System Of A Down are a very special band, adored by millions of people the world over, so it’s no surprise that they’ve influenced some of the younger breed of metallic noisemakers. Last week Chrysalis counted down their favourite songs by System Of A Down, but now it’s time for the Canadian progressive death metallers Becomes Astral to share their love for all things SOAD.
Vocalist Cam Sharer, guitarist Layne Richardson and other guitarist Jamie DeBruin reveal what they have deemed to be the ten best System Of A Down songs of all time. Do you agree with their picks?
Jamie DeBruin (guitar): “This is one of the first songs I heard by System Of A Down; I was introduced to them by my father who had the first two albums. This song gave me an idea for how their unpredictable lyrics and music can work together to create extremely heavy jams. ‘Shake your spear at Shakespeare’ – truly fun and crazy lyrics.”
The Holy Mountain
Layne Richardson (guitar): “This is probably one of my favourite songs on Hypnotize. The build up throughout the song has a different feel to most of their material, and has more progressive undertones to it. It’s also a song that had a much deeper impact on me as I grew up and learned more about the song’s meaning.”
Cam Sharer (vocals): “This is just fucking heavy. I remember hearing Sugar very young, it was one of the first handful of System Of A Down songs that I got my hands on. I remember thinking how creepy/angry it sounded, and having to hit repeat on my shitty Discman because I just needed more of that. Not to mention that if you walk into a room of metal homies and start singing some lines from Sugar, they are gonna jump in on that.”
Jamie: “This song shows the talented balance of heavy and soft parts that retain the same theme. Again, the lyrics are what really kept me listening to system for all these years. ‘You and me should go outside and beat ‘em beat ‘em beat ‘em…’ The riffs always reinforce the lyrics too, which was something that really shows on Hypnotize/Mesmerize.
Layne: “I still find the polka feel to this song to be one of the most catchy riffs I’ve ever heard. This is just a song I like to put on and wild out to it. I like how short of a song it is, which almost gives it a punk feel so you can really let all your energy out.”
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Cam: “This is the first System Of A Down song I ever had the pleasure of listening to. I saw it in some shitty stick figure Flash video online with my best friend when we were 12. This song changed the way I’d thought about heavy music at that point in my life, I would almost dare say it’s responsible for the transition from my dad’s Led Zeppelin and AC/DC records to my own choices in music.”
Jamie: “This song is just a classic from the band. It’s such an easy song to sing along to; I remember my parents jamming this on long car rides and our whole family would be into it. The vocal talent really shows on this track as well for Daron and Serj, just rocking out with the la la las.”
Layne: “This song is one of the first where you hear Daron shine with his vocal part. It’s so dark but perfect with the song, it was the exact contrast it needed. It’s super jumpy at the beginning and transitions to a super dark and slow middle, showcasing a perfect mix of emotions.”
Cam: “Again, this song ties to my father. He always listens to harder radio stations when he works his job and Bounce was played heavily after Toxicity was released. Whenever he came home he would open the door and yell, “Jump! Pogo pogo pogo pogo pogo pogo pogo! Bounce!” before anything else, and that was enough for me to be hooked on such an amusing song.”
Jamie: “This was one of the first songs System Of A Down I learned to play. I remember my dad buying me a small acoustic and I would just have a go at learning SOAD songs every day. This song is super funky and heavy as balls, with such hilariously ridiculous lyrics that you just can’t help but sing along.”
Becomes Astral’s new album Paleblood Sky is out now and available download from iTunes. You can watch their latest video for The Glass below.