Friday, August 4, 2017

Can you feel their haunting presence?

Track: Holy Mountains
Artist: System Of A Down
Album: Hypnotize
Year: 2005
Genre: Alternative Metal

When I restarted the blog in this format, I promised myself that I won't adhere to any schedules. No weekly posts, no obligations. I shall write about a song if it captures my imagination, plays on loop in my head and if I can't help but hum it throughout the day.

These exact things happened yesterday, and here I am with 'Holy Mountains' by System Of A Down (SOAD).

This is one of the few tracks that speaks directly about the Armenian Genocide, an abomination that happened in 1915 and which is to date not recognized as a genocide by the Turkey, or the United Nations. SOAD, made up of 4 friends of Armenian-American descent, have always been open about their desire to create awareness about this event (which is said to have "inspired" Adolf Hitler).

To start off, I love the intro which is reminiscent of 'Aerials'. If I close my eyes and listen to the arpeggio, I feel like I am atop a mountain with a spiritual and mystical air around it. This gives way to a killer riff that made me headbang like a madman. The verse continues the sonic rollercoaster, as trance-like notes nudge the silence.

The pain in the history of their people can be felt when Serj launches into cries of "Liar! Killer! Demon!" and "Muderer! Sodomizer!" as the lyrics point to the Turk/Ottoman perpetrators behind this holocaust. The bridge and conclusion feel like a victory for the fleeing Armenians who made it to Mt. Ararat, which they consider holy, and towards River Aras, which marks the present day border between Turkey and Armenia.

This song is a masterpiece and a tribute to the hundreds of thousands of Armenians who were massacred.