Mezmerize (album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedMay 17, 2005
RecordedJune–November 2004
StudioThe Mansion and Akademie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research Studios, Los Angeles, California
GenreNu metal[1][2]
System of a Down chronology
Steal This Album!
Singles from Mezmerize
  1. "B.Y.O.B."
    Released: March 29, 2005
  2. "Question!"
    Released: July 12, 2005

Mezmerize is the fourth studio album by Armenian-American heavy metal band System of a Down, released on May 17, 2005 by American Recordings and Columbia Records. Upon its release, the album received widespread acclaim from critics.


Despite the time difference between releases, Mezmerize and Hypnotize were recorded within the same time frame. The album features guitarist Daron Malakian sharing most of the vocal work with vocalist Serj Tankian, splitting the vocals at least halfway on many of the tracks. In 2018, Malakian and Tankian both independently revealed that at the time of recording the two albums, Tankian was almost out of the band. According to Tankian, this was because of differences in creative input and financial revenue split.

Malakian wrote "Old School Hollywood" after playing in a celebrity baseball game for charity. The song mentions Tony Danza and Frankie Avalon, who also played in the game.[3]

In "Radio/Video", there are lines referring to two people named Danny and Lisa. Malakian commented on the song to Revolver magazine:

"My neighbors were Danny and Lisa, who I sing about in "Radio/Video" with System — they had that record [Paul Stanley 1978 solo album] and it ended up at my apartment. I would listen to that record all the time. I first saw Kiss at a relative's house. They were older teenagers and had Kiss all over the walls in their bedrooms. I remember being so afraid of Kiss, and it just stuck. Kiss started the metal attitude, metal theatrics and metal fashion — they contributed to that a lot. I was listening to that album in my car with my girlfriend a few months back. When I put it on, I said: 'This album is extremely special to me.'"

In the same interview Daron Malakian talked about "Violent Pornography" "non-stop disco" lines:

"I've always been a huge fan of disco music through my life. We have a song called "Violent Pornography" in System of a Down, and the lyrics are: "It's a non-stop disco/Betcha didn't know/Betcha didn't know …" That line means, "I love disco, betcha didn't know." That has nothing to do with the rest of the song, by the way." [4]

The Japanese version of the album contains a slightly different mix of "Soldier Side (Intro)" with strings, while the leaked mp3 version of "Cigaro" contains a 4-stick hit intro not present in the retail version. The album artwork is done by Vartan Malakian, the father of guitarist Daron Malakian.


Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
AllMusic4.5/5 stars[6]
Blabbermouth.net4/5 stars[7]
Drowned in Sound8/10[8]
Entertainment WeeklyA−[9]
People3/4 stars[10]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[13]
Uncut4/5 stars[15]

Mezmerize was acclaimed by critics, scoring 85 at Metacritic based on 19 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[5] The album debuted at number one in at least 12 countries,[16] including the US Billboard 200, with 453,000 copies,[17] and has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA. It was chosen as one of's Top 100 Editor's Picks of 2005. The hit single "B.Y.O.B." won a Grammy Award in 2006 for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Soundtrack appearances[edit]

"B.Y.O.B." appeared In Guitar Hero: World Tour, Guitar Hero: Live and was DLC for Rock Band 2.

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian, except where noted. All music written by Daron Malakian, except where noted.

1."Soldier Side - Intro"  1:03
2."B.Y.O.B." ("Bring Your Own Bombs")  4:15
3."Revenga"  3:48
4."Cigaro"  2:11
5."Radio/Video"Malakian 4:09
6."This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on This Song"  2:08
7."Violent Pornography"Malakian 3:31
8."Question!"TankianTankian, Malakian3:20
9."Sad Statue"  3:25
10."Old School Hollywood"Malakian 2:56
11."Lost in Hollywood"  5:20
Total length:36:06


System of a Down


  • Soldier Side - Intro: Daron Malakian and Serj Tankian (both main)
  • B.Y.O.B.: Tankian (main), Malakian (second voice)
  • Revenga: Tankian (main), Malakian (second voice)
  • Cigaro: Tankian (main), Malakian (second voice)
  • Radio/Video: Malakian and Tankian (both main)
  • This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on this Song: Tankian
  • Violent Pornography: Malakian and Tankian (both main)
  • Question!: Tankian (main), Malakian (backing vocals)
  • Sad Statue: Malakian and Tankian (both main)
  • Old School Hollywood: Malakian and Tankian (both main)
  • Lost in Hollywood: Malakian (main) and Tankian (second voice)


