System of a Down have released their first new songs in 15 years: “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz,” their first songs to drop since their 2005 album Hypnotize.
The band have broken their long silence with new music to raise awareness of the “dire and serious war being perpetrated upon our cultural homelands of Artsakh and Armenia,” they said in a statement, referring to a long-running territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the state of Artsakh that reignited in September.
The band’s proceeds from the two songs will benefit Armenia Fund, a US-based charity that supports those in Artsakh and Armenia with supplies for survival. Purchase the songs and read the band’s full statement, which explains the conflict in greater detail, in full here.
“The aggression and injustice being perpetrated against the Armenian people in Artsakh and Armenia by Azerbaijan and Turkey is a human rights violation and a war crime,” vocalist Serj Tankian further said in a press release. “All of us in System realize this is an existential battle for our people, so this is very personal for us. What we need right now is for the world to put politics aside and support Armenia by sanctioning Turkey and Azerbaijan and recognizing Artsakh.”
Bassist Shavo Odadjian noted that their time spent together recording the pair of singles was pleasant, “very comforting and natural, like no time had passed at all.” This comes after a hiatus from 2006 to 2010, years of touring, and creative tension within SOAD that hindered the recording of new material.
Watch the music video for “Protect the Land,” which combines portraits with the band with footage from Artsakh:
And listen to “Genocidal Humanoidz” here: