Whether it be with Scars On Broadway or System Of A Down, guitarist Daron Malakian has been fighting the long battle for his people of Armenia, especially those killed and ignored in the Armenian genocide. Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway continue the fight fo their ancestors in Dictator, the band's first album in a decade.
According to Malakian, this record was finished years ago, during writing for a new SOAD album. While the record may technically be years old already, some of the songs still speak to the modern times, perhaps even moreso than they did when it was first written. Songs like title track 'Dictator' ring powerfully, especially now in the current political climate: the heavy riffs give way to loud choruses that chant, "War is coming / Soldiers marching / God is falling / Your politics will never corrupt me." Lead single 'Lives' speaks with similar distraught, Malakian crying for his people (though the song can still be attributed to some modern cases): "All of our lives we put up a fight / Our heroes have died / All of our lives we've known wrong from right / Our people survived."
There's an angry dynamic in Dictator really makes the rage feel real. 'Angry Guru' has some funky moments but the big riffs make way for an epic, shattering bridge. Tracks like 'Fuck and Kill' and 'We Won't Obey' seem even more angry, to the point where it even seems like the rage gets the best of Malakian as he mindlessly shouts against his people's oppressors. There are sweeter moments, though, like in 'Till The End,' the quieter song which has Malakian admit he can't fight this battle alone.
Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway continue the fight for their ancestors in Dictator, an angry record that still bubbles with rage over the wronging of an entire people. Malakian knows his fight is not over, but even as he fights for his people, the messages he has are worryingly becoming relevant once again. Perhaps it's a warning as much as it is a cry of anger.
Favorite Tracks: Dictator, Angry Guru
Least Favorite Track: Guns Are Loaded
Rating: 75 / 100
Stream or buy Dictator on Apple Music, and follow our 2018 Playlist on Spotify: