As the only band whose members' last names all end in -an, System of a Down holds a special place in the record books. But if singer Serj Tankian, bass player Shavo Odadjian, guitarist Daron Malakian and drummer John Dolmayan didn't ask the Cosmos for like-named people to form a metal band with, maybe they asked for like-minded goths who are suspicious about everything related to the world's power structure, because they have that in common as well. The result is a band that sells an awful lot of tickets to thrash metal fans.
Originating in Southern California, System of a Down often draws comparisons to Korn, but those same people will tell you that System of a Down is the more memorable act. Witty, clever anti-everything lyrics fuel some very 1980s-style thrashing of guitars. System of a Down's fan base is not limited to club-goers; their songs 'Chop Suey' and 'Aerials' from 2001's 'Toxicity' were nominated for Grammys in 2002 and 2003, respectively.
What confounds both critics and the general public is that SOAD (guess what that stands for) absolutely refuses to lock itself into one genre of music. While everything they do is loud, System of a Down bounces from one musical approach to another, not just on one album, but on any given song. Keeping everything open-minded, and keeping their fans guessing, is contributing to their popularity. More bands ought to try their approach.
With one musical project ('Mezmerize/Hypnotize') coming out in two pieces, six months apart, SOAD truly showed their willingness to break rules and, in fact, reinvent music. With such excitement being generated, SOAD is a hot concert act, so you had better get on the ball if you want to buy tickets.