10 Bands Who Released Genre Defining Second Albums

9. System Of A Down - Toxicity

System of a Down are another band who arrived with the nu-metal explosion, but who also had an originality to their sound that saw them stand out from the crowd. Their debut album had been brought to fruition by super producer Rick Rubin in 1998. He had discovered System of a Down playing in the club scene of LA, and at the heart of the Armenian-American band were the extraordinary talents of vocalist Serj Tankian and guitarist Daron Malakian.

Following the success of their debut, the band built up to the highly anticipated release of Toxicity, their virtually perfect second album in 2001. By this time their unique sound was fully realised, and they dropped a record which from start to finish is one of the strongest of the era. Led by the massively successful MTV hit Chop Suey!, the album also featured the singles Toxicity and Aerials, and was a sublime blend of heavy and melodic music.

The album gained notoriety for System of a Down, who came under criticism for the lyrical content of Chop Suey!, which controversially for such a big hit appeared to be based around the theme of suicide. And famously, the album dropped in the same week that the 9/11 terrorist attacks took place, which had a huge impact on the band members around the release and promotion of the record. Toxicity has gone on to sell over 10 million units worldwide, and can be considered a perfect example of alternative metal from the turn of the millennium.


Connoisseur of Alternative Music & Cult Movies. Freelance writer covering the Rock & Metal music scenes, and the Horror, Sci-Fi and Fantasy Film & Tv genres.