Harakiri (album)

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Serj Tankian - Harakiri.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 10, 2012 (2012-07-10)
GenreAlternative rock, nu metal, alternative metal
ProducerSerj Tankian
Serj Tankian chronology
Imperfect Remixes
Singles from Harakiri
  1. "Figure It Out"
    Released: May 1, 2012
  2. "Cornucopia"
    Released: June 4, 2012
  3. "Harakiri"
    Released: July, 2012

Harakiri is the third studio album by Armenian-American singer Serj Tankian. The album was released on July 10, 2012, as a follow-up to his 2010 album Imperfect Harmonies.

The album also constitutes the first of four planned albums, the other three being Orca, Jazz-Iz-Christ, and Fuktronic.[1]


Harakiri is the third solo album from the System of a Down front man. Tankian has described the album as "the most up-tempo punk rock oriented record that I've written probably since the System days." In the same interview, he also confirmed that a 2013 world tour would likely follow in support of the album.[2]

Hara-kiri, also known as seppuku, is a term for the ritual 'honour' suicide of Japanese samurai, with the former term being more common in speech and the latter being more literary, upper-class, and formal. The act involves self-disembowelment with a tantō (a Japanese-style dagger originating in the Heian period), slicing the abdomen from left to right. The album explores ideas of animal suicide.[3]

Recording and composition[edit]

As his two previous releases, the album was produced by Tankian himself at his own studio in Los Angeles, California. Harakiri differs from previous releases as three songs featured in it were initially sketched out on Tankian's iPad. He has himself declared that "We must trick ourselves into writing in different ways to get unexpected results."[4]

"Weave On" was originally written for Prometheus Bound, a musical by Steven Sater. The work was inspired by Aeschylus' tragedy of the same name.[5]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[7]
Artistdirect5/5 stars[8]
Consequence of Sound3/5 stars[9]
CraveOnline4/5 stars[10]
PopMatters2/5 stars[11]
Spin3/5 stars[12]
Sputnikmusic3.5/5 stars[13]

Harakiri was released on July 10, 2012. Three singles were officially released from the album: "Figure it Out" on May 1, "Cornucopia" on June 4 and the title song "Harakiri" on June 20. "Uneducated Democracy" was also made available for streaming on Record Store Day.[14] The whole album was streamed at Red Bull USA on July 2, 8 days before its release.

Music videos[edit]

Two live action music videos were released for the album. The first, "Figure It Out", was released on May 25. The video features Serj and members of the public protesting, while businessmen celebrate a bailout. Towards the end the protesters break into the meeting.[15] The second, "Harakiri", was released on July 11. The video includes quotes from Jean-Paul Sartre and Ralph Waldo Emerson alongside statements on animal suicide, GM crops and obesity, among other issues.[16]

An animated video for "Occupied Tears" was also released on July 11[17] while another animated video, for "Uneducated Democracy", was released on July 19.[18]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Serj Tankian, except where noted.

2."Figure It Out"2:52
3."Ching Chime"4:05
6."Occupied Tears"4:22
7."Deafening Silence"4:16
8."Forget Me Knot"4:26
9."Reality TV"4:09
10."Uneducated Democracy"3:59
11."Weave On" (lyrics by Steven Sater)4:07
Total length:45:18
Deluxe Edition bonus tracks
13."Tyrant's Gratitude" (lyrics by Sater)2:38
Total length:5:09
Japanese edition


Chart positions[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[19] 86
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[20] 10
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[21] 128
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[22] 39
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[23] 15
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[24] 16
French Albums (SNEP)[25] 37
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[26] 12
Italian Albums (FIMI)[27] 36
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[28] 27
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[29] 14
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[30] 66
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[31] 13
UK Albums (OCC)[32] 87
US Billboard 200[33] 29
US Top Alternative Albums (Billboard)[34] 7
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[35] 3
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[36] 17


  1. ^ "New Record Coming! | Serj Tankian's Official Website. Get up to date news, tour dates, merchandise and more". Serjtankian.com. 2012-04-03. Archived from the original on 2012-04-11. Retrieved 2012-05-11.
  2. ^ "System of a Down's Tankian on Band's Future, Making a Jazz Record Called 'Jazz-iz-Christ'". Billboard.com. 2009-09-14. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  3. ^ "Serj Tankian Debuts "Figure It Out" From New Album 'Harakiri' – "Rock Is Easy. It Comes To Me Naturally"". Kroq.radio.com. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-06-23.
  4. ^ "Harakiri content". Serjtankian.com. 2012. Archived from the original on 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  5. ^ "Prometheus Bound: A New Rock Musical". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  6. ^ "Serj Tankian - Harakiri". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  7. ^ Heaney, Gregory. "Harakiri - Serj Tankian". Allmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  8. ^ Florino, Rick (2012-06-28). "Serj Tankian "Harakiri" Album Review — 5 out of 5 stars". Artistdirect. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  9. ^ Kivel, Adam (2012-07-10). "Album Review: Serj Tankian – Harakiri". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  10. ^ Robinson, Iann (2012-07-03). "Review: Serj Tankian - Harakiri". CraveOnline. Archived from the original on 2012-10-28. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  11. ^ Lepore, Steve (2012-07-17). "Serj Tankian: Harakiri". PopMatters. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  12. ^ Fury, Jeanne (2012-07-09). "Serj Tankian, 'Harakiri'". Spin. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  13. ^ Viney, Joseph (2012-07-25). "Serj Tankian - Harakiri". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 2012-08-04.
  14. ^ "Harakiri's Uneducated Democracy stream". Serjtankian.com. 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-30.
  15. ^ "Serj Tankian - "Figure It Out" Official Video". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  16. ^ "Serj Tankian - Harakiri". YouTube. 2012-07-11. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  17. ^ "Video Serj Tankian - Occupied Tears van Serj Tankian - Myspace Video". Myspace.com. 2012-07-10. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  18. ^ "Serj Tankian - Uneducated Democracy". YouTube. 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
  19. ^ "The ARIA Report: Week Commencing 16 July 202" (PDF). Pandora Archive. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  20. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Serj Tankian – Harakiri" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  21. ^ "Ultratop.be – Serj Tankian – Harakiri" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  22. ^ "Ultratop.be – Serj Tankian – Harakiri" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 20, 2014.
  23. ^ "Serj Tankian Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 22, 2015.
  24. ^ "Serj Tankian: Harakiri" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  25. ^ "Lescharts.com – Serj Tankian – Harakiri". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  26. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Serj Tankian – Harakiri" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  27. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Serj Tankian – Harakiri". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  28. ^ "Charts.nz – Serj Tankian – Harakiri". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  29. ^ "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". OLiS. Polish Society of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  30. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Serj Tankian – Harakiri". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  31. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Serj Tankian – Harakiri". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  32. ^ "Serj Tankian | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  33. ^ "Serj Tankian Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  34. ^ "Serj Tankian Chart History (Top Alternative Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  35. ^ "Serj Tankian Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2014.
  36. ^ "Serj Tankian Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved June 28, 2014.