This album had been on my radar for quite some time. Ever since seeing the video for Chop Suey! on MTV and the subsequent airplay on the radio, I have been curious about the album. I come from the school that in order to appreciate an album, the whole thing must be heard, in its entirety. Nowadays, you can listen to 90 second clips of a track and purchase as few (or many) as you want to.
Back in my day (now I am sounding old), you didn’t get to listen to the album before you bought it. Unless you knew the guy behind the counter of the local CD store or it was one the “Top 40” or “Staff Picks” that they would have at listening stations throughout the store, you had to have blind faith that the rest of the album would at least live up to what you heard from or knew about the band.
Back when Toxicity came out, there were a lot of alternative metal bands bandying about. Limp Bizkit, POD, and Papa Roach to name a few. They all sounded the same until one of them came out with a power ballad or a cover or something that attempted to show that they were more than the sum of all their parts. I took System Of A Down in the same manner, a one-hit wonder where the album sounded pretty much the same from the first track to the last.
The main reason I bought Toxicity 14 years after its initial release (note: release date was a week before 9/11/01) wasn’t because I felt that the album was one that needed to be in my collection. No, I purchased it because the song Bounce was used in a trailer for The Secret Lives Of Pets, an animated film expecting to come out some time in 2016.
What I heard on the first listen were the two tracks that I were familiar with and, quite frankly, more of the same. The album is great if you are in a prison yard and you need a soundtrack for your workout or if you want to red line your speedometer. With the exception of a few bars here and there, Toxicity, starts fast and hard with the first couple of notes and doesn’t stop until the CD ends.