System of a Down surprised their fans last night when they released two new songs “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz,” their first tracks in 15 years. The band are now back with a new music video for “Protect The Land,” which was directed by Ara Soudjian and the group’s bassist Shavo Odadjian.
“Protect The Land” hosts a video as anthemic as the song its based off of, showing images of the Artsakh flag, the Artsakh and Armenian militaries, as well as shots of the region, where people are shown struggling through the struggle. Images of the band are intercut with images of the conflict, and despite the song’s gritty dystopian undertones with its dark guitar chords and somber lyrics, there’s a layer of optimism that comes by the end as the video shows shots of a brighter tomorrow.
This return was notable as the group were experiencing friction prior to the release of both of these singles, with their drummer John Dolmayan once telling the group to “check the massive egos at the door.” The situation between Azerbaijan and Armenia became too large of an issue for the band to discard however, which finally caused them to reunite for this track.
“I texted, ‘no matter how we feel about each other, no matter what issues linger from the past, we need to put them aside because this is bigger than System Of A Down and bigger than all of us…..we need to do something to support our people,'” Dolmayan explained in a press release.
Odadjian announced a new project called North Kingsley earlier this year, while System of a Down lead vocalist Serj Tankian debuted an EP of rock songs, which were originally intended for the group. Their last record as a group was 2005’s Hypnotize.
Photo Credit: Mauricio Alvarado