Music Review: Disturbed - Immortalized
Released: August 21st, 2015
It has been five years since Disturbed have released an album and this one is the most ‘Nu-metal’ of them all. Formed in 1994 in Chicago, Illinois, and named Brawl, they brought current vocalist, Dave Draimen on-board and renamed the band Disturbed in 1996. When asked why this particular band name, Draimen said:
It had been a name I have been contemplating for a band for a year. It just seemed to symbolise everything we were feeling at the time. The level of conformity that people are forced into was disturbing to us and we were just trying to push the envelope and the name just sorta made sense.
Disturbed are a heavy metal band, perhaps somewhat of the ‘old school’ variety. When asked why they are not as “heavy” as other metal bands, they came back with “there’s too much melody going on.”
The first release from their sixth studio album is “The Vengeful One”, a classic Disturbed song reminiscent of 'Indestructible' (2008). It has all of the vocal power we have come to expect from Draimen and guitar driven anger with surprisingly quiet bridges tucked in. The album gives the media a thorough flogging. This track is alluding to an apocalyptic “Dark Messiah” coming to wreak vengeance on unrepentant humans or the “predators and rabid media”. It is the “blackest moment of a dying world” and we are begged to “look inside and see what you’re becoming”.
The video clip opens with a spacescape looking down on Earth, like God I suppose. We are then graced with the grinning visage of “the guy”; Disturbed’s mascot, designed by David Finch, with fire pouring from his eyes as he rejoices over a montage of war and the chastisement of warmongers. Families at home watching the news are brainwashed or lobotomised by arms propaganda and all the while “the guy” flies around on his Harley.
The journey begins with “Eye of The Storm”, an instrumental of melodic guitars which then launches into the title track “Immortalised”, which is an anthem of the righteously indignant where they will “secure a legacy that will never die”. It has the signature Draimen staccato vocals with driving rhythms and bass and some interesting key changes.
In the opening paragraph I alluded to this album being very Nu-metal and I have to say this is the most industrial I have heard from them to date. The style of this one is quite different from earlier works; tracks with electronic elements and samples thrown in. “Open Your Eyes” has the usual thumping rhythms, but with hopping synths added. It’s about facing reality. He accuses “You do as the headlines compel you”. And again with the media beating, “You stare as the truth lies before you”.
“The Light” has an electronic intro which leads into a surprisingly contemporary song about how “sometimes darkness can show you the light”. We are told “Don’t let another sombre pariah consume your soul” and “Don’t be afraid”.
“You’re Mine” also has an electronic Gary Numan-esque opening where he starts off singing without his growly voice. The guitar work later in the track sounds decidedly like The Butterfly Effect. It’s about the woman that cures him from loss/betrayal. “I can regain control because you’re mine. I can take over the world because you’re mine.”
If you were looking for the ferocious power that was missing on their previous album you find it in ”What Are You Waiting For” with a powerful, fast chorus with guitars driving motivation. He is driven,”never compromised, never gave in, and welcomed every challenge in my life”. Speaking of unfulfilled dreams he asks ”so what you waiting for?” and adds ”Don’t leave them stagnant, rotting on the vine”.
Getting grungy, “Never Wrong” takes on a distinct Korn tone with synths and Draimen’s roaring “ow ow ow” like “Down With The Sickness”. He can “feel his patience running” dealing with the person who is “never wrong”.
In “Fire It Up” it begins with a cone being cranked up, inhaled and then the sighing and chuckling begins. With the shredding guitars he speaks of ”writers block” pushed out of the way as he “takes a puff from the leaves of the devil” because the “melody feels like it’s trapped inside”. He gains serenity because “my medicine isn’t too hard to find”.
“Who Taught You How To Hate” also featuring Korn-like sweeping guitars is getting into racial prejudice saying “So we’re different” and “the colours are only in our minds”. He is perturbed by the “angered eyes that don’t even know who I am” ”because it isn’t in your blood”. He says “it’s invented an arrogance”.
Taking a softer turn, we have “Save Our Last Goodbye” where there is a ringing phone picked up by the answering service. A message follows from the hospital about a dying patient who obviously isn’t going to make it. The messages go unanswered; ”don’t want to hear it’s over”. It’s about loss of someone close. “Blue sky has turned to the blackest night” and “my world is shattered and disarrayed” mourned in clean vocals where he almost sounds as if he is crying for real. It ends with the phone disconnected.
There is a cover of “The Sound of Silence” in which Draimen does a stellar job with the vocals. Art Garfunkel is a hard act to follow. That said, I think they did a better job with Phil Collins’ “Land Of Confusion”.
If you get your mitts on the deluxe version you get three bonus tracks. One of them, “Legion Of Monsters”, begins with melodic guitar and staccato vocals and pushes on full of disgust with the media and bemoans their propensity to idolise criminals to sell a paper; “headlines shouted his name”. He calls them “vultures” and says, “You disrespected the dead” and “You’ve thrown morality away”, ”I call you a pimp as you whore the insane”. Damning words. Of the starring criminals ”The future demons with the hope of becoming the one at the top of the screen”.
Disturbed are a solid veteran metal band who have continued to impress. As with most heavy bands however, they grow up and lose some of their sharpened edges. This album is indeed better than “Asylum”, but, a far cry from “The Sickness” and ”10000 Fists”. They do self-produce and now have a new logo. They have contributed to soundtracks for “Queen Of The Damned” in 2001 and “Transformers” in 2007. If you ever get a chance to see them live, they rock! I had the privilege of seeing them at “A Taste Of Chaos” festival in Sydney 2004 and at Festival Hall in Melbourne 2008 where Draimen got wheeled onto stage in a strait jacket!!! Awesomely hilarious!
- The Sickness - 2000
- Believe - 2002
- Ten Thousand Fists - 2005
- Indestructible - 2008
- Asylum - 2010
- Lost Children” - Compilation 2011
- Immortalised - 2015