Music Review: SERJ TANKIAN – Harakiri
Published: July 30, 2012 - 7:06am
The third studio album from one of rock's most talented vocalists, ever, is not only Serj Tankian's finest solo offering yet but one of 2012's best outings overall. When you sit down to listen to a Tankian record you expect politically charged lyrics with weight behind them. What 'Harakiri' does is all of that and more, but the upbeat and faster pace of the album drives the message into your brain at full force.
If you're like me and still miss System of A Down to the point of tears, then Serj Tankian's 'Harakiri' is the closest effort you'll get to a new SOAD album. There are no guttural vocals or thrash elements, but you will see plenty of that oldschool punk driven rock scattered throughout Tankian's latest offering. What I found lacking on Tankian's previous record was that angst. I need some anger in my rock and roll so it was nice to see Tankian charged up for 'Harakiri'. The album is melodic yes, but it also kicks you in the teeth on more than one occasion.
'Cornucopia', 'Figure it Out' and 'Ching Chime' is a hell of a way to start your album. All three are energetic slices of hard rock that hearkens back to SOAD's Mesmerize/Hypnotize era of material. Tankian's strange delivery will either turn you off or hook you in but if you don't appreciate his sweeping delivery in the choruses then you have no soul. 'Harakiri' is one of the best songs of 2012 and a very strong candidate for track of the year. If you liked 'Empty Walls' from Tankian's first solo outing, then the title track here will blow your mind. It really is that good.
It's hard to find anything to fault on 'Harakiri' and it's a record that I've revisited several times with no intention of stopping. Tankian is truly a masterful vocalist and deserves to be recognized on the same level of Freddie Mercury. Aside from Mike Patton I can't see anyone else who has such range. Do yourself a favor and get 'Harakiri' because it's amazing from start to finish.
2. "Figure It Out"
3. "Ching Chime"
6. "Occupied Tears"
7. "Deafening Silence"
8. "Forget Me Knot"
9. "Reality TV"
10. "Uneducated Democracy"
11. "Weave On"