November 27, 2018 - 10:36 AMT
Malakian's "Dictator" among 2018 best hard rock albums: Loudwire

"Dictator" by Daron Malakian and Scars on Broadway was included in Loudwire's 30 best hard rock albums of 2018.

Right around the time rumors were heating up about System of a Down working together on a new album, the band members were stymied by friction between vocalist Serj Tankian and the other musicians.

So, System guitarist Malakian dropped the second album by his other band Scars on Broadway. A brief listen to "Dictator" and it’s clear that Malakian is a major force behind SOAD’s twitch-inducing music.

"The album brims with off-kilter guitar rhythms, hook-laden choruses, punk attitude, chunky, metallic guitars and touches of Armenian and Middle Eastern music. Sound familiar? It should. Not only does "Dictator" bear an uncanny resemblance to some of System’s greatest moments, the lyrical content – often thought to be the master craft of Tankian – is very Systemic," the publication says.

"There are songs about totalitarianism, smoking weed, getting laid, and, of course, the Armenian Genocide. Surprisingly, "Dictator" was written, composed and recorded back in 2012 in a mere 10 days. At the time, System were five years into an indefinite hiatus. Regardless, "Dictator" sounds as fresh, trenchant and exciting as it would have back in 2006, proving once again that the more things change, the more they stay the same."

2018 was a year that saw the continuation of excellence for a number of rock radio staples, with Halestorm, Breaking Benjamin, Godsmack, Alice in Chains, Disturbed, Slash, Shinedown, Five Finger Death Punch and more represented within this year's list of the best hard rock albums.