System of a Down
System of a down
Studio album by System of a Down
Released June 30, 1998
Recorded November 1997–March 1998
Sound City
Van Nuys, CA
Akademie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research
Hollywood, CA
Genre Alternative metal, progressive metal, thrash metal
Length 40:41
51:57 (special edition)
Label American
Producer Rick Rubin, System of a Down
Professional reviews
  • Allmusic 4/5 link
  • Kerrang! 5/5
  • Pitchfork Media 7.5/10 link
  • Q Magazine 5/5
System of a Down chronology
System of a Down
Singles from System of a Down
  1. "Sugar"
    Released: September 27, 1998
  2. "Spiders"
    Released: February 1999

System of a Down is the eponymous debut album by System of a Down, first released in 1998. The album was certified gold by the RIAA on February 2, 2000. Two years later, after the success of Toxicity, it was certified platinum.

Album informationEdit

The cover artwork is from a poster designed by the artist John Heartfield for the Communist Party of Germany during the Third Reich. The text in the original poster is: "5 fingers has a hand! With these 5 grab the enemy!". This slogan inspired part of the text contained in the back of the System of a Down album: "The hand has five fingers, capable and powerful, with the ability to destroy as well as create". Later, it is written in bold letters: "Open your eyes, open your mouths, close your hands and make a fist".

This album is featured in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.


Q magazine (10/01, p.152) - 4 stars out of 5 - "This is the best album of the century."

Track listingEdit

# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Suite-Pee"  Serj TankianDaron Malakian 2:32
2. "Know"  TankianShavo Odadjian, Malakian, Tankian 2:56
3. "Sugar"  TankianOdadjian, Malakian 2:33
4. "Suggestions"  TankianMalakian 2:44
5. "Spiders"  TankianMalakian 3:35
6. "DDevil"  TankianOdadjian, Malakian 1:43
7. "Soil"  TankianMalakian 3:25
8. "War?"  TankianMalakian 2:40
9. "Mind"  TankianOdadjian, Malakian, Tankian 6:16
10. "Peephole"  TankianMalakian 4:04
11. "CUBErt"  Tankian, MalakianMalakian 1:49
12. "Darts"  TankianMalakian 2:42
13. "P.L.U.C.K."  TankianMalakian 3:37
Japanese Edition
# TitleLyricsMusic Length
14. "Marmalade"  TankianMalakian 3:02
15. "Störagéd"  TankianMalakian 1:19
Limited Edition bonus CD
# TitleLyricsMusic Length
1. "Sugar" (Live)TankianOdadjian, Malakian 2:27
2. "War?" (Live)TankianMalakian 2:48
3. "Suite-Pee" (Live)TankianMalakian 2:58
4. "Know" (Live)TankianOdadjian, Malakian Tankian 3:03


System of a Down is:


Before some of the lyrics in the booklet for this album, footnotes appear.

"Your thoughts, and dreams are no longer sacred, as they are exposed to a
weapon known as remote viewing and monitoring."

"For those that control the central nervous system,
control society, and the world.

"We first fought the heathens in the name of religion, then Communism, and now in
the name of drugs and terrorism. Our excuses for global domination always change."

"Mind control technology has been used by the CIA since the 1950s as part of
their non-lethal, covert weapons program."

"The February 18 edition of Britain's NEW SCIENTIST Magazine reports that the
Geneva-based World Health Organization suppressed, under political pressure,
a report which confirmed that marijuana is safer than either alcohol or tobacco."

"Why do old societies hold the pantheon of 12 gods to be true,
while modern societies generally have one God?"

"System of a Down would like to dedicate this song to the memory of the 1.5
million victims of the Armenian Genocide, perpetrated by the Turkish
Government in 1915."

Booklet messageEdit

In the booklet, underneath the band member's photos, the text reads in all capitals: "Announce your anthems on the ceiling. We dance, annexed by power. Casual neckties embrace, the hungry hunger further, images rule through the media, commercial Orwellianism, producing unveiled icebergs, running transparent electrical cables, curving string ensembles, witnessed by hangings from flagpoles of souls avenged by Dr. Clock. Fresh paint, naked melting figures mixing the revolution against T.V. sentencing, at the hands of brutal men and their military business world. Let us instigate the revolt, down with the system!"

Chart performanceEdit


Year Chart Position
1999 The Billboard 200 124
Top Heatseekers 1


Year Single Chart Position
1999 "Sugar" Mainstream Rock Tracks 28
Modern Rock Tracks 31
2000 "Spiders" Mainstream Rock Tracks 25
Modern Rock Tracks 38
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