The song “Hypnotize” is by the Armenian American heavy metal band System of a Down. It was released as the first single from their fifth studio album of the same name in October 2005. The video was shot on September 28, 2005, in Grand Rapids, Michigan’s Van Andel Arena. Billboard’s Hot Modern Rock Tracks list named it the band’s most popular song in the world.
Guitarist Daron Malakian joins Serj Tankian in the vocal portions, as he does in many Mezmerize/Hypnotize tracks. Serj and Daron execute a harmony before and after the instrumental bridge in the refrain. Serj sings the lower parts of the verses, and Daron sings the upper parts of the refrains. This makes the song’s vocal range even better.
Musically, “Hypnotize” is a bit of a puzzle. It’s tough to tell whether the key is F# minor or F# major. The opening guitar riff and early lines have an upbeat melody that follows the F# major scale, but with a flatted sixth (a D rather than a D#). This results in a straight transition from a major key to a minor key of the same name. The minor-key bridge is more unusual, since it faithfully follows the chords anticipated from an F# minor song (F#m, D, Bm, E, A, and C#). Discontinuities in the piece’s music can be heard all the way through, giving it a very psychedelic sound.
The musical bridge with an Eastern theme has at least four overdubbed clean guitar tracks and a well-crafted, syncopated beat. The song rises to a high point before ending with a reprise of the first riff and Malakian’s quiet voice.
A video for music
It mostly shows footage from a September 2005 show at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan, but there is also a CGI painting scene with the music. The audio is mixed with the studio track.
The video begins and ends with a chopper spewing red matter throughout Grand Rapids (forming the album’s artwork at the conclusion). This might be the insecticide mentioned in the same album’s song Attack. Many people are unaware that there is some short nudity in the video. A lady is seen flashing her boobs to a camera on the far right at 1:53 in the film; the exposure might have been unnoticed or just overlooked by the editing, and it is uncensored.
The words in the verses of the song connect to the 1989 Tiananmen Square demonstrations and propaganda. The chorus is unconnected to the remainder of the song: Daron revealed in an interview with MTV that the song was composed when he was sitting in his vehicle waiting for his girlfriend. However, from the perspective of a listener, this might relate to the “simple minded” once again. Another interpretation of the chorus is that, despite the prevalence of misinformation, life carries on.