Mezmerize (album)

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  (Redirected from Violent Pornography)
Studio album by System of a Down
Released May 17, 2005
Recorded June – November 2004
Studio The Mansion
(Los Angeles, California, U.S.)
Akademie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research Studios
(Los Angeles, California, U.S.)
Length 36:06
Label Columbia
System of a Down chronology
Steal This Album!
(2002)Steal This Album!2002
Singles from Mezmerize
  1. "B.Y.O.B."
    Released: March 29, 2005
  2. "Question!"
    Released: August 29, 2005
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 85/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
BBC Music Very Favorable[10] 4/5 stars[6]
Drowned In Sound (8/10)[9]
Entertainment Weekly A−[3]
People 3/4 stars[4]
PopMatters 9/10[5]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[7]
Stylus B−[8]

Mezmerize is the fourth studio album by the band System of a Down. It was released on May 17, 2005 on Columbia Records. The album received widespread acclaim from critics, becoming the band's highest rated album on Metacritic, with a score of 85.[11]


Mezmerize was praised by critics, scoring 85 at Metacritic based on 19 reviews.[1] The album debuted at number one in at least 12 countries,[12] including the US Billboard 200, with 453,000 copies,[13] 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.

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.

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.[14]

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.

Soundtrack appearances

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

Track listing

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Soldier Side - Intro" Malakian, Tankian Malakian 1:03
2. "B.Y.O.B." ("Bring Your Own Bombs") Malakian, Tankian Malakian 4:15
3. "Revenga" Malakian, Tankian Malakian 3:48
4. "Cigaro" Malakian, Tankian Malakian 2:11
5. "Radio/Video" Malakian Malakian 4:09
6. "This Cocaine Makes Me Feel Like I'm on This Song" Malakian, Tankian Malakian 2:08
7. "Violent Pornography" Malakian Malakian 3:31
8. "Question!" Tankian Tankian 3:20
9. "Sad Statue" Malakian, Tankian Malakian 3:25
10. "Old School Hollywood" Malakian Malakian 2:56
11. "Lost in Hollywood" Malakian, Tankian Malakian 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[15] 1
Canadian Albums Chart[16] 1
Finnish Albums Chart[17] 2
Norwegian VG-lista 2
New Zealand Top Albums Chart[18] 1
Polish Albums Chart[19] 5


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Austria (IFPI Austria)[20] Gold 20,000*
Australia (ARIA)[21] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[22] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[23] Gold 50,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[24]
5-album bundle
Platinum 40,000*
Canada (Music Canada)[25] 3× Platinum 300,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[26] Platinum 20,000^
Finland (Musiikkituottajat)[27] Platinum 33,068[27]
France (SNEP)[28] Gold 129,000[29]
Germany (BVMI)[30] Gold 100,000^
Ireland (IRMA)[31] Platinum 15,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[32] Platinum 15,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[33] Gold 20,000^
United States (RIAA)[34] Platinum 1,000,000^

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


  1. ^ a b "Mezmerize by System Of A Down". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  2. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Mezmerize: System of a Down". Allmusic. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  3. ^ Sinclair, Tom (May 16, 2005). "Mezmerize Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ Begrand, Adrien (2005-05-25). "System Of A Down: Mezmerize". PopMatters. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  6. ^ "Mezmerize - SYSTEM OF A DOWN". 15 May 2005. Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  7. ^ Fricke, David (2005-06-02). "System of a Down: Mezmerize". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 2007-04-28. Retrieved 2012-01-29. 
  8. ^ Pemberton, Rollie (2005-07-22). "System Of A Down: Mezmerize". Stylus Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-03-29. Retrieved 2009-11-30. 
  9. ^ "Album Review: System Of A Down - Mezmerize". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  10. ^ Banks, Richard. "BBC - Music - Review of System Of A Down - Mesmerize/Hypnotize". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  11. ^ Mezmerize by System Of A Down, retrieved 2018-05-10 
  12. ^ Records, Columbia. "System Of A Down Mezmerizes Music Fans Worldwide". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  13. ^ Records, Columbia. "System Of A Down Mezmerizes Music Fans Worldwide". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  14. ^ Moss, Corey (2007). "System of a Down: Doubleheader". MTV. Retrieved 2015-01-07. 
  15. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - System Of A Down - Mezmerize". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  16. ^ Hung, Steffen. "System Of A Down - Mezmerize -". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  17. ^ Finnish charts Archived 2012-03-01 at
  18. ^ Hung, Steffen. " - System Of A Down - Mezmerize". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  19. ^, Onyx Sp. z o.o., tel. +48 22 3377222,. "Oficjalna lista sprzedaży :: OLiS - Official Retail Sales Chart". Retrieved 22 December 2016. 
  20. ^ "Austrian album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize" (in German). IFPI Austria.  Enter System of a Down in the field Interpret. Enter Mezmerize in the field Titel. Select album in the field Format. Click Suchen
  21. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 2005 Albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  22. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – 2007". Ultratop. Hung Medien. 
  23. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  24. ^ "Brazilian album certifications – System of a Down – System of a Down" (in Portuguese). Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos. 
  25. ^ "Canadian album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize". Music Canada. 
  26. ^ "Certificeringer" (in Danish). Retrieved March 31, 2017. 
  27. ^ a b "System Of A Down" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. 
  28. ^ "French album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. 
  29. ^ "Les Albums Or :" (in French). Archived from the original on July 11, 2015. Retrieved October 13, 2012. 
  30. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (System Of A Down; 'Mezmerize')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. 
  31. ^ "Irish album certifications – System Of A Down – Mezmerize". Irish Recorded Music Association. 
  32. ^ "New Zealand album certifications – System of a Down – Mezmerize". Recorded Music NZ. 
  33. ^ "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (System Of A Down; 'Mezmerize')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. 
  34. ^ "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
Preceded by
Stand Up by Dave Matthews Band
Billboard 200 number-one album
May 29, 2005 – June 4, 2005
Succeeded by
Out of Exile by Audioslave
Preceded by
Il Divo by Il Divo
Australian ARIA Albums Chart number-one album
May 30 – June 5, 2005
Succeeded by
Monkey Business by The Black Eyed Peas
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