After a six-year hiatus, maniacal mainstream metallers System of a Down - led by Lebanese-born American-turned-New Zealand resident Serj Tankian - will play one show here in February.

The New Zealand concert comes off the back of the band's headlining slot at Australia's Soundwave Festival in February and March.

They play the Trusts Stadium Arena on February 22 with support from sonic New Jersey extremists the Dillinger Escape Plan.

SOAD last played here in 2005 at the Big Day Out although singer Serj Tankian holds New Zealand residency and lives here much of the time.


In 2009 he played his debut solo album, Elect the Dead, with the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and also performed solo at the Big Day Out.

"New Zealand feels like home to me, and while my work takes me many places I always love returning," says Tankian from Los Angeles where he is putting the finishing touches to his next solo album. "I'm super-excited to be heading back home [to] Auckland again, this time with System."

While Tankian's solo material has been well received, and the other members of SOAD have also had side projects during their hiatus, nothing has come close to matching the innovation and power of System of a Down.

Combining dynamic and rampant metal staccato with Tankian's rebellious, political, and often militant lyrics, they were at their best on 2001's Toxicity, with its frenetic and twisted single Chop Suey! and the soaring beauty of Aerials, and on 2005's dual albums Mezmerize and Hypnotize.

So check out tracks like Cigaro and B.Y.O.B. for a dose of what to expect at the show. And here's the video for Chop Suey:

Meanwhile, in other gig news, Joy Division co-founder and bass player Peter Hook returns to New Zealand to play the band's second and final album Closer from 1980.

The show at Auckland's Studio on April 20 (with a Wellington date to be confirmed) follows his visit here last year when Hook and his band the Light played Joy Division's debut album, Unknown Pleasures, in its entirety to commemorate the 30th anniversary of lead singer Ian Curtis' death in 1980.

Hook sings in the new incarnation of the band "because I couldn't really trust anybody else to do it" he told TimeOut last year.


Elsewhere, Madeleine Peyroux's March 6 show at the Auckland Town Hall has been cancelled due to poor ticket sales, along with five Australian dates.

Full refunds are available.