System of a Down's second album of 2005, Hypnotize, contains some of the grandest and most emotionally affecting songs they've ever released. From the mournful "Lonely Day" to the spastic "Vicinity of Obscenity," the record's range is incredibly vast, and "Holy Mountains" is one song on the album that mixes Sej Tankian's sentimental tenderness with the band's soaring musicality.
Between Tankian's majestic vocal performance and the track's overall sonic epicness, it's one of the trickiest songs for the band to pull off live, but when they do nail it, it's absolutely stunning. One of System's tightest and most beautiful "Holy Mountains" performances happened during the band's set at 2005's Hurricane Festival in Eichenring, Scheeßel, Germany, where they played the track in front of a gigantic crowd of onlookers on June 11th — a few months before Hypnotize was officially released on November 22nd of that year.
Without the audience singing along every word, all the pressure landed on the band to maneuver the song's many peaks and valleys, and watching them do it with the precision of a classical music symphony is a joy to behold. Watch pro-shot footage of the classic set above via YouTube.