Disturbed

Sickness Disturbed - Sickness (Giant) 2000

1. "Voices" (3:11)
2. "The Game" (3:47)
3. "Stupify" (4:34)
4. "Down With the Sickness" (4:38)
5. "Violence Fetish" (3:23)
6. "Fear" (3:46)
7. "Numb" (3:44)
8. "Want" (3:52)
9. 'Conflict" (4:35)
10. "Shout 2000" (4:17)
11. "Droppin' Plates" (3:49)
12. "Meaning of Life" (4:02)

The Sickness is the first entry by Chicago's nu-metal delegates, Disturbed. I must admit that I have given many, many "nu" bands a listen only to get rid of their CDs within days. Personally I just think the music by most of these bands suck! However, Disturbed are an exception to the rule. They avoid the trappings of many of the bands, like the awful rap-metal tendencies. Instead what they offer up is a mixture of raw, crunchy, groove-laden guitar riffs with a slight industrial feel. The vocals are mostly shouted in an angry fashion, although almost every song is peppered with those signature "ack, ack" sounds by vocalist David Draiman. Like Sevendust, Disturbed also mix in a fair amount of melody to their songwriting which may be the reason that I find them to be more enjoyable than the average alt-metal, Korn wanna-be band. Unlike the band's follow-up CD, they manage to vary the song tempos and give a bit of variation to the songs. One of the downfalls of this album is a lack of shredding guitar leads. With the exception of a few pinch harmonics and an occassional melodic guitar break, the guitar work is kept to the stop/start rhythms. Metal just screams for lead breaks and it is really apparent that Disturbed would be just that much better with a guitar player who could shred. As it stands, however, this isn't a bad CD at all.

Stand By Disturbed - Believe (Reprise) 2002

1. "Prayer" (3:41)
2. "Liberate" (3:30)
3. "Awaken" (4:30)
4. "Believe" (4:27)
5. "Remember" (4:12)
6. "Intoxication" (3:14)
7. "Rise" (3:57)
8. "Mistress" (3:46)
9. "Breathe" (4:21)
10. "Bound" (3:53)
11. "Devour" (3:53)
12. "Darkness" (3:58)

Everyone was telling me how great this band is, and how they are not really "nu-metal." I'm game for new stuff. I mean I love Sevendust. Everyone on the chat-board I hang out at was telling me that Disturbed are even better than Sevendust. Well I finally got a copy of "Believe" in a trade and listened to it from beginning to end three times in my car. First of all, this is NOT metal. How they got labeled metal I don't know. Having some distortion on your guitar does not a metal band make! Disturbed are modern radio rock; short songs that lack dynamics, average vocals, with every song being very similar in sound and tempo. I put them in the same league as and other modern radio oriented bands. However, Three Doors Down at least has some hooky choruses and such. I don't care what anyone says about "quality songwriting". This band needs a guitar player who can rip out a lead, even a melodic lead here and there would bring some excitement and dynamics to the otherwise mundane music. Basically they just write a bunch of midpaced riffs and string them together in a song. The more of this "nu" stuff I hear, the more I am convinced that the whole "we don't do leads because we concentrate on songwriting" is just a crock of crap. Solid leads are part of the songwriting process and an essential element in heavy rock 'n roll and certainly heavy metal.

Having said all that, this CD doesn't suck either. If it did, I wouldn't have let it play for as long as I did. There were some cool riffs, some cool vocal melodies, and I quite enjoyed a few of the songs. I've heard FAR worse bands like Korn and Limp Bizcrap. However, a modern band like Nevermore has 10x better riffs, are more dynamic and have some blazing guitar solos on top of that. That is not to mention the vocals are just more unique. Guess I am just OLD SCHOOL til death! I do like the cover art though.

