Back in about 1998, I slammed a System of a Down sampler tape that had been sent to me for review. Those were the dark days when nu-metal was beginning to make threatening noises, and early SOAD didn't seem to offer anything very different from that dubious template.
Despite this, it has to be said (having spun it for the first time today) that the band's breakthrough effort, 'Toxicity' is a strong record. Its songs are short, rhythmically interesting and pleasantly melodic, while the riffs arguably owe more to thrash than they do to nu-metal. 'Chop Suey!' is an obvious hit, although possibly the first US number one to feature baby blastbeats!