Year Chart Position
2005 Billboard 200 1
UK Albums Chart 2
Australian ARIA Top 50[20] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[21] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[22] 2
Norwegian VG-lista 2
New Zealand Top Albums Chart[23] 1
Polish Albums Chart[24] 5


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Argentina (CAPIF)[25] Gold 20,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[26] Gold 20,000*
Australia (ARIA)[27] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[28] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[29] Gold 50,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[30]
5-album bundle
Platinum 40,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[31] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[32] Platinum 20,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[33] Platinum 33,068[33]
France (SNEP)[35] Gold 129,000[34]
Germany (BVMI)[36] Gold 100,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[37] Platinum 15,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[38] Platinum 15,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[39] Gold 20,000^
United States (RIAA)[40] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ Lemeshow-Barooshian, Rae (January 8, 2019). "Top 50 Best Nu-Metal Albums of All-Time". Loudwire. Retrieved January 10, 2019.
  2. ^ Blumenfeld, Zach (November 18, 2014). "Nine Years Later, System of a Down Still "Mezmerizes" Me". WRVU. Retrieved January 11, 2019.
  3. ^ Moss, Corey (2007). "System of a Down: Doubleheader". MTV. Retrieved 2015-01-07.
  4. ^ "System of a Down and Scars on Broadway's Daron Malakian: The Albums That Made Me". Revolver. 2018-07-25. Retrieved 2018-08-09.
  5. ^ a b "Mezmerize by System Of A Down". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  6. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Mezmerize: System of a Down". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  7. ^ "Mezmerize - SYSTEM OF A DOWN". 15 May 2005. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  8. ^ "Album Review: System Of A Down - Mezmerize". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  9. ^ Sinclair, Tom (May 16, 2005). "Mezmerize Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  10. ^ Arnold, Chuck (2005-06-27). "Picks and Pans Review: System of a Down (Mezmerize)". People. Archived from the original on 2014-10-19. Retrieved 2013-08-25.
  11. ^ Byrom, Cory (2005-11-21). "System Of A Down: Mezmerize". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2005-11-21.
  12. ^ Begrand, Adrien (2005-05-25). "System Of A Down: Mezmerize". PopMatters. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  13. ^ Fricke, David (2005-06-02). "System of a Down: Mezmerize". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
  14. ^ Pemberton, Rollie (2005-07-22). "System Of A Down: Mezmerize". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2009-11-30.
  15. ^ Confirms System Of A Down as one of the most innovative bands in modern rock. [Jun 2005, p.110]
  16. ^ Records, Columbia. "System Of A Down Mezmerizes Music Fans Worldwide". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  17. ^ Records, Columbia. "System Of A Down Mezmerizes Music Fans Worldwide". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  18. ^ a b Alan Di Perna (September 29, 2008)
  19. ^ Fabrizio Pedrotti (July 18, 2019)
  20. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - System Of A Down - Mezmerize". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  21. ^ Hung, Steffen. "System Of A Down - Mezmerize -". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  22. ^ Finnish charts Archived 2012-03-01 at
  23. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - System Of A Down - Mezmerize". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  24. ^, Onyx Sp. z o.o., tel. +48 22 3377222. "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  25. ^ "Discos de Oro y Platino – 2006" (in Spanish). Camara Argentina de Productores de Fonogramas y Videogramas. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
  26. ^ "Austrian album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize" (in German). IFPI Austria.
  27. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2005 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association.
  28. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 2007". Ultratop. Hung Medien.
  29. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
  30. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – System of a Down – System of a Down" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos.
  31. ^ "Canadian album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize". Music Canada.
  32. ^ "Certificeringer" (in Danish). Retrieved March 31, 2017.
  33. ^ a b "System Of A Down" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  34. ^ "Les Albums Or" (in French). Archived from the original on July 11, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2012.
  35. ^ "French album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique.
  36. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (System Of A Down; 'Mezmerize')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie.
  37. ^ "Irish album certifications – System Of A Down – Mezmerize". Irish Recorded Music Association.
  38. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize". Recorded Music NZ.
  39. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (System Of A Down; 'Mezmerize')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien.
  40. ^ "American album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.