100 Best Albums of the 2000s

100 Best Albums of the 2000s

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System of a Down, 'Toxicity'

44. System of a Down, 'Toxicity'

The most political metal record of the decade somehow managed to be the weirdest and most intimate as well. Paired with Rick Rubin, the Armenian-American band exploded time signatures and conventional rock-speak, denouncing drug laws and druggies, praising spirituality while cracking dirty jokes. Musically, System crushed, juicing prog-metal with Eastern rhythms and surprising beauty — most amazingly on "Chop Suey!," a breathtaking rant ballad haunted by suicide and religious abandonment. Neither System nor any other metal band has come close to replicating Toxicity, which is as mind-boggling today as it ever was.

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