Serj Tankian : Harakiri
Since his time with System Of A Down, Serj Tankian has positioned himself as a political activist and social commentator. The volatile lyricist has never shied away from expressing his political views or personality quirks, allowing them to be shown openly to the world. Using hara kiri, the Japanese practice of ritual suicide, as a theme Tankian looks to explore society’s ills within his alt-rock framework.
His third solo album, Harakiri is like the musical equivalent of his personality as it hits peaks and valleys of emotion. Things start off strong with Cornucopia, a straight-ahead power anthem, as Serj speaks of Mother Nature’s destruction. “We rape the earth and don't know why it strikes,” he sings. While lyrically continuing his loose social commentary Ching Chime musically breaks away from the album’s formula.
Tapping into his Middle Eastern roots over a minimalist backing track Serj goes bat-shit as he packs in nonsense rhymes about pop culture and STDs in a sing-songy cadence. The title track finds Tankian exploring mortality and life, again in loose terms. Harakiri is said to be the first of four projects. Perhaps that would explain why the album is somewhat unfulfilling. It could very well be the start of a journey that will be paid off at a later time.
BY ANDREW 'HAZARD' HICKEY
Best Track: Forget Me Knot
If You Like These, You’ll Like This: Yellow & Green BARONESS, Anger Denial Acceptance SPINESHANK
In A Word: Promising