Calling System of a Down a heavy metal band just doesn’t cut it. They’re as much art as they are hard rock. They are better than nu metal, and prog metal doesn’t encapsulate the edge they bring to their music.

“Chop Suey” is full of speedy lyrics and hard-as-nails vocal refrains. Meanwhile, “Toxicity” ranges from approachable guitar riffs (save for the thrashing solo) and a welcoming presentation of the verses to a rage-filled chorus that sticks in your head whether you like it or not—“Disorder, disorder, disorder!”

After a three-year hiatus, the band, led by Serj Tankian, pictured, reunited in 2010 and has been slaying ever since. Live shows are energetic and mosh pits create a whirlwind from the opening song through the encore. The politically active unit—with an eye on making sure the Armenian Genocide is recognized in its historical context—have been rumored to be putting a new album for some time. Will they record it in Tankian’s rural New Zealand hometown? Who’s to say? System of a Down does everything a little differently. And that’s what makes them great.

T-Mobile Arena, 7 p.m. Oct. 19, starting at $69.50 plus tax and fee. 888.929.7849 AXS