After headlining Ozzfest '06, System Of A Down went on an indefinite hiatus. Free from the burden of obligations and egos involved with a band, the creative minds of Tankian & Malakian were given free reign to launch their own solo-projects and escape the inundating expectations that System's success had begun to bring upon them. Serj's self-titled project was the first to release an album: Elect the Dead.
As a huge System of a Down fan, I wasn't sure what to expect from Serj without Daron. Should I expect it to sound just like a System album? Would it be so far removed from the band that I'd be disappointed? My apprehension was lessened upon hearing "Empty Walls", the debut single. I had a gift card to Best Buy handy, and decided to use it to pick up Elect the Dead. After hearing the whole album, I was glad I did.
Serj's songwriting style is mostly on par with the work of System of a Down. The main difference I find is that Serj incorporates a lot of piano & keyboard instrumentation, and the electric guitars, although still present, are pushed to the background a bit. When the lyrics come around, however, you can tell this is still the Serj from "System". Serj Tankian, as always, pulls no punches with political or social issues he feels strongly about, and there is plenty of commentary throughout "Elect the Dead". Don't worry though, the quirky, strange, out-of-left-field lyrics that at first make you scratch your head are still present too.
If you're a "System" fan and for some reason haven't picked up "Elect the Dead" yet, then you're missing out. If you need more convincing, check out these songs:
-Sky Is Over
-Lie, Lie, Lie