21 August 2015

Disturbed - Immortalized

I will start this with a very honest statement - I have never been a fan of Disturbed.  Their music just drains me like a soulless Sunday afternoon eating cold beans in an urban hell where nothing is opened.  The only time I have seen them live was in 2001 when they headlined the second stage at the UK Ozzfest in Milton Keynes.  They were following on from Black Label Society, Tool, Papa Roach, Slipknot and Amen - all of which were really good that night, Disturbed were on for an awful long time for their first album.  Anyway, the highlight of the set was when the singer being strapped in an electric chair - sadly it was just an Alice Cooper trick (curses) and from that moment on I have never really understood why they are so big.  So when I voiced an opinion that I was not looking forward to the fact that they were releasing their new record, it was suggested I look at them again as I have done with other acts that I have not understood or got (such as Clutch and Blur).  Well, if I am to do the blog I have to take any request - even the ones I do not want to.  Ok, let's do this....maybe my opinion will change.....

The first track is a solo instrumental called “The Eye of the Storm” and is it just a short introduction to the album that will keep fans of solos incredibly happy; but it is over too soon to leave anything other than a fleeting impression.  The title track “Immortalized” is the first proper track and it is everything you would expect from Disturbed – big riffs, powerful drumming, that voice and a positive statement to get their fan base excited as they rise above the hatred.  It is just the same old Disturbed for me and it does not change my original opinion on iota, so quickly onto the next song.  “The Vengeful One” has an 80’s introduction for a few moments before going back into the nu/alternative metal path which has been their course since they started.  Musically, there is very little wrong here (music like quite a lot of their stuff), but the voice of David Draiman is all encompassing, it is a very distinctive part of their sound; so it is hard to detach it from the song and it spoils the number for me.  I am trying not to bitch, but I reckon this could be a long review for me and a short one to write up.  “Open Your Eyes” is one of the song which does nothing for me at all, I really think that their fans will lap this up like manna from heaven; but it is just a dull as Bon Jovi to me and there is nothing about this that makes me excited, happy, sad or even angry – it has not engaged me on an emotional level, so I cannot help but be non-pluses by it.  Fourth track is called “The Light” which starts with light guitars for about twenty second, then it is the old familiar Disturbed (in a sense).  The verses start off with more restrained vocals and measured, but then the power of (singer’s name) comes through and we are in that euphoric moment that he is aiming for.  It is a mixture of their normal stuff and blessed (for want of a better word) with a dollop of Creed.  I will let that sentence sink in, Creed mixed with Disturbed…..  What makes it worse is this is one of the best song on the album…..Five tracks down, eight to go……

“What Are You Waiting For” is next, it does not change the pattern of this album – really positive message that you could not doubt, those big riffs and powerful drumming, that voice and all go past me with not some much as a flicker of excitement to these ears.  For something that is obviously so passionate and created by people excited for the music, to be heard by people who are equally as excited for the new songs – this is just dull water for me, sorry but I cannot lie about my feelings.  “You’re Mine” (creepy title, very creepy) starts off with an atmospheric opening of synths and noises, the music is more industrial in feeling for the most part and the lyrics about finding a person to be whole with are something to commend, but then they add that big metal chorus which just crushes my interest in the number.  Could have been interesting, but reduced to an idea that was took over by their usual instincts – however, for what it is worth this is the best track on the album for me.  “Who” is back on their familiar ground, strangely I feel another eighties influence on this song and I really wish I could understand this band – more on that later – as they are on a level of popularity that some bands can only dream of achieving and I just do not get it.  This song does nothing to change that opinion.  Neither does “Save Our Last Goodbyes”, with its answering machine message beginning and usual riff, drum, voice combo happening – it is a song about losing a loved or cherished person from one’s life.  I can understand the sentiment, it is something that most people have experienced and it is a song that I am sure will help some people through those dark hours, but the best I can say is it is another song which is not for me.

“Fire It Up” starts with a hit from a bongo and sounds as messy as the trip, probably by design to be honest.  It is either an anti-drug song or a pro-drug song, I cannot decide as it has both points (mostly the enjoyment of being high).  Either way, the song is just the same as the rest of the album – well played (maybe pro-tooled) but not for me, next.  “The Sound of Silence” is not an instrumental – no, it is a cover (they like to do these) and this time it is the song made famous by Simon & Garfunkel.  Piano led and with a deep vocal set and strings, you spend most of the song expecting that Disturbed moment – you know, the way they usually approach a song with that powerful, aggressive guitars.  As the drama enfolds in the song, the vocals do get bigger (I prefer his deep crooning sound of David Draiman but I cannot deny he can sing) but it is a pretty faithful cover.  Decent, but not doing much for me.  Penultimate song “Never Wrong” is back to business as usual and reminds the most of their biggest song “Down With The Sickness” and I am not going to slag it off – sufficient to say, it is another that is not for me.  Ending the album is “Who Taught You How to Hate” and I am at the end of my journey with this album.  There is nothing I can say here which does not sound as if I am being a dick, so I will say that once more I cannot deny the passion of the band or the production – but it is a relief for me to be at the end of this record.

Ok, this is not a record I will be recommending or listening to again any time soon.  It has not changed my opinion one iota and they still sound like that dull band I heard all those years ago at the Ozzfest.  Somethings you are just not meant to understand or get, this one is mine and I am happy with that situation.  I cannot fault their playing (unlike the Okilly Dokilly – more on the on their review), they are component musicians and whilst I am not a fan of the vocals of David Draiman I will not deny he can sing incredibly well - I think this make it all the more confusing in a way; but all mixed together and it feel like I am watching paint dry in a flat in Middlesbrough on a rainy Wednesday afternoon in January.  I cannot give the album a higher mark , as it is not for me and yes the extra tag in the corner is what I think of this record  (I had to talk myself out of giving it a lower mark).  But I wish them luck and I hope they achieve the success on this record that they desire, I will be over here listening to something else and if you like it, I hope you get something out of it that I could not.

2 out of ten - If only there was some quality control

You can purchase the album on Amazon here 

You can visit the Disturbed website here 

You can follow their activities on Facebook here

You can stream the album on Spotify here

You can stream the album on Deezer here

You can stream the album on Tidal 

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