On July 20th 2018, Hard Rock/Alternative Metal band Daron Malakian and Scars On Broadway released their second studio album, Dictator. The album commemorates the 103rd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and was released about ten years after their self-titled album from 2008. The 12 track sophomore album consists of two covers and ten original songs composed by frontman Daron Malakian, who played every instrument for the songs during the album’s recording. Some of these songs include: “We Won’t Obey,” “Guns Are Loaded” and “F**k and Kill.”
Malakian formed the band in 2006 as the band he was working with, System Of A Down was on a hiatus for a few years. System had gotten back together recently to work on some songs for a new album, the first since their 2005 double album releases Mezmerize and Hypnotize. Things did not work out however and some of the songs written for that potential album were used on Dictator.
The songs on the album were hard hitting yet melodic with many choruses that can and will be trapped in your head. I found some of the instrumental work was a bit choppy in some songs, but it was ultimately made up for in the form of Malakian’s smooth singing ability. Although the band is not widely recognized, Malakian definitely delivered with this album as well as letting it be what seems to be a slap in the face to those who were holding back a new System album. A personal favorite song of mine from the album was "Angry Guru," as the riffs through the song really get me up out of my seat running like a bull in a raging red room. I also find the song very interesting as the guitar solo seems to be a nod to Daron’s other, much more known band System Of A Down as it sounds very similar to the solo in their song, “Nüguns.”
All in all, I am a big fan of this album, and I knew as soon as it was released I needed to get my hands on a copy. If I had to give the album a rating, it would be an 8.5 or solid 9/10.