Related Videos

Top 10 System of a Down Songs

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by David MacIntyre. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 System of a Down songs. Special thanks to our users Cleveland, Alex Poggetti, Carl Licuanan, devilmaycry1715, Jeremy A Meadows, Boogon123, François Chamberland, meneertje25 and Juan Gallaga for submitting the ideas on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Script written by David MacIntyre.

These songs can make you dance in the desert and blow up the sunshine. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 System of a Down songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Forest”
Toxicity (2001)

Instead of System’s usual favorite theme of politics, this song is reportedly based on religion, and more specifically The Bible. With lyrics written by Serj Tankian, “Forest” arrives just after the Toxicity’s halfway point but still rocks as hard as anything else on their breakthrough disc. At exactly four minutes in length, it’s also one of the album’s longest tracks.

#9: “Soldier Side”
Hypnotize (2005)

After being a given a taste of it in the form of a minute-long intro on Mezmerize, “Soldier Side” closes Hypnotize as a full three and a half minute song. Written by Daron Malakian, it talks about soldiers leaving for the war and the effects of their departures on their loved ones. But it’s also full of fast guitar riffs, Tankian’s trademark theatrical vocals and a haunting atmosphere, all of which land it a spot on our list.

#8: “Question!”
Mezmerize (2005)

Mezmerize’s second single starts off with a soft but fast acoustic guitar solo, and then goes right into overdrive, with that pattern continuing through most of this song’s three and a half minutes. This track also uses five different time signatures, mixing up elements of alternative metal, progressive metal and art rock. With lyrics questioning life, the tune was accompanied by a similarly themed music video inspired by the band’s bassist.

#7: “Sugar”
System of a Down (1998)

This track starts off heavy and rarely lets up, but it’s also got dark lyrics about Russian roulette, domestic abuse and a huge tempo change toward the end. Taken from their eponymous debut, “Sugar” was a top 40 hit on the American rock charts, and arguably set the tone for System’s signature alternative metal sound.

#6: “Hypnotize”
Hypnotize (2005)

With Serj and Daron trading vocals back and forth, the first single off the second album the band released in 2005 focuses politics and specifically, how governments “hypnotize” people into believing them. In addition to referencing the Chinese student protests at Tiananmen Square in 1989, “Hypnotize” offers a psychedelic vibe and Eastern flavors – so no wonder it topped Billboard’s Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart and found much success around the world.

#5: “Lonely Day”
Hypnotize (2005)

This hard rock and alternative rock number features Daron on lead vocals rather than main vocalist Serj. And yet it’s probably one of the most accessible tracks they’ve put to tape, even if the lyrics are rather depressing. Its chorus may be a bit redundant, but thanks to its bleak mood and dual guitar solo, “Lonely Day” is also a System standout and a Grammy-nominated track.

#4: “Aerials”
Toxicity (2001)

The closing song off Toxicity is also one of the best the band has ever made. Topping both the U.S. Hot Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts, “Aerials” starts off with ominous strings and a soft riff before Tankian’s dramatic vocals kick in with the instrumentals. With lyrics dealing about the loss of one’s identity, the heavy metal and alternative metal number also earned the band their second Grammy nod.

#3: “Toxicity”
Toxicity (2001)

The title track of their chart-topping sophomore effort is probably the best example of the band’s penchant for soft verses and hard-hitting choruses. With lyrics reportedly about ADD, “Toxicity” is three and half minutes of pureSystem of a Down. Although it only cracked the Billboard Hot 100, it was atop ten hit on U.S. Hot Modern and Mainstream Rock Tracks charts.

#2: “B.Y.O.B.”
Mezmerize (2005)

Arguably their catchiest tune, Mezmerize’s first single is a play on the abbreviation for “Bring Your Own Booze” and is actually meant to be short for “Bring Your Own Bombs.” This anthem protesting the American treatment of the Iraq War became System of a Down’s highest charting track on the Billboard Hot 100 when it reached the 27th spot. It also went platinum and won the band their first and only Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Psycho” Toxicity (2001)
- “Lost in Hollywood” Mezmerize (2005)
- “Deer Dance” Toxicity (2001)
- “ATWA” Toxicity (2001)
- “Spiders” System of a Down (1998)

#1: “Chop Suey!”
Toxicity (2001)

Following a catchy, propulsive acoustic guitar riff, this song goes to full-on hard rock once the drums kick in. And that’s just one of the reasons why it tops our list. With its alternative metal sound and powerful lyrics, “Chop Suey” incited controversy following its release in the aftermath of 9/11. Regardless, the three-and-a-half minute track remains one of their most well-known tunes and helped shoot the band into the stratosphere and beyond.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite System of a Down song? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs