Album of All Time. Vote now!

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