LOS ANGELES, May 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Mezmerize, the much-anticipated fourth album from the massively popular and critically acclaimed System of a Down, becomes the American Recordings/Columbia band's second release to debut at #1 on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart, following the 2001 breakthrough, Toxicity. The album, released May 17, soared to the top spot on sales of some 453,000 units, according to Nielsen/SoundScan. By comparison, Toxicity, which has sold over 6 million copies around the world, scanned 220,000 in its chart-topping first week--an indication of the in-roads this band has made during the last three years with its inventive, uncompromising and rousingly provocative music. Clearly, System has touched a nerve in America and around the world. The L.A.-based quartet is experiencing similar levels of success in numerous other territories, as Mezmerize has also rocketed to the top of the Pan-European chart and album charts in Japan, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand, Greece, Colombia, Brazil, and Sweden. Along with an impressive #2 bow in the UK and an expected #1 debut in Australia, the album's worldwide sales will top 800,000 copies for the week. The stylistically unclassifiable System has ascended into the first rank of global rock artists while retaining its longstanding credibility with fans and critics alike. "Everything on Mezmerize hits and splits with viciously honed purpose," raves David Fricke in Rolling Stone. Says Newsweek, "System of a Down's music makes you wish more rock bands would take such brave and impressive risks," while USA Today offers, "every track burns with urgency." Mezmerize is the first disc in a 2-disc set with disc two, Hypnotize, expected out late this fall. Mezmerize/Hypnotize was produced by Rick Rubin and System's Daron Malakian. System of a Down kicks off a 23-date tour of Europe this Friday, May 27. The dates will encompass appearances at major rock festivals in Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Belgium and Switzerland, as well as a three-night headlining stand at London's Brixton Academy. The band will embark on a major North American arena tour (with The Mars Volta as special guest) beginning early August. Dates will be announced shortly.
SOURCE Columbia Records