Bands Like System of a Down

For the SOAD fan looking to continue their musical journey and find some new music similar to System of a Down I’ve put together a list of obvious and obscure bands like System of a Down that should satiate your appetite for that wild intensity that they are legendary for.

SOAD is one of my favorite bands from the 90’s. Serj’s wild vocals along with the band’s energy have always stuck out to me as unique along the landscape of heavy bands out there. Unfortunately for fans we haven’t had anything new since Mezmerize and Hypnotize more than 10 years ago. Hopefully this helps a bit.


Serj Tankian

The first to make my list of bands like System of a Down is pretty obvious. In 2007, the singer from SOAD Serj started his own solo project, releasing his first album “Elect The Dead,” continuing to be active releasing new music as recently as 2016. He’s also been evolving his music career composing film scores which he’s made available to listen on his Spotify page.


Alien Ant Farm

Similarly to SOAD, these guys also come from California and formed around the same time as SOAD, releasing their first album in 1999. Singer Dryden Mitchel shares a similar energy with lots of texture changes similar to Serj’s style, while the guitars have a similar gritty grindy sound like SOAD.

Their name comes from an idea original guitarist Terry Corso had about aliens and the Earth: “it was just my daydream about our planet being seeded by entities from other dimensions.”


Tomahawk

It should be no surprise that a Mike Patton project would make it onto this list. As far as vocals go you can’t get wilder with more textural diversity than Mike. They formed in 1999 when after he had finished with bands like Fantomas, Mr. Bungle, and Faith No More.


Mr. Bungle

I don’t mean to be redundant, but Mike Patton’s other famous project Mr. Bungle has to be mentioned too. Named after a 1950s children’s educational film regarding bad habits, their music is known for cycling through several musical genres within the course of a single song. They released 4 demo tapes in the mid 80’s and then released 3 studio length albums between 1991 and 1999.


At The Drive-In

You could describe these guys as Punk-rock as pure adrenaline rush, tempos changing and riffs turning on hairpins, powered by panic. The frenetic instrumentals along with super wild and intense vocals of Cedric Bixler make them another good choice for the System of a Down fan.

At The Drive In came together in 1994 in Texas melting faces until they broke up in 2000 when a bus accident on tour among other stressers contributed to band burn out. They’ve become active again as of 2012 and have been released new material this year (2016).


SikTh

SikTh formed in 1999 in England, releasing it’s debut in 2002 after a lineup change. A progressive metal band that combines elements from multiple genres, they go through frequent System of a Down inspired moments with dynamic vocals all over the place.

They broke up in 2008 when vocalists Mike Goodman and Justin Hill left the band and were unable to replace them. In 2013 they got back together and have been touring and playing festivals.


Look What I Did

An explosive post hardcore group formed in Nashville, Tennessee in 2001. The energy of Look What I Did should quench the thirst of any rabid SOAD fan. Punchy, melodic, with punk roots they’ve been described as “scary, uncontrolled intensity bordering on dangerous.”

Look What I Did is still currently active and released a new track on their YouTube page in May 2016.


Melt-Banana

One important aspect of System of a Down’s music is the gritty noisiness of their guitar tones. It’s not hard to hear that these two bands share many of the same influences which I feel justifies them being on my bands like System of a Down list.

With punk inspired vocals Melt-Banana is a Japanese noise rock band that is known for playing extremely fast grind-core and noise music mixed with experimental, electronica and pop-based song structures. Since forming in 1992 the band has released ten albums and toured worldwide extensively.


More Bands like System of a Down?

Let me know in the comments if there are any bands you think I should definitely add to this list. I’ll add them.

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  1. Anon

    I know everyone is obviously entitled to their own musical tastes/preferences. To me, I feel as though this list does not relate to System of a Down on a deeper level. On the outside, one can justify that the songs listed above seem to reflect SOAD based on the loud/reckless sounds of it all, but in truth System was heavy, but not just to be heavy. They had melody; interesting dynamics in their music that weren’t forced, but came naturally from feelings of the songwriters(band members, mainly Daron). It’s hard for me to explain, but I can just tell when a song was written with a very talented, naturally musically inclined mind, and when it wasn’t. These are just my thoughts, I’m sorry if that sounded too serious over a trivial matter. It’s just, System has always been my favorite group, and I’ve been on a search of new bands with similar talent but can’t seem to find any and it’s driving me nuts. Some other bands I listen to regularly and deeply enjoy are Queen, Sublime, Metallica, Billy Joel, stuff like that. Just pure talent(to me).

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