Dictator (album)

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Dictator
Dictator, Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 20, 2018
Recorded2012
Length44:05
LabelScarred for Life
ProducerDaron Malakian
Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway chronology
Scars on Broadway
(2008)
Dictator
(2018)
Singles from Dictator
  1. "Lives"
    Released: April 23, 2018
  2. "Dictator"
    Released: June 1, 2018

Dictator is the second album by Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway, released by the record label Scarred for Life on July 20, 2018.

Background[edit]

Daron Malakian wrote, produced, and recorded the album over ten days in 2012.[1][2][3] Dictator was officially announced on April 16, 2018.[4] Regarding the delay of the album, Malakian stated "not knowing what's happening with System has kept me from putting my own stuff out. Too much time has passed, and I'm really excited to finally get some music out finally."[5] Malakian stated that the new album could have been System of a Down music, however members of the band couldn't agree on musical direction.[6]

When the album was announced, the band was rebranded as “Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway” (previously only known as Scars on Broadway).[7]

Malakian's father, Vartan, has contributed the artwork to Dictator, as he did for the first Scars on Broadway album as well as System of a Down's Mezmerize and Hypnotize.[8]

Promotion[edit]

"Lives" was released as a single in April 2018.[9] The title track was released as a single on June 1, 2018.[10][11] The first week of sales of "Lives" on iTunes was donated to the Armenia Fund.[12]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
The Arts Desk4/5 stars[13]
Exclaim!3.5/5 stars[14]
The Independent4/5 stars[15]
Metal Hammer3.5/5 stars[16]
Pure Grain Audio4/5 stars[17]

The Independent album 4 out of 5 stars, stating "With a dynamism and ferocity like few other releases so far this year, Dictator shines a light on Malakian’s musical prowess: he performs all of the instruments on the record in addition to vocal duties, creating a shifting, immersive mood that delves into everything from straight-up thrash to early Eighties metal and signature, Middle Eastern-influenced guitar."[15] The Arts Desk also gave the album 4 out of 5, stating "All in all, though, Dictator is an immediate and accessible affair, with irresistible hooks, singalong choruses and a pleasing amount of crunchy heaviness."[13]

Exclaim! gave the album 3.5 out of 5 stars, stating "Dictator is a strong release that touches on a lot of the elements of System of A Down's final albums without too many of the quirky moments from those records. Still, it comes across as the comeback record that could have been huge but never happened."[14]

Metal Hammer rated the album 3.5 out of 5 stars, stating "It’s not hard to read Dictator as a sly ‘fuck you’ to his on-off bandmates, or at least the ones holding up a potential album. It’s evident in their grand rebranding – they’re no longer just Scars On Broadway, but now ‘Daron Malakian And Scars On Broadway’, a definite ‘Who Needs You Guys Anyway?’ statement. But it’s also there in the fact that, yes, many of these songs could quite have easily parked their backsides on a SOAD record. On this evidence, that’s System Of A Down’s loss more than it is ours."[16]

Track listing[edit]

Track listing adapted from the iTunes Store[18]

No.TitleLength
1."Lives"4:04
2."Angry Guru"3:36
3."Dictator"3:00
4."Fuck and Kill"3:35
5."Guns Are Loaded"4:17
6."Never Forget"3:19
7."Talkin' Shit"4:50
8."Till the End"4:55
9."We Won't Obey"3:39
10."Sickening Wars"2:18
11."Gie Mou "My Son"" (instrumental, Stamatis Kokotas cover)2:56
12."Assimilate" (Skinny Puppy cover)3:39
Total length:44:05

Charts[edit]

Chart (2018) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[19] 48
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[20] 103
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[21] 54

References[edit]

  1. ^ Grow, Kory (1 June 2018). "Hear System of a Down Guitarist's Heavy, Political New 'Dictator'".
  2. ^ "SYSTEM OF A DOWN's DARON MALAKIAN Releases 'Guns Are Loaded' Single From SCARS ON BROADWAY Project". 13 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Daron Malakian Previews New Scars on Broadway Album 'Dictator,' Talks System of a Down".
  4. ^ "SYSTEM OF A DOWN Guitarist To Release New Video, Single From SCARS ON BROADWAY Project". 16 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  5. ^ "SYSTEM OF A DOWN's DARON MALAKIAN Releases 'Lives' Single, Video From SCARS ON BROADWAY Project". 23 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Daron Malakian Says SCARS ON BROADWAY's New Album Could Have Been New SYSTEM OF A DOWN Music". 24 April 2018. Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  7. ^ "System of a Down Guitarist Talks First Solo Music in Eight Years". Retrieved 24 April 2018.
  8. ^ Callwood, Brett (2018-07-26). "System of a Down/Scars on Broadway's Daron Malakian Is Ready to Put a Decade of Frustration Behind Him". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  9. ^ Grow, Kory (23 April 2018). "System of a Down Guitarist Talks First Solo Music in Eight Years".
  10. ^ "SYSTEM OF A DOWN's DARON MALAKIAN Releases 'Dictator' Single From SCARS ON BROADWAY Project". 1 June 2018.
  11. ^ "Hear Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway's Raging New Song "Dictator"". 1 June 2018.
  12. ^ Callwood, Brett (2018-07-26). "System of a Down/Scars on Broadway's Daron Malakian Is Ready to Put a Decade of Frustration Behind Him". L.A. Weekly. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  13. ^ a b "CD: Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway – Dictator". theartsdesk.com. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  14. ^ a b "Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway Dictator". exclaim.ca.
  15. ^ a b "Album reviews this week: Daron Malakian, Popcaan, Skeletonwitch and Punch Brothers". The Independent. Retrieved 2018-07-19.
  16. ^ a b "Daron Malakian And Scars On Broadway – Dictator album review". Metal Hammer.
  17. ^ Paltrowitz, Darren. "Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway – "Dictator" [Album Review]". puregrainaudio.com.
  18. ^ "Dictator by Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway". iTunes Store (US). 20 July 2018.
  19. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway – Dictator" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway – Dictator" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 1, 2018.
  21. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway – Dictator". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 1, 2018.