System Of A Down To Release Two-Album Set In 2005

Hypnotize and Mesmerize will hit six months apart.

Fans waiting for new music from System of a Down are about to be doubly happy.

Aside from 2002's odds-and-ends collection, Steal This Album! (see "From-The-Vault System Songs Have New Political Relevancy"), it's been a long time since we've heard a lick of music from the band, but all that will change in 2005, when the group plans to release a two-album set called Hypnotize/ Mesmerize.

However, the two halves will be released individually, six months apart, with Hypnotize bowing late in the first quarter of 2005 and Mesmerize due in late summer or early fall, according to System's spokesperson.

Guitarist Daron Malakian explained that the decision to release two albums of new music was born out of sheer necessity.

"We didn't chase this idea, it chased us," he said in a statement. "When we started recording, we were focused on making every song the best it could be. Doing a two-album set never entered into our thought process. But when we looked at all the songs we had and arbitrarily tried to choose 'the best' 14 for one album, we realized we had two albums' worth of really great songs."

The band is currently holed up in a Los Angeles recording studio finishing vocal tracks. Rick Rubin, who produced both the band's self-titled 1998 debut and 2001's Toxicity, is helming the sessions, with help from Malakian (see "Rick Rubin's 'To Do' List: Audioslave, Peppers, System, Cash"). And while there are no track lists currently available, Malakian gave fans an idea of what they can expect from the new tunes.

"There has been a great deal of upheaval [and] very troubling times for all of us over the past year or so, and that has brought forth a lot of emotional material," he explained. "There's a good amount of social commentary in the new songs, as well as songs where we deal with love, reminiscing, relationships, politics and funny experiences."

This story updated November 10 at 5:58p.m. ET.