System of a Down returns to destroy Rexall Place

Combine speed metal, gypsy melodies and a political stance just to the left of and slightly angrier than Wiebo Ludwig and we have one of the greatest, most creative, most original heavy metal bands that ever existed – System of a Down.

Who knew such a wild fusion of styles would work, but it does. The back-from-hiatus Armenian-American band plays tonight at Rexall Place, backed up by – speaking of gyspies – the raucous, ridiculous punk band Gogol Bordello. Metal friends, it is our duty to tell you that this event will be THE metal show of the year. If last time is any indication, System is going to blow all those other sad sack olde metal bands out of the water. Megadeth? Stand aside! Metallica? Bow down before your betters! Ozzy? OK, Ozzy gets to stay as the king, but System of a Down are His Machiavellian henchmen. We could go on. “Fucking awesome band” is the general idea we’re trying to get across here.

After years of toiling in cult popularity, which is only one level above toiling in obscurity, System of a Down (call them SOAD if you must) smashed through to the rock mainstream with the album Mezmerize, which contains virulent political songs along the lines of BYOB, which opens with a screamed question: “Why do they always send the poor?!” Later is another question, “Why don’t presidents fight the war?” – which they do after all since the song came out. Obama made the assassination order on Osama, remember, but never mind. The song is a call to arms against political apathy, asking yet later, “Where the fuck are you?”

Here’s another favourite from that record, an observation on humankind called Violent Pornography: Sing along to this breakneck speed metal anthem, if you can, “Everybody, everybody, everybody livin’ now. Everybody, everybody, everybody fucks. Everybody, everybody, everybody livin’ now. Everybody, everybody, everybody sucks. Everybody, everybody, everybody livin’ now. Everybody, everybody, everybody cries. Everybody, everybody, everybody, livin’ now. Everybody, everybody, everybody dies.”

This is a metal kind of week. Expect a similar thing with Rammstein at Rexall on Friday – this time in German.

Ya, das ist gut!

Tickets to System of a Down with Gogol Bordello start at $32 and are on sale at Ticketmaster here, or at the door.