SOAD Album Hypnotize Debuts at No. 1

LOS ANGELES–CA (American/Columbia Records/MTV)–The new System Of A Down studio album–Hypnotize–has just debuted at Number one on the Billboard Top 200 best-selling albums chart–giving the groundbreaking Los Angeles-based rock band its second Number one debut in a mere six months.

As Hypnotize glides into the top slot of the Top 200–System Of A Down–Serj Tankian (vocals)–Daron Malakian (guitar–vocals)–Shavo Odadjian (bass)–and John Dolmayan (drums)–has become the first band in the history of the chart to score two Number one debuts with new albums in a single calendar year.

With first week’s sales of 320,185–Hypnotize–bumped pop icon Madonna from Billboard’s top spot. The eagerly-awaited finale to System Of A Down’s epic two-part Mezmerize/Hypnotize double album set.

Inspired by the way Quentin Tarantino split his movie "Kill Bill" into two volumes–System felt their songs would initially be better served in smaller doses.

So now that fans have had six months to live with Mezmerize–here comes Hypnotize–the even more experimental half of the set. Like Mezmerize–and all of System’s releases–Hypnotize fuses metal with world music and a touch of pop–but this time there’s more humor–more sentiment and even the band’s first true ballad.

Addressing the political nature of their lyrics–Daron Malakian explained–"We’re not four guys that sit around the table and talk about politics. Serj and I both have a side to us that’s serious and a side to us that’s not serious and I think if we only wrote the serious parts then it wouldn’t do justice to every side."

"[Writing songs] all comes down to being a bunch of snapshots of life," he continued. "And if you’re taking snapshots of life–chances are you’re not only gonna see sad things–you’re gonna see happy things–you’re gonna see sexual things–you’re gonna see crazy things–normal things–people walking their dogs–people doing people things. People tend to gravitate sometimes to the darker side of [life]–but there’s a lot of sometimes not-so-dark sides to it."

Both Mesmerize and Hypnotize are rife with tandem vocals from frontman Serj Tankian and guitarist Daron Malakian–as well as unconventional and drastic time changes–blistering guitar sections interspersed with placid momen’s–and tracks that blend seamlessly into one another. But Hypnotize–taken as a whole–is a more thunderous and mystifying LP. Musically–Hypnotize also introduces some new elemen’s–including rockabilly–blues–and British rock.

Hypnotize has been released as both a CD and a DualDisc–with the latter containing behind-the-scenes footage shot during the making of both records. The DualDisc edition will contain a film by Garin Torossian which explores the making of both records.

Both the CD and DualDisc versions feature 12 new songs as well as artwork by Vartan Malakian–father of SOAD’s guitarist/singer Daron. The packaging for Hypnotize is specially designed to physically join Mezmerize and Hypnotize together–forming one unified package with continuous artwork. More importantly–the albums interlock musically. The final track on Hypnotize–"Soldier Side" completes "Soldier Side Intro," which appears as the opening track on Mezmerize.

So far–Hypnotize is mirroring the success of part one–Mezmerize–which debuted at Number one the week of May 17–2005. Six months after its release–Mezmerize remains firmly planted in the Top 200.

Hypnotize–the fifth studio album from System Of A Down–is the group’s third to debut at Number one. Toxicity–the watershed release that brought the band its first major success–debuted at Number one the week ending September 9–2001 with first week’s sales of 222,037. The album has gone on to sell more than 6 million copies worldwide. Global sales for System Of A Down albums and singles now total more than 16 million records.

The band–as always–is taking the holidays off but plans to return to the road in early 2006. Malakian is also already writing songs for the next album. "I don’t try to top [the last album]–I just try to get out of that mode," he said. "If I’m topping it–then I’m still focused on it."

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