Although System of a Down had been actively touring over the last few years, they had not put out any new music. Now the situation in Armenia has caused them to break their 15 year creative silence. Yesterday they released two new songs, “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz”.
“Protect the Land” is an anthem-like ballad that leans towards power metal with the addition of SOD’ characteristic minor chord dissonance. It includes politically charged lyrics that discuss the war that’s currently going on between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The band has always been interested in current events and their lyrics often reflect that.
“The big gun tells you what your life is worth
What do we deserve before we end the Earth?
If they will try to push you far away
Would you stay and take a stand?
Would you stay with gun in hand?”
Singer Serg Tankian croons with pronounced backing vocals by Daron Malakian.
The song comes with a video that shows various images of the fighting in Armenia along with footage of Armenian citizens and the band members.
Bassist Shavo Odadjian explains in a statement, “I wanted to show the unification of our people around the world for one common cause, illustrating the power in numbers. So we brought together people from all ages and professions who believe in and are fighting for that same cause.”
The second release, “Genocidal Humanoidz” is more frenetic, with an energy characteristic of “Chop Suey” and other early favorites. Lyrics are as follows,
“Terrorists we're fighting and we're never gonna stop
The prostitutes who prosecute have failed us from the start
Beating the devil
We never run from the devil
We never summoned the devil
We never hide from the devil”
Drummer John Dolmayan talked about how the band got together to record the songs. “I texted ’No matter how we feel about each other, no matter what issues linger from the past, we need to put them aside because this is bigger than System Of A Down and bigger than all of us… we need to do something to support our people’.”
Singer Serj Tankian adds a political view. “The aggression and injustice being perpetrated against the Armenian people in Artsakh and Armenia by Azerbaijan and Turkey is a human rights violation and a war crime.
“All of us in System realize this is an existential battle for our people, so this is very personal for us. What we need right now is for the world to put politics aside and support Armenia by sanctioning Turkey and Azerbaijan and recognizing Artsakh”.
The band accompanied the songs’ release with a lengthy statement detailing the conflict taking place between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The war broke out in September after Azerbaijan attacked Armenia with the support of Turkey. The band said in their statement that regimes are “committing genocidal acts with impunity” in a time when elections, civil unrest and the coronavirus pandemic distract the rest of the world.
Looking forward, the band has tour dates booked for 2021. There is no word on whether there will be a full album to accompany the new tracks.