For an example of pure cluelessness, check out AMG's Review:

No longer depending on the choppy tempos and percussion-based riffing of the past, guitarist Dan Donegan has made great strides in expanding their sound to include more varied guitar work all around. Take the title track, which moves from a brutal chug to a sweeping chorus that suddenly stops in its tracks and turns into a winding riff that recalls the work of vintage James Hetfield. It's great stuff, the kind of audible theatrics that makes good heavy metal so visceral and potent. Draiman makes an appreciated and notable effort to stretch his vocal boundaries as well, and his performance is one of the most improved of the band. His clear wail is a more emotive vessel this time, while his gravel-throated bark still adds the trademark harsh element to the sound. All of this adds up to a deeply melodic, at times even beautiful treatment of the genre; the kind of record that makes a metalhead proud to be a metalhead. -Bradley Torreano, All Music Guide

MAN, what RECORD DID THESE GUYS LISTEN TO? Varied guitar work? the kind of record that makes a metalhead proud to be a metalhead.? Recalls the work of vintage James Hetfield? Perhaps they call St. Anger vintage.

Remember Disturbed - Remember (Reprise/England) 2002

1. "Remember" (4:07)
2. "Remember" [live] (4:22)
3. "Rise" [live] (4:10)

Picked up this CD single for $2 in a cut-out bin. I thought it might be cool to hear if Disturbed were any heavier live than they are on thier studio discs. In fact they are a bit heavier and the two live tracks are worthwhile. The band live is actually touting how "metal" they are, telling people to lift up their 'devil horns' and such. Hmmm...

Ten Thousand Fists Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists (Reprise) 2006

1. "10,000 Fists" (3:32)
2. "Just Stop" (3:43)
3. "Guarded" (3:20)
4. "Deify" (4:17)
5. "Stricken" (4:05)
6. "I'm Alive" (4:41)
7. "Sons of Plunder" (3:47)
8. "Overburdened" (5:57)
9. "Decadance" (3:24)
10. "Forgiven" (4:12)
11. "Land of Confusion" (4:49)
12. "Sacred Lie" (3:05)
13. "Pain Redefined" (4:17)
14. "Avarice" (2:56)

When I posted on the NoLifeTilMetal.com discussion board that I had received this CD, the comments were basically, "Why?" Disturbed play as style that is without a doubt outside of my usual likes. However there is something about this band that I like. On "Ten Thousand Fists", the band doesn't really stray that far from what they had done on the first two albums, only this album seems to add a bit more hook. Actually, I think I would best describe this CD as a combination of the two albums, with the aggression of "Sickness" and the melodic nature of "Believe". The CD opens with a fist in the air, headbanger. Like it or not, the title track has an infectious groove. Perhaps one of the things I like about them is their commercial accessibility. Songs like "Striken", "Guarded " and the Genesis cover "Land of Confusion" are hard rocking and modern radio ready. So why doesn't that make me want to hurl? I don't know. Another thing I like about this band is vocalist David Draiman's charisma and unique style. He uses those short grunts quite a bit. As a matter of fact, the grunts in "Stricken" are not that different from the grunts on "Down With the Sickness" from the band's debut. One thing the band has added into the mix is some melodic guitar solos. Don't expect any 1980's shred, but at least there is hope that the guitar solo will make a return. Yes, they still use a lot of those nu-metal stop/start riffs, but they do so effectively, in my opinion. My only real complaint about this CD is that it is a bit too long. If the band would have chose the best 10-11 songs and left the rest as b-side material, I think this would have been a much more solid album. As it stands there are some mediocre, repetitive songs here that bog the album down

Indestructible Disturbed - Indestructible (Warner Bros.) 2008

1.     "Indestructible" (4:38)
2.     "Inside the Fire" (3:52)
3.     "Deceiver" (3:49)
4.     "The Night" (4:46)
5.     "Perfect Insanity" (3:57)
6.     "Haunted" (4:42)
7.     "Enough" (4:20)
8.     "The Curse" (3:25)
9.     "Torn" (4:09)
10.   "Criminal" (4:16)
11.   "Divide" (3:36)
12.   "Façade" (3:45)

