System Of A Down's second studio album, Toxicity just turned 20. Yes, my fellow elder Millenial Maniacs, we really are that old! A genuinely game-changing record, featuring a fusion of metal and alternative sounds with folk, progressive rock, jazz, traditional Armenian and greek musical stylings, Toxicity blasted the American-Armenian alt/nu-metal band to unforeseeable mainstream prominence.
A commercial and critical success, the album peaked at #1 on the Billboard Charts and has sold over 12 million units worldwide. It remains one of the most unique and immediately identifiable metal albums of all time. Toxicity's politicized lyrics focussing on mass incarceration, environmental terrorism, police brutality, scientific reductionism, drug addiction and questionable actions of the CIA, inspired a new generation of activists in the metal scene, educating a generation of metalheads while simultaneously creating controversy that helped keep the album at the forefront of the alternative music press.
Much of the Toxicity's initial success came courtesy of the breakthrough first single Chop Suey, so to celebrate and illustrate the impact of this transformative metal masterpiece, we've compiled these six sick covers of Chop Suey that showcase the wide-ranging impact and influence of this landmark System Of A Down release.
Motionless In White
Motionless In White are a band that needs no introduction to our Maniacs and this crushing rendition of Chop Suey has been in their live repertoire since 2017, simultaneously underlining their significant metal cred and chops at once and paying tribute to one of their primary musical influences.
Halocene + Lauren Babic + Violet Orlandi
The pandemic has taken much from us as metal fans, but it has also gifted us a bunch of unique and unexpected delights and collaborations. This stellar socially distanced cover of Chop Suey by Phoenix, Arizona based Halocene featuring Canadian Lauren Babic (CrazyEightEight, Redhanded Denial) + Brazlillian artist Violet Orlandi is definitely one of those delights. The level of vocal ability shown here is quite staggering. An absolute ripper.
August Burns Red
August Burns Red are one of metalcore's foremost purveyors of memorable covers, having slain (or should that be sleighed?) an iconic collection of Christmas covers that they add to every single year, as well as absolutely dominating contributions to the like of Punk Goes Pop. Heck, they've even covered the theme from The Legend of Zelda. So it's no surprise that this 2020 cover of Chop Suey is an absolute belter, it even features clean vocals, from singer Jake and bassist Dustin, which in the ABR world is very rare indeed. Crank this one.
Robyn Adele Anderson
Chop Suey is such an odd song to be as big of a hit as it is and that oddball quality lends itself well to some rather creative renditions across all genres. One of the absolute best interpretations is this superb jazz cover by Robyn Adele Anderson. This swinging cover includes horns, double bass and piano, as well as stellar vocal arrangements. This is the one to play when you host a dinner party for your in-laws.
YouTube music maestro Anthony Vincent is no stranger to doing genre-hopping covers of songs, he's basically built his entire YouTube empire of paydirt out of it. So it is no surprise to learn that he not only has done a Chop Suey cover but he's done 20 of them! The best and only full-length one out there though is this Chop Suey in the style of Ghost. Vincent displays his absolute mastery of musical impersonation here, channelling everything great about Chop Suey into everything great about Ghost with fittingly spooky and impressive results. Come for the impersonation of Tobias Forge's vocal, but stay for well, everything else!
Los Angeles melodic death-tech metallers Nekrogoblikon don't do anything instrumental or humorous by halves and this cover of Chop Suey is no exception. An absolute mind-warping rendition that includes several new instrumental elements, including some wholly unexpected dub-step drops, absolutely expected guitar wizardry and bizarre vocal gymnastics, all accompanied by a hilarious video clip featuring frontman John Goblikon preparing a gory version of chop suey, the dish. An epic way to end this list!
Buy 20th Anniversary Toxicity Merchandise Now In The Maniacs Store.
Listen to more Metal Now!