Hypnotize American/Columbia Music ••••½Sound ••••½DualDisc Extras •••½
This riveting, darkly comic blast makes it official: System of a Down's two-part Mezmerize/Hypnotize is a monster. Here, the band stings with venomous protest-metal on "Dreaming" as singer Serj Tankian insists, "We're the prophetic generation of bottled water ... / Causing poor populations to die." On "Stealing Society," guitarist Daron Malakian revs raw, speedy riffs (and croons like a 1950s greaseball), and he's positively lethal on "Holy Mountains" (which remembers the 1.5 million Armenians slaughtered by Ottoman Turks). The DVD extras on this stereo-only DualDisc include two videos and a film about the making of the entire M/H magnum opus.