We’re only sharing one release for Bandcamp Friday today – but it’s a good one: rock band System of a Down has released their first new music in 15 years for a cause they’ve supported their entire lives.
The new tracks “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” mark the first time the quartet has released music since the albums Mezmerize and Hypnotize in 2005. The group went on a hiatus less than a year later, which ended in 2011 with a series of festival dates.
Though the group has reportedly struggled internally as to the direction of new music since, they put their differences aside to draw awareness to a conflict in their cultural homes of Armenia and Artsakh (formally, the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh) in the Middle East. Since late September, the regions have been attacked by forces in Turkey and Azerbaijan – residual effects of a conflict spanning since 1988. For the group, made up of four Armenian-Americans and sounding the call for injustices in the country since their inception, these two tracks mark something of a full circle moment.
“They are banking on the world being too distracted with COVID, elections and civil unrest to call out their atrocities,” the band said in a statement. “They have the bankroll, the resources and have recruited massive public relations firms to spin the truth and conceal their barbaric objective of genocide. This is not the time to turn a blind eye.”
The band’s royalties from the two songs will be donated to the Armenia Fund, a U.S.-based charity providing aid and relief to the citizens of the region. As Bandcamp will waive their cut of income on releases purchased today, now is the time to make your charitable contribution really count.