Summary

Though he possesses one of the most instantly recognizable singing voices in music, Serj Tankian has still spent the last five years finding his musical "voice" as a solo artist, steadily working his way out of the shadow of his work fronting nĂ¼-prog rockers System of a Down. After moving his sound in an increasingly grand direction, an idea that culminated in the singer recasting his debut album with a symphony on Elect the Dead Symphony, Tankian returns to a more direct rock sound with his third album, Harakiri. Filled with political angst, this album feels the most lyrically similar to SOAD, with lines like "sucking seeds is pastime" even serving as direct references to "Toxicity" ("eating seeds is a pastime activity"). With its socially conscious, call-to-arms message and frantic, rapid-fire tempo, "Uneducated Democracy" feels like an ideological spiritual successor to that era, and helps to make Harakiri an album that will allow fans to draw a nice line between the Tankian's solo work and his time with SOAD. ~ Gregory Heaney