The follow-up to the commercially successful "Ten Thousand Fists" continues in much the same manner. "Indestructible" starts off with two incredibly infectious song. Both "Inside the Fire" and the title track will most likely please any fan of the band. Both songs have a heavy groove and hooky choruses. Either of these two songs could have been on "Ten Thousand Fists" and would not have been out of place whatsoever. It’s nice to hear a modern band using guitar solos again, even if they are used sparingly. "The Night" may very well be the best song on the album. With this track, Disturbed have created something truly heavy, and once again, the guitar solo becomes an essential part of the song. If this song isn’t used as a single for the band, I’ll never understand why. The album finishes off with another strong song titled “Façade”, which features a slightly faster tempo and a nice wah-wah solo. Disturbed have most certainly found their own sound. They really don’t sound like any other band that I am aware of. When I hear a Disturbed song, even one that I am not familiar with, I know immediately who the song is by. Part of the reason for this is Dan Donegan guitarwork together with David Draiman’s distinctive voice.

My biggest complaint about any Disturbed album is that the songs tend to blend together, and that is the case with "Indestructible" as well. The album starts off strong, as I already stated, but by the middle of the album, it seems as though I’ve heard it all before. Dan Donegan tends to recycle riffs quite a bit and with few exceptions the song all tend to be of the mid-paced variety. A song like "Divide" starts out with a fast double bass beat, but then regresses into yet another mid-paced groove song. A bit more variety in the songwriting and especially in the riffs would make for a more solid overall album, in my opinion. Other than this complain, I found "Indestructible" to be an enjoyable album.

Asylum Disturbed - Asylum (Reprise) 2010

1.   Remnants (2:43)
2.   Asylum (4:36)
3.   The Infection (4:08)
4.   Warrior (3:24)
5.   Another Way to Die (4:13)
6.   Never Again (3:33)
7.   The Animal (4:13)
8.   Crucified (4:37)
9.   Serpentine (4:09)
10. My Child (3:18)
11. Sacrifice (4:00)
12. Innocence (4:31)
13. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (5:28)

Disturbed’s fifth studio effort, "Asylum", is basically more of the same radio-ready alternative-metal (or probably better labeled hard rock). They really don't deviate from the sound of the last couple albums whatsoever, which may be a bad thing is some people's books. Frankly, I like that bands that stick to their musical guns and aren't running around trying to compete with whatever the flavor-of-the-month band is.

As with the band’s last record, 2008's platinum-selling "Indestructible", Disturbed guitarist Dan Donegan produced "Asylum". And like the previous record, this album concentrates on radio-friendly songs that balance melody and those those groove based, stop/start guitar riffs. Listening to this album I couldn't help but notice that a lot of the time, the guitars seem to be following the same pattern as the bass drum, which is something usually prescribed to the bass guitar only. I suppose this is part of Disturbed's charisma. At times, Disturbed remind me of 1990's Metallica, when they shed their metal arsenal for toned down straight-ahead hard rock songs.

The album opens with a melodic instrumental intro complete with guitar solos before breaking into the album's title track, also one of the single's from the album. The  song is upbeat and easily one of the more catchy songs on the album. The dirty bass sound and wah-solo that opens the song gives the false impression that the song might go into a classic heavy metal direction, but then dives headlong into a more groove based song. This song strongly resembles "Inside the Fire" off "Indestructible". Another of the albums' singles "Another Way to Die" starts with a slow melodic intro before breaking into another heavy, groove based cacophony of guitars and drums. This song definitely recalls the hit singles from "Ten Thousand Fists". Unfortunately there are several songs that I think aren't quite as good as the others and basically serve as filler. I think that "Asylum" might have been better held to the best ten tracks. The final track, which isn't listed on the tray insert is a cover of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What Im Looking For ". For some odd reason, the song is buried 1:35 into the track.

