M.O.L. stands for “Meaning of Life”, a song from “The Sickness” and it’s the title of a DVD released in 2002.
They all started off the same as other bands. Each member performed in various bands before hooking up.
But the vocalist spot was proving a problem. They put an ad out and Dave Draiman answered the ad. He was the anti-rock star with real short hair and sandals but he was onboard with focusing on originals.
And when Dan Donegan played an original riff and Draiman started singing a melody, that was it. That song became “Want”.
There is studio footage from November 25, 1999 and December 2, 1999 and its cool to see how “Bill Ward like”, Mike Wengren is on the drums, very groovy like with a bit of swing.
And Johnny K was not what I expected him to look like. I was thinking like another Kevin Churko. Even though I’ve seen his name on so many albums I never really googled him or read any interviews.
It’s always strange watching things back and the way bassist Fuzz talks about “how lucky the band got with David” but in the end it was the personality differences between Draiman and Fuzz which led to him getting fired.
In Australia this DVD release did good business and it was certified Platinum.
The Disturbed Record Vault series is almost at an end.
“Music as a Weapon” is a series of concert tours created by Disturbed. All up this tour did the rounds seven different times.
In 2001, the first edition featured Disturbed, Drowning Pool, Adema, Stereomud and Systematic.
In 2003, which is also the tour captured on the CD, it featured Disturbed, Chevelle, Taproot and Unloco.
In 2006, the tour featured Disturbed, Stone Sour, Flyleaf and Nonpoint.
In 2008, the tour came to Australia and New Zealand which I caught. It featured Disturbed, P.O.D., Alter Bridge, Redline and Behind Crimson Eyes.
In 2009, the tour featured a bigger line up, with Disturbed, Killswitch Engage, Lacuna Coil, Chimaira, Suicide Silence, Spineshank, Crooked X, Bury Your Dead, Born of Osiris and After the Burial.
In 2011, the line-up was Disturbed, Korn, Sevendust, In This Moment and StillWell. It’s also the first time the tour had co-headliners with Disturbed and Korn. The Australia and New Zealand edition had Disturbed, Trivium, As I Lay Dying, Forgiven Rival and These Four Walls.
But back to the “Music as a Weapon II”.
It was recorded at The Aragon in Chicago in 2003, and released in 2004.
The DVD also contains Disturbed’s video for their single “Liberate” and it was Disturbed’s last release with bass guitarist Steve Kmak.
On a different note, it was also Unloco’s final release before splitting up. But vocalist Joey Duenas did form a new band called “Anew Revolution” and released two excellent albums called “Rise” in 2008 and “iMerica” in 2010. But that band is also no more.
“Loading the Weapon” (instrumental)
An instrumental track from Disturbed that is not on any album. I love the mood that this track creates.
It then explodes into “Bound” from the “Believe” album.
This CD was my first exposure to Taproot. The live recording didn’t captivate me to listen any further.
It was written and recorded for the “Believe” album, however it didn’t make the final cut. But it was played live during the “Believe” tour and released as a B side to the “Stricken” single from the “Ten Thousand Fists” album, alongside “Hell”.
And it was finally released on “The Lost Children” album.
My first exposure to Chevelle and I was instantly a fan. The live recording isn’t the best, but the Tool like grooves into a concise 4 minute song was of interest to me.
“Fade to Black”
A Metallica cover. And how good is the whole intro with the acoustic arpeggios and lead break.
My first exposure to Unloco.
Taproot’s other song on the album. It’s like Staind and the track is more accessible than the previous one. But still not interested.
From the “Believe” album. The piano and acoustic guitar is haunting. Draiman’s vocal delivery is excellent.
From “Unloco”. This song was in “The Matrix” movies and various video games.
From the “Believe” album, the fast staccato riffing in the Intro isn’t as powerful as the album version, but I do like the slight increase in tempo which makes the fast staccato riffing even faster.
And Draiman delivers vocally.
David Draiman makes an appearance with Chevelle. Its pitchy especially when Draiman joins in with the harmonies but that’s what performing live is all about.
Song number three from