Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Disturbed – Believe

Album number 2, released in September 2002. David Draiman is on vocals, Dan Donegan is on guitar and keyboards, Steve “Fuzz” Kmak is on bass and Mike Wengren is on drums. It’s also the last album to feature original “Fuzz” before he was booted from the band in 2003.

It’s also produced by Johnny K and the band members. And the mix from Andy Wallace is excellent.

The lyrical focus is different this time around. While “The Sickness” dealt with violence, “Believe” is more of a spiritual album.

Prayer

As soon as the opening staccato riff for “Prayer” starts off, in syncopation with the kick drum, I was hooked.

One thing that was clear to me when I played it, was the anthemic melodic rock Chorus in which Draiman soars, and this vocal style would appear across all of the songs on the album.

Liberate

It could have come from the first album as the verses follow the staccato singing with the catchcry of “liberate your mind, motherfucker you’re so narrow minded, narrow minded”.

The Pre-Chorus has Draiman doing fast spoken vocals on one track and on another he’s doing middle eastern ohhhs and ahhhs.

But the Chorus. Anthemic.

Wengren on the drums deserves special mention here. Its percussive and frantic.

Awaken

It’s a heavy rock song with a foot stomping groove and as Wikipedia tells me, it deals with America’s never-ending obsession with “wallpaper music”. I didn’t get that impression from the lyrics but…

The vocal style from “The Sickness” is prevalent here as he spits out the words like a machine gun.

Check out the outro riffing and how the bass drum is in unison with it.

Believe

Another staccato style riff in the vein of “Prayer”.

The Chorus. Brilliant.

All your belief cannot absolve your sin

Check out Donegan’s multi-layered guitar parts after the second Chorus.

At 2.36 it goes into a Tool/Deftones style groove. Instead of head banging, you sway.

Remember

One of the best Disturbed songs. The opening riff grooves and man its heavy.

And vocally, David Draiman really announces himself here as a force to be reckoned with.

The Chorus you don’t get to hear until half way through as the song goes, Verse, Pre, Verse, Pre and then the Chorus. But when it comes in, it explodes out of the speakers and totally worth the wait.

Wikipedia tells me that “Remember” delves into the cutthroat nature of the music industry as well as Draiman’s resistance to indulgent partying. But I don’t get that view by looking at the lyrics.

Check out the multi-layered guitar parts in the last Chorus.

Intoxication

It’s more of the same style from the debut album, with the vocal line and guitar line and bass drum pattern all syncopated in unison.

The Chorus is massive and it rhymes vilify with sanctify and I like it.

Rise

The intro riff is metal at its best.

There is another riff in the song which I always called the Chorus riff, but I think it’s played just after the Chorus.

Mistress

The riffs are cool to jam on.

At 2.09, a change of groove comes in, with slightly distorted arpeggios. It percolates before it crashes back in to the main riff.

Breathe

The intro/verse riff is a great riff to jam to. And checkout the bass riff which compliments it.

At 2.56, this Tool “Schism” like groove kicks in and I’m jamming it.

Bound

A flanged/phased wah riff kicks off the song, before the effects are taken off and its good old distortion cranking through.

You can call this a relationship song.

At 2.33, the song goes into a few grooves which they use for an interlude. No solos are allowed on Johnny K produced albums.

Devour

Great riffs in this song, especially the riff just before the anthemic Chorus.

At 2.35, a simple riff kicks in which they build back up into the Chorus.

Darkness

And for the fans who said Disturbed sold out with their cover of “The Sound Of Silence” must have forgotten about this song, which is just acoustic guitar, piano and strings. And one of their best.

In Australia and Canada, it went Platinum. In the U.S it went 2x Platinum. In New Zealand and the U.K it went Gold.

Crank it and believe.

I guess the word “motherfucker” was too much for the censors, so they felt the need to sticker it.
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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

The Record Vault: Dokken – Long Way Home

Nothing is easy when it comes to Dokken.

At the peak of making it from a B level act to an A level act in the late 80’s, they broke up. Then they realised that they are better together than apart, so in the mid 90’s they gave us one of their best records in “Dysfunctional” and one of their worst in “Shadowlife”. Lynch was subsequently booted or he left, depending on whose story you believe, and Reb Beach was hired to “Erase The Slate” and kick start a new era for Dokken in 1999.

But that version of the band didn’t last long. Beach was out and Pilson went to court against Don Dokken over his actual departure and the dissolution of the partnership band agreement. Dictator Don was finally in full control of his name.

In 2002, “Long Way Home” was released. It is the only Dokken album to feature Europe guitarist John Norum, who also worked with Don on his solo project “Up From The Ashes” and the first to feature bassist Barry Sparks who had done time with Michael Schenker, UFO and Yngwie Malmsteen. This album also started a “sort of” trend on using song titles from earlier albums as album titles on future releases.

Production duties on the album were handled by Don Dokken.

“Sunless Days”

Looking at the credits, its written by Don Dokken, John Norum and Kelly Keeling.

Keeling had previously done work with Norum on one of his albums and was enlisted here to help write the album and do some vocal production duties. Also if you are a fan of Blue Murder, Keeling spent over 2 years with John Sykes on the “Nothing But Trouble” album, only to leave the band or be fired, on the day of the shoot for the “We All Fall Down” video.

A foot stomping riff, similar to “Change The World” from the “Erase The Slate” album kicks off this song. It’s a riff that Norum would tweak and use in “Start From The Dark” from Europe.

And this is the first album, when Don decided to keep his voice in the bass/lower baritone range.

“Little Girl”

Written by Dokken, Keeling and Mick Brown. Dokken was fascinated by adding sounds which I call, “The Beatles” sounds or the “Led Zep” sounds. This song is evidence of that fascination.

“Everybody Needs (To Be with Someone)”

A cut written by Dokken and Brown.

It has a vocal melody that is inspired by “Action” from Sweet. Instead of singing “everybody needs a piece of the action”, you just sing, “everybody needs to be with someone”.

“You”

Written by Dokken, Norum and Keeling, the heavy groove gets me interested.

“Goodbye My Friend”

A cut written by Don. It’s just an acoustic guitar and an excellent piano riff which sticks around after the song is finished because it mimics the vocal melody on occasion’s.

If anything, Don sounds very Eric Clapton’ish, like the Unplugged Clapton.

“Magic Road”

A Dokken and Norum cut.

One of my favourites.

Musically, Norum brings his love of 70’s classic rock to the song with his bluesy riffs. Something which he would also do with Europe, especially on the “War Of Kings” album.

“There Was a Time”

Its written by Dokken and Keeling. Another song with a strummed acoustic guitar, a simple drum beat and an catchy vocal melody.

“Heart Full of Soul”

An excellent cover from The Yardbirds.

“Under the Gun”

Written by Dokken, Norum and Keeling it’s a classic Dokken cut, with a feel and tempo like “Lightning Strikes Again”. Another favorite.

“I’ve Found”

Written by Dokken and Keeling. It’s another great track, just acoustic guitars and Beatles like vocal melodies.

If there is a fault on this album, it is the lack of opportunities Norum has to fly, because like most albums in the early 2000’s it suffered from a lack of lead guitar.

But it’s still a good listen and tracks like “Sunless Days” and “Under The Gun” could be in a best of set list.

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