System Of A Down hasn’t released new music in over fifteen years since they last put out Mezmerize and Hypnotize in May 2005 and November 2005, respectively. Fans have coveted new music from the band ever since. When the Nagorno-Karabakh war broke out in 2020 SOAD Guitar player Daron Malakian wrote “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz”. Malakian originally wrote the songs for his current band Scars On Broadway, but he knew the songs fit System Of A Down.
The band decided to record both songs “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” as System Of A Down and released them to benefit Armenians affected by the war and other conflicts the region has been subject to. The funds from the tracks directly benefit the Armenia Fund. The videos for both new tracks below also highlight Armenians and their plight of genocide over the past century. But good intentions do not necessarily make good music. Our review of SOAD’s “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” are not glowing.
SOAD’s “Protect The Land” Review
Let’s start with the review of “Protect the Land”. The track has many elements you’d expect from System Of A Down: great guitar riffs, Serj and the rest of the band harmonizing lyrics in a defiant chant, but the song lacks the fire and electric charge SOAD is loved for. For any other band this would be an acceptable work, and many have been perfect for Daron Malakian’s other group Scars On Broadway. But most bands aren’t System Of A Down and fans expect so much more from these Armenian heroes. I wanted to love this song. System Of A Down has such a distinctive sound and “Protect The Land” seems to be aiming to hit the mark. But it eventually misses.
SOAD’s “Genocidal Humanoidz” Review
System Of A Down’s fifteen year hiatus is also apparent on “Genocidal Humanoidz”. Again you can hear all the elements of System, but without that straight fire smack-you-in-the-face power attack. The pieces are there, but just like Frankenstein’s Monster, it’s without the soul. There was actually some debate here in The Retro Studios about what track was a better, or worse song, depending on the debate. One thing we all agreed on though; the videos for “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” are great. The songs themselves, compared to our expectations of SOAD… not so much.