Saturday, 5 September 2015

Album Review; Disturbed - Immortalized

Released Via Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
Genre: Alternative Metal

Track Listing:

1. The Eye Of The Storm
2. Immortalized
3. The Vengeful One
4. Open Your Eyes
5. The Light
6. What Are You Waiting For?
7. You're Mine
8. Who
9. Save Our Last Goodbye
10. Fire It Up
11. The Sound Of Silence (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
12. Never Wrong
13. Who Taught You How To Hate

Seemed odd, didn't it? One minute, Disturbed are one of the biggest metal bands going, playing festivals everywhere, selling out venues and scoring number one albums with each release that followed their acclaimed debut. The next thing we know, the band starts a hiatus in 2011 that goes on and on without word. Sure, the members had their side-projects and such but all we really wanted was Disturbed back. Back in June, we literally saw the band reawaken (well, their mascot) with the revelation that the band had been working on a record in complete secrecy, which is no small feat in this day and age. Called 'Immortalized', and now upon us, it is time to see if the band can live up to the hopes of their fans.

After a short intro track, the title track hits in with a familiar tone and David Draiman's inimitable vocal attack. It's rhythmic, uplifting and gets you back into the empowering mind-set that the band have long given their fans. After that, the first track revealed from the album 'The Vengeful One' comes through the speakers like the world-conquering powerhouse that it will no doubt prove to be on stage. The riff is classic Donegan, the lyrics have the kind of fist-in-the-air theme that we love Disturbed for. Even at this early point it is clear that Disturbed are back and largely unchanged.

'Open Your Eyes' is a faster tune with a simple chorus, another politically-charged lyric and a lot of energy. After this, 'The Light' provides exactly that; a lighter side to Disturbed's usually dark themes and presentation. Lyrically uplifting and bound to put a smile on your face. It also displays a point that I've been making to all those who label Disturbed as Nu-Metal, as this song shows that the frontman is inspired by reggae rather than rap. As a fan of reggae and Disturbed, this song is a highlight, as is 'You're Mine', though it has a heavier tone and has "live favourite" written all over it. 'What Are You Waiting For?' is a good song, but maybe too close to the earlier cut 'Open Your Eyes'.

'Who' sees Draiman performing the odd grunt and noise that made him a talking point back in the day and it may be that element or the grittier tone that makes it sound like a throwback to the 'Believe' album. The following track 'Say Our Last Goodbye' shows off the vocal range, but doesn't hit you straight from the off, instead being a song that is liable to grow on you or be skipped during the play through. Strangely, 'Fire It Up' is a weed-smoking ode that one would not expect of a band like Disturbed, and while it may prove jarring on the first listen, its chilled-out vibe does act as a damn-good hook.

This band is no stranger to cover songs that make you say "...Really??", but Simon & Garfunkel's 'Sound Of Silence' would be the song I would never have bet on this band playing. Don't let the long odds fool you, though; this one is fantastically done. It comes across just as much the sombre epic as it should, complete with piano, strings and one of David Draiman's most transparent and impressive vocal performances yet committed to tape.

Ultimately, one could think to moan that Disturbed have just released more of the same, but at the end of the day if it isn't broken, don't fix it. More of Disturbed's sound is what we wanted, and its exactly what we got. The songs are all written to the high standard that had been laid down as a precedent and each member's performance is tight and well played. They might not be throwing breakdowns and all the other modern clichés at you left, right and centre or tying their sound in with the current trends but I would much rather they didn't. I had waited for this record and it has not disappointed.

Rating: 9/10


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