System of a Down is the eponymous debut album by System of a Down, first released in 1998. The hand on the front belongs to the artwork of a poster designed by the artist John Heartfield for the Communist Party of Germany during the Third Reich. The text in the original poster is: "5 fingers has a hand! With these 5 grab the enemy!". This slogan inspired part of the text contained in the back of the System of a Down album: "The hand has five fingers, capable and powerful, with the ability to destroy as well as create". Later, it is written in bold letters: "Open your eyes, open your mouths, close your hands and make a fist".

The album was certified gold by the RIAA on February 2, 2000. Two years later, after the success of Toxicity, it was certified platinum.

The album differs greatly from System of a Down's next 4 albums, the music being most influenced by that of heavy metal.

Track ListingEdit

  • All lyrics written by Serj Tankian, all music written by Daron Malakian, except where noted.
  1. "Suite-Pee" – 2:32
  2. "Know" (Lyrics: Tankian, Music: Odadjian/Malakian/Tankian) – 2:56
  3. "Sugar" (Lyrics: Tankian, Music: Odadjian/Malakian) – 2:33
  4. "Suggestions" – 2:44
  5. "Spiders" – 3:35
  6. "Ddevil" (Lyrics: Tankian, Music: Odadjian/Malakian) – 1:43
  7. "Soil" – 3:25
  8. "War?" – 2:40
  9. "Mind" (Lyrics: Tankian, Music: Odadjian/Malakian/Tankian) – 3:15
  10. "Peephole" – 3:12
  11. "CUBErt" (Lyrics: Tankian/Malakian, Music: Malakian) - 1:49
  12. "Darts" – 2:42
  13. "P.L.U.C.K." – 3:37

Japanese bonus tracksEdit

  1. "Marmalade" – 3:00
  2. "Störagéd" – 1:19

Limited edition bonus discEdit

1. "Sugar" (Live) (Lyrics: Tankian, Music: Odadjian/Malakian) - 2:27 {C 2. "War?" (Live) - 2:48 {C 3. "Suite-Pee" (Live) - 2:58 {C 4."Know" (Live) (Lyrics: Tankian, Music: Odadjian/Malakian/Tankian) - 3:03


System of a Down
  • Produced by Rick Rubin with System of a Down
  • Mixed by D. Sardy
  • Engineered by Sylvia Massy
  • Engineer/Assistant Engineer: Greg Fidelman
  • Additional Recording/Finishing Touches: D. Sardy
  • Assistant Engineers: Sam Storey, Nick Raskulinecz
  • Assistant Mixdown Engineers: James Saez, Greg Gordon, Andy Haller
  • Second Assistant Mixdown Engineer: Bryan Davis
  • Extra Piano by Rick Rubin
  • Photography: Anthony Artiaga
  • Cover Art: John Heartfield
  • Art Direction: Frank Harkins & System of a Down
  • A&R Direction: Dino Paredes, Sam Wick
  • Management: Velvet Hammer Management, David Benveniste
  • Recorded at Sound City, Van Nuys, CA
  • Vocals and Additional Recordings at Akademie Mathematique of Philosophical Sound Research, Hollywood, CA
  • Mixed at Record Plant Studios, Hollywood, CA & Hollywood Sound, CA
  • Mastered by Vlado Meller at Sony Studios, New York, NY


Before some of the lyrics in the booklet for this album, footnotes appear.

  • Before "Spiders" is:

"Your thoughts, and dreams are no longer sacred, as they are exposed to a {C weapon known as remote viewing and monitoring."

  • Before "DDevil" is:

"For those that control the central nervous system, {C control society, and the world."

  • Before "War?" is:

"We first fought the heathens in the name of religion, then Communism, and now in {C the name of drugs and terrorism. Our excuses for global domination always change."

  • Before "Mind" is:

"Mind control technology has been used by the CIA since the 1950s as part of {C their non-lethal, covert weapons program."

  • Before "Peephole" is:

"The February 18 edition of Britain's NEW SCIENTIST Magazine reports that the Geneva-based World Health Organization suppressed, under political pressure, a report which confirmed that marijuana is safer than either alcohol or tobacco."

  • Before "Darts" is:

"Why do old societies hold the pantheon of 12 gods to be true, while modern societies generally have one God?"

  • Before "P.L.U.C.K." is:

"System of a Down would like to dedicate this song to the memory of the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, perpetrated by the Turkish Government in 1915."

Booklet MessageEdit

In the booklet, underneath the band member's photos, the text reads in all capitals: "Announce your anthems on the ceiling. We dance, annexed by power. Casual neckties embrace, the hungry hunger further, images rule through the media, commercial Orwellianism, producing unveiled icebergs, running transparent electrical cables, curving string ensembles, witnessed by hangings from flagpoles of souls avenged by Dr. Clock. Fresh paint, naked melting figures mixing the revolution against T.V. sentencing, at the hands of brutal men and their military business world. LET US INSTIGATE THE REVOLT, DOWN WITH THE SYSTEM!"

Chart PositionsEdit


Year Chart Position
1999 The Billboard 200 No. 124
1999 Top Heatseekers No. 1


Year Single Chart Position
1999 Sugar Mainstream Rock Tracks No. 28
1999 Sugar Modern Rock Tracks No. 31
2000 Spiders Mainstream Rock Tracks No. 25
2000 Spiders Modern Rock Tracks No. 38

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