System of a Down have released new music for the first time in 15 years.
The hugely successful Armenian-American alternative metal band, who have largely been inactive since 2006, has surprised fans with two new tracks.
“Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” were released on Thursday night (5 November) accompanied by a lengthy statement detailing the band’s views on the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in Nagorno–Karabakh.
The statement reads: “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.”
It goes on to explain how their new music is intended to address “a dire and serious war being perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia”.
System of a Down are pledging all of the funds raised from the songs’ downloads to provide aid and basic supplies to those impacted by the ongoing war.
Royalties from the downloads will also be donated to Armenia Fund, a US-based organisation offering basic supplies to those in need in Artsakh and Armenia.
The statement continues: “There is an immediate need for global citizens to urge their respective governments to not only condemn the actions of these crooked dictators, but to also insist world leaders act with urgency to bring peace to the region and rightfully recognize Artsakh as the independent nation it is.”
The band’s reunion is somewhat surprising after frontman Serj Tankian and drummer John Dolyman publicly voiced their opposing political views. Dolyman is a known and vocal supporter of Donald Trump.
We as SOAD have just released new music for the first time in 15 years. The time to do this is now, as together, the four of us have something extremely important to say as a unified voice. Read our full statement at https://t.co/6VIC0KHmji. #ProtectTheLand #GenocidalHumanoidz pic.twitter.com/AY7peb0bwJ
— Serj Tankian (@serjtankian) November 6, 2020
In an interview with The FADER last month, however, Tankian clarified that the two musicians were on “the exact same page” when it came to issues relating to Armenia.
The tracks and accompanying statement in full can be downloaded via Bandcamp.