Elect the Dead

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Elect the Dead
FinalElect The Dead.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedOctober 22, 2007
RecordedThe Pass Los Angeles, CA
GenreHard rock,[1] heavy metal[2]
LabelSerjical Strike, Reprise
ProducerSerj Tankian
Serj Tankian chronology
Elect the Dead
Lie Lie Live
Alternative covers
Alternative cover.
Alternative cover.
Alternative cover
Special Edition cover.
Special Edition cover.
Singles from Elect the Dead
  1. "The Unthinking Majority"
    Released: July 30, 2007
  2. "Empty Walls"
    Released: September 10, 2007
  3. "Lie Lie Lie"
    Released: December 24, 2007
  4. "Sky Is Over"
    Released: January 16, 2008 [3]
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau(dud)[7]
Kerrang4/5 stars
Music Emissions4.5/5 stars[9]
NME6/10 stars (10/27/2007, p.39)
Rolling Stone2.5/5 stars
The Guardian3/5 stars[2]

Elect the Dead is the debut album by rock musician Serj Tankian, lead singer and founding member of Armenian-American metal quartet System of a Down. It was released on October 22, 2007. Alongside Tankian appears Armenian-American coloratura Ani Maldjian, drummers John Dolmayan from System of a Down and Bryan "Brain" Mantia of Primus and Guns N' Roses' Dan Monti on guitars, as well as a string section featuring Antonio Pontarelli.[10]


The initial single from the album was a 2-track promo including "Empty Walls" and "The Unthinking Majority", released on September 10. Tankian immediately appeared on MTV's "You Rock The Deuce" program.[citation needed] Meanwhile, a music-video of "Feed Us" was released in Sweden[11] and on UK MTV.[12] The album was released October 22, 2007, and opened at #4 with 66,000 USA units sold according to the Billboard 200 trade listing.[13] By September 2010 the album had sold 319,000 copies total.[14]

Music-videos of the album's songs were each filmed by discrete directors. Tankian revealed: "I asked each of the directors for their visual interpretation of my work. They were asked not to write treatments and that they could make whatever they liked. The results have been overwhelmingly amazing".[15] Initially some videos were released as 'limited edition' premiums. All videos were later freely offered on Tankian's website and his YouTube channel. Some of these "official videos" were alternate versions released one version at a time- suggesting incrementally evolving narrative.[citation needed]

Collectible versions of the album include an instrumental disk offered by Serjical Strike/Reprise Records; and the "final master" from Reprise intended for specific journalists and reviewers. That embargoed disk was labeled "Smart Talk" [a coded reference to the artist's own name].[16] Previously an undated, un-mastered 'Smart Talk' promo featured these same 'final versions' of the songs[citation needed]; but the sequence of tracks ten and eleven was juxtaposed.


Tankian stated that some of these songs were new, and others had developed earlier. An acoustic version of "Blue" was released on the album's 'special edition bonus disc'. The original version appeared on System Of A Down's fourth demo tape but had no other recordings of the song were known to exist.

The title track was also recorded by System of a Down during the recording sessions for Mezmerize and Hypnotize but this version remains unreleased.[citation needed]

It's very wide sounding — lots of different sounding instruments. The excitement I had making this record was the same excitement I had making the first System record.

An Elect the Dead tour commenced October 12, 2007 at Chicago's Vic Theater. Tankian cautioned fans this production featured a new band Flying Cunts of Chaos (aka The F.C.C.) which was not promoting the System of a Down.

In 2009 Tankian did a symphonic tour with an orchestra, in order to perform symphonic renditions of most of the songs from Elect the Dead. A recording of this tour titled Elect the Dead Symphony was released February 23, 2010 in the USA.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Serj Tankian.

1."Empty Walls"3:49
2."The Unthinking Majority"3:46
4."Feed Us"4:31
5."Saving Us"4:41
6."Sky Is Over"2:57
8."Honking Antelope"3:50
9."Lie Lie Lie"3:33
10."Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition"4:23
11."Beethoven's Cunt"3:13
12."Elect the Dead"2:54
Total length:45:03
Special Edition bonus disc
2."Empty Walls" (Acoustic)3:46
3."Feed Us" (Acoustic)4:21
4."Falling Stars"3:05
Total length:14:17
iTunes and Japanese version bonus tracks
13."The Reverend King"2:49
Total length:47:52


  • A&R Craig Aaronson & George Tonikian
  • Original Artwork Provided by Sako Shahinian
  • Album Packaging Design by Sako Shahinian
  • Digipack Album Packaging Design by Keith Aazami
  • Photography by Greg Watermann
  • Worldwide Management Dave Holmes and Darin Harmon
  • Booking (US) Don Muller at CAA
  • Booking (Europe) Emma Banks at CAA
  • Legal Don Passman and Gene Salomon at Gang, Tyre, Ramer & Brown, Inc.
  • Business Management David Weise at DW & Associates

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Peak
2007 Top Canadian Albums
The Billboard 200
Austrian Albums Top 75
German Albums Top 75
Swiss Albums Top 100
Finland Albums Top 40
New Zealand Albums Chart
ARIA Top 50 (Australia)
France Albums Top 150
UK Albums Chart


  1. ^ a b allmusic review
  2. ^ a b the guardian
  3. ^ SERJ TANKIAN Paints Grim Picture With 'Sky Is Over' - Jan. 16, 2008
  4. ^ "Elect The Dead". Metacritic.
  5. ^ "Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead - Album Review". AbsolutePunk.
  6. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20071023025721/http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/content_display/reviews/albums/e3i7b7f6bee78014d1741a570207ff7cd8d. Archived from the original on October 23, 2007. Retrieved October 21, 2007. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "CG: serj". Robert Christgau.
  8. ^ "Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead Review". IGN. Archived from the original on 2007-11-01. Retrieved 2007-10-30.
  9. ^ "Serj Tankian - Elect The Dead Review". Music Emissions.
  10. ^ Serj Tankian biography on SOADFans fansite Archived 2007-08-16 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Swedish MTV
  12. ^ UK MTV Archived February 1, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Blabbermouth.Net - Serj Tankian, Rob Zombie, Soilwork, Exodus, Skindred First-Week Sales Revealed". Roadrunnerrecords.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  14. ^ "Upcoming Releases". HITS Daily Double. Retrieved 2012-02-14.
  15. ^ System of a Down Frontman To Post Videos For Each Track On Forthcoming Solo Album Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Picture of the Elect The Dead promo CD-R[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]