Serj Tankian 'Harakiri' (album stream)

Serj Tankian 'Harakiri' (album stream)
Fans are still waiting for a new album from System of a Down, but in the meantime, here's the next best thing: the latest solo effort from frontman Serj Tankian. The singer's new full-length, Harakiri, is due to arrive on July 10 through Serjical Strike/Reprise Records, and you can stream the whole thing now on Exclaim.ca.

The album, which was self-produced in Los Angeles at Tankian's home studio, was partly written on an iPad. It was thematically inspired by reports of animals committing suicide in 2011, and is named after the Japanese word for ritual sacrifice.

The frontman said in a statement, "The year 2011 started with a fire. Some kids in Piha, NZ, were setting off fireworks that landed on my neighbour's property and lit the whole hill on fire. I knew it was going to be a hell of a year and it certainly was. Within five days of that, reports came out about birds and fish dying in massive numbers globally. The omen was not lost on me. Varied creatures on earth were committing massive hara-kiri (the Japanese term signifying ritualistic suicide.) Do they know something we don't about the coming times or the sustainability of the environment? That is the day I started writing this record."

Still, it's not all bad news, since Tankian evidently got creative during the making of an album. "The record is different than any I've made as a solo artist," he said. "It is much more driving and punk oriented with influences ranging from goth to electronic to '80s vibes, dynamically heavy rock to epic melodic songs. Lyrically, it spans the gauntlet of themes from personal, political and philosophical to spiritual, humour and love."

Tankian has apparently got three more albums in the works, meaning that, despite System of a Down's uncertain future, fans have a lot of new material to look forward to.

Meanwhile, SOAD will be playing a couple of Canadian shows this summer.

UPDATE: This stream was available for one week only and is no longer available.