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System of a Down’s Two New Songs Land at #1 and #2 on Billboard Chart

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System of a Down’s first new pieces of music in 15 years — “Protect The Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz,” released simultaneously on Friday, November 6 — have landed at #1 and #2, respectively, on Billboard’s Hot Hard Rock Songs chart for the week ending November 12.

“Protect the Land” garnered 2.7 million U.S. streams and 5,000 downloads, while “Humanoidz” brought in 1.8 million streams and 5,000 downloads.

System’s 2001 album Toxicity re-entered the Hard Rock Albums chart at #10 (5,000 equivalent album units; up 32%) while 1998’s System Of A Down has followed at #11 (5,000 units; up 308%).

The four band members put their longstanding creative differences aside to record the two new songs, which served as a political statement to raise awareness around the recently reignited conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the territory of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh). The band was able to raise more than $600k in donations from the two songs to benefit Armenians whose lives have been affected by the war.

System of a Down, whose members are all of Armenian descent, released a collective statement last month decrying the war crimes perpetrated against the people of Artsakh by Azerbaijan and, by proxy, Turkey. For those who might not be aware, Artsakh is an independent and autonomous country that borders Armenia, populated with a vast majority of ethnic Armenians, which gained independence in the early 1990s from Azerbaijan after years of war and conflict beginning soon after the 1988 collapse of the Soviet Union, of which both countries were a part. A cease-fire was reached in 1994, but starting in September, Azerbaijan, with the aid of Turkey’s military forces, launched a large scale offensive attack along the full eastern border of and within Artsakh. Azerbaijan was ultimately victorious, resulting in hundreds of thousands of displaced Armenians who are being forced to leave their homes and businesses behind.

Guitarist Daron Malakian wrote the majority of both songs, the former originally intended as a track for his Scars on Broadway outfit and the latter coming out of some jam sessions the three non-Serj members of the band conducted a few years ago.

Congrats to the lads of System for their continued success, and for a good cause to boot.

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