System of a Down has released its first new music in 15 years, addressing the renewed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan which erupted in violence once again this fall.
The band dropped two new singles Friday morning, "Protect the Land " and "Genocidal Humanoidz," which arrive 15 years after the band's latest studio albums, 2005's Mezmerize and Hypnotize.
Though the four members of System of a Down can't always agree on American politics, they have been in alignment when it comes to the plight of their families' country of origin, Armenia.
"The time to do this is now, as together, the four of us have something extremely important to say as a unified voice," the band wrote in a statement on the impetus for the new release.
"On September 27, the combined forces of Azerbaijan and Turkey (along with Isis terrorists from Syria) attacked the Republica of Nagorno-Karabakh, which we as Armenians call Artsakh," the band wrote in a statement. "For over the past month, civilians young and old have been awakened day and night by the frightful sights and sounds of rocket attacks, falling bombs, missiles, drones and terrorist attacks. They've had to find sanctuary in makeshift shelters, trying to avoid the fallout of outlaws bluster bombs raining down on their streets and home, hospitals and places of worship. Their attackers have set their forests and endangered wildlife ablaze using white phosphorus, another banned weapon."
Following 2005's double-album, the members of System of a Down began pursuing other projects. While they have continued to tour semi-regularly and collaborate on new music, there has been deadlock in the band when it comes to releasing anything.
Bassist Shavo Odadjian has explained in recent years that the band had no shortage of material, just compromise.
But System of a Down has always felt obligated to draw attention to injustices suffered by the Armenian people. It would appear that the recent dissolution of a 1990s ceasefire agreement between the Armenian-backed Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijan government jarred the band members back in step for this new pair of songs.
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