Metallica's Lars Ulrich: My 15 Favorite Metal and Hard Rock Albums

Drummer goes deep on classics ranging from AC/DC's 'Let There Be Rock' to System of a Down's 'Toxicity'

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System of a Down, 'Toxicity' (2001)
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System of a Down, 'Toxicity' (2001)

The first System record came out and it obviously had a lot of attitude. It was a new kind of sound, and Rick [Rubin, producer] was doing it. You could hear that the music came from different roots and different influences, and I didn't know they were Armenian at that point; you could just hear different things. And then when Toxicity came out, which was obviously the second record, when you heard "Chop Suey!" that was just amazing.

When that hit the radio on MTV and then the title track, "Toxicity," and "Aerials" and all the rest of them and I started getting into the record and heard "They're trying to build a prison ... for you and me to live in," it was just... ah! It was political, it was crazy, it was kooky, it was energetic, it was incredibly, from a songwriting point of view, well-crafted. It was very inspirational on what we did, and I loved the whole thing about how the songs were so short and to the point and that was something we never had a lot of luck with, and it's just one of the all-time great records.

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