First, for the record, I still hate 99% of "nu-metal." I'm not sure if SOAD is classified as that, but if they are, I just want that out in the open before we get started.
That said, this band rocks the hizzy all the way to Grandma's house in an Autobot Dodge Viper driven by ninja bears.
I first got stuff by them on compilations (Music Inspired by Farenheit 911 and Axis of Justice Volume 1) and thought, "This is pretty good stuff. I wonder if all their stuff is this good."
Then I heard "BYOB" over the summer, picked up the album, and was hooked. I'm not at the point where I could spout random facts on command (or even spell Serj's last name without looking), but I can officially say that I'm hooked.
Something about intense guitar licks wrapped around chaotically changing song structures that jump from pop to metal to Hungarian wedding music and back while a guy who is probably the best "the guy can really sing, but normally doesn't sound it" vocalist this side of Axl or Mike Patton shrieks intelligent lyrics (often but not always of a political nature) is just really quite appealing.
I enjoy Rage Against the Machine pretty much for the band members. Zach de la Rocha is a mediocre poop-head, but the band rocks. (That's why I prefer Audioslave: the cream of Rage with Chris Cornell and 100% less de la Rocha.) But SOAD has it all. For my fellow old school headbangers and haters of nu-metal, I've got to recommend checking these cats out.