The band has said that this album would be more musically mature and would deal with more mature subject matters. There seems to be two major tenets to "Asylum" lead singer David Draiman’s relationship problems and the band's view of the world's political/social ills. "My Child" is a heartfelt tale about the a persons anguish over the death of their unborn child. The sorrowful lyrical theme almost seems at odds with the upbeat groove. "The Infection" is an upbeat mainstream song that has Draiman’s soulfully singing of bad love that is compared to a debilitating disease. Listen to this song, I couldn't help but think of "Down with the Sickness", due to the similarities in the themes. The song also sports a nice wah-wah guitar solo, obviously ignoring the trends in modern music to not include guitar solos.

I personally dig Disturbed, and though I don't think that "Asylum" is quite as strong as some of their past albums, it still packed with some good, catchy, hard rock songs. A quick search on the internet reveals that the album debuted at number-one on the Billboard 200 Charts with sales of nearly 180,000. The album was later certified Gold by the RIAA.

Highlights: "Remnants/Asylum", "The Infection", "Another Way to Die"

Lost Children Disturbed - The Lost Children (Reprise) 2011

1.     Hell (b-side from Ten Thousand Fists) (4:15)
2.     A Welcome Burden (b-side from The Sickness) (3:31)
3.     This Moment (from "Transformers: The Album" soundtrack) (3:05)
4.     Old Friend (b-side from Asylum) (3:34)
5.     Monster (b-side from Ten Thousand Fists) (4:04)
6.     Run (b-side from Indestructible) (3:13)
7.     Leave It Alone (b-side from Asylum) (4:07)
8.     Two Worlds (b-side from Ten Thousand Fists) (3:33)
9.     God of the Mind (b-side from The Sickness) (3:05)
10.   Sickened (b-side from Ten Thousand Fists) (4:00)
11.   Mine (unreleased b-side from Asylum) (5:04)
12.   Parasite (b-side from Indestructible) (3:25)
13.   Dehumanized (b-side from Believe) (3:32)
14.   3 (digital-only single to benefit the West Memphis Three) (4:02)
15.   Midlife Crisis (from Covered, A Revolution in Sound)  (4:04)
16.   Living After Midnight (from A Tribute to Judas Priest: British Steel Vol.1) (4:25)

"The Lost Children" is Disturbed's odds and sods collection. It contains mostly non-album, b-sides from various singes, a couple covers, a single from a movie soundtrack and a song the band recorded as a benefit. The title of the collection comes from the band referring to their songs as "their children", and thus these non-album tracks are "the lost children". The sixteen song collection features most of the band's non-album tracks. I know I have an MP3 of a song titled "Glass Shatters" that is not included here. As well, I was almost positive the band had recorded a cover of Kiss' "Cold Gin" in the past, but have since learned that it was a song they covered live on occasion. Track thirteen, "Parasite", is not a cover of the classic Kiss song, though that would have been cool as well. My biggest surprise was hearing the band cover a Judas Priest song that started off with the intro to "Painkiller". I have to admit, after hearing that roaring drum intro I was a bit disappointed that "Living After Midnight" was the song covered rather than "Painkiller". It would have been interesting hearing David Draiman screaming out those piercing siren wails on "Painkiller". The other cover included is "Midlife Crisis"  from Faith No More. Had I not known that the song was a cover, I would have assumed it was a Disturbed original.

The majority of the songs on this compilation are Disturbed originals. The album opens with two surprisingly strong songs. Why were these two songs were left on the cutting-room floor? "Hell" in particular is an incredibly catchy song with a great groove and a crunchy guitar tone. As was the case with most of the band's material, the only thing really missing is some smoking lead work. The first song that I noticed a guitar lead on was "Monster" which is a slower-paced, more melodic number. "3" is an explosive, upbeat song that was written and recorded to benefit the West Memphis Three. This song was originally not intended to be included on this compilation but was included due to a 2010 hearing for the West Memphis Three, resulting in their release from prison.

This could very well be the last release from Disturbed, who are going on "indefinite hiatus". Despite the fact that it's a compilation of b-side material from over a ten year period, it still flows together rather well. Any lack of structure or cohesiveness only adds to the enjoyment of the album. With past albums there were times when the band sounded very samey. That's certainly not the case with "The Lost Children".

Back to Index