System of a Down‘s first new material in nearly 15 years is a hit from the start, as “Protect the Land” and “Genocidal Humanoidz” debut at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, on Billboard‘s Hot Hard Rock Songs chart dated Nov. 21.
“Land” launches atop the tally with 2.7 million U.S. streams and 5,000 downloads sold in the week ending Nov. 12, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data. “Humanoidz” follows with 1.8 million streams and 5,000 sold.
The tracks additionally debut at Nos. 1 and 2, in the same order, on Hard Rock Digital Song Sales.
“Land” is the first No. 1 on either chart for System of a Down, although both lists started after the band’s most hit-packed era (Hard Rock Digital Song Sales in 2007 and Hot Hard Rock Songs earlier this year).
Both tracks are receiving radio airplay, with “Land” starting at No. 37 on the Mainstream Rock Songs airplay list and “Humanoidz” bubbling under. System of a Down, which has earned one No. 1 on the survey (among six top 10s), the one-week leader “Aerials” in September 2002, had last appeared with “Kill Rock ‘n’ Roll” in August 2006.
New music from the band also drives streams and sales for the rest of its discography, with 2001’s Toxicity re-entering Hard Rock Albums at No. 10 (5,000 equivalent album units, up 32%) and 1998’s System of a Down returning at No. 11 (5,000 units up 308%). The former became the band’s first No. 1 on the all-genre Billboard 200, followed by two leaders, both in 2005: Mezmerize and Hypnotize.
The latest material follows years of anticipation of new music from the Armenian-American rockers. Creative differences have prevented the band from recording a new album, with its four members instead releasing multiple efforts solo and via other projects. Still, no other forthcoming music by the band has been announced. The group has stated that the two new songs were released to bring attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh war, with proceeds benefiting humanitarian efforts and the Armenia Fund.