Daron Malakian Of System Of A Down/Scars On BroadwayGreg Watermann

Daron Malakian (System Of A Down/Scars On Broadway) Shares The Most Important Albums In His Life


You can now take a deep dive into the various albums that influenced guitarist/vocalist Daron Malakian of System Of A Down and Scars On Broadway fame. Revolver picked Malakian‘s brain on the albums that made him who he is today, resulting in a diverse list which ranges from disco to death metal. The full feature is available at this location while some excerpts of his heavier choices can be found below:

Slayer – “Show No Mercy” (1983):
“When I was 14 years old, I went to Iraq. I was there for a month and a half and I got to see the whole Saddam cult of personality. I took a bunch of my cassettes and heavy-metal magazines just to keep me occupied. ‘Show No Mercy‘ was the one I would listen to the most — on an old Sony Walkman with headphones, and a Mötley Crüe T-shirt on. All my family there were like, “What the fuck is this that you’re listening to?” I might have been the first person to take heavy metal to Iraq. I can’t prove that, but they had no clue what heavy metal was in 1989 in Baghdad. I was just in love with it.

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It was heaviest stuff that I could get my hands on. It was a great time in heavy metal because there was an evolution happening in the Eighties. When I first bought that cassette, I didn’t like it. But I kept putting it on, and it clicked for me when I took it to Iraq: “Wow, this is really great shit. This is heavier than anything else.” Slayer was a harder sell for some of my friends in those days. They all liked Metallica. All my friends who were trying to play like Yngwie Malmsteen and all that shit, they were really not into Slayer.”

Morbid Angel – “Blessed Are The Sick” (1991):
“That’s when speed metal turned into death metal — Morbid Angel ‘Blessed Are the Sick‘, DeathHuman‘ and ObituaryCause Of Death‘ were the first to get me into that kind of vocal, that kind of aggression. I remember Morbid Angel‘s ‘Unholy Blasphemies‘ was one of the first death-metal songs I’d ever heard. It was so intense. It really turned me on to that whole genre in the early Nineties. It was all brand new — a lot of stuff came out of Tampa, Florida, of all places.”

Death – “Human” (1991):
“The DeathHuman‘ album is very special because it was one of the first that really mixed this technical musicianship with the aggression. I had never heard anything like this before. Before that album, Death was more of a straightforward death-metal band. But with that album they transitioned into something a little more progressive. Those three albums opened the door to even more aggressive extreme metal that influenced me. It was heavier. These guys took Slayer and made it heavier. It was so fresh and brand new.”

Malakian released “Dictator“, the long-delayed new album from his Scars On Broadway project, earlier this month.