Disturbed: Immortalized

review disturbed x1 cong

Disturbed are possibly the biggest band you’ve never heard of: the interweb reports that they released four studio albums in 10 years, and all went in at one on the Billboard chart, with Metallica and Dave Matthews Band the only other “rock” acts to have done the same.
But unless you’re into metal, they may well have passed you by and that’s probably because, to British ears, they play turgid, formulaic, rock-radio friendly metal. (Unlike like Five Finger Death Punch, above, there’s little swearing). To be blunt, to British ears, they’re a bit crap. Fan sites claimed this is a new, sharper Disturbed but this is because they’ve stuck a pop tune on and covered a Simon and Garfunkel track.
In their defence Disturbed, like Five Finger Death Punch, play what fans want to hear; so what if it’s the same every time? They’re atypical metal in that they have a lot of melody and also have singer David Draiman, whose voice is massive: powerful, melodramatic and melodic; he’s not Eddie Veder or Chris Cornell but he’s not far behind.
But they’re basically a franchise (rather like Linkin Park to be honest, though LP do vary their sound) and this, their sixth album, sees the franchise on top form. Chugging riffs, solid beats, melodic metal and Draiman’s vox. It’s the musical equivalent of a Transformers movie.
Like Five Finger Death Punch they sing about corruption and how bad the world is (even though it’s the capitalist system that allows bands like this to get so big).
The album opens with a short instrumental track The Eye Of The Storm, which almost suggests change is a-coming, which of course it’s not. Bang, thump, chug we go, it’s like putting a bag over your head.
The Light is a bit different, almost pop, and shows some originality, with a nice chorus. You’re Mine goes EDM (like Linkin Park, who manage the move from rock to dance well) but then gets turgid. The Sound Of Silence is the cover. It’s not as good as Limp Bizkit’s Behind Blue Eyes, as Draiman’s voice is just too powerful.
This is possibly a harsh review. Disturbed are very good at what they do, and their audience will lap it up. But if you want your rock to be something other than the next instalment in a franchise, give it a miss.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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