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Tankian, Serj: Elasticity EP

For System of a Down fans, 2020 was the year of hope. The Armenian-American alternative metal juggernauts have put out new music for the first time in 15 years! A new SOAD album simply has to follow these two songs, right? Well... yes and no. The frontman, Serj Tankian, wrote five tracks for the band, but they were refused by the other members after a disagreement on creative direction. And so the new SOAD album remains a faraway dream, but Serj's new material has just been put on an EP and released as Elasticity.

The bizarrely titled "Your Mom" instantly reminds the listener that Tankian was the frontman of System of a Down, but most importantly - that Serj can still do Serj stuff that the fans love him for. His high baritone works very well with heavy nu-metal riffs. "Your Mom" is just a great track, blending the chugging guitars with some very surprising instrument choices. My eyes instantly lit up when I heard "How Many Times?", my mind harkening back to the incredible "Sky is Over" from Serj's solo debut album. And while Elasticity's piano ballad doesn't quite measure up to the level of aforementioned song, it's still a pleasure to listen to. "Rumi" starts as another piano-led piece, but quickly becomes a galloping metal storm. Tankian's vocal performance in this song is just jaw-dropping, his passionate, emotional singing makes the listener forget that Serj... doesn't really have that great of a voice. But it's not about what nature gave you - it's what you do with what you're given, and Tankian masks all his vocal imperfection with a commanding, fiery performance. My God, what a song!

Sadly, the bookending pieces - "Elasticity" and "Electric Yerevan" - don't stick the landing nearly as gracefully as the three songs in the middle. The title track's noisiness quickly morphs into annoyance, and the politically charged finale is not much better. The cause is just, of course - it's not the first time Tankian brings up the dire situation of Armenia. Hell, System of a Down briefly re-formed last year to record two songs about the issue, one of which was the imposing and powerful "Protect the Land". Sadly, musical quality of "Electric Yerevan" does not measure up to the importance of the problem. As for now, Elasticity will have to satisfy SOAD fans' hunger for new material. It's good to see Tankian embracing his metal roots again, especially because the idea behind the new material was laudable - both in the musical and political sense. Elasticity is quirky, heavy, and unmistakably Serj.

Track listing:
1. Elasticity
2. Your Mom
3. How Many Times?
4. Rumi
5. Electric Yerevan

Added: March 27th 2021
Reviewer: Maciej Slowik
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 469
Language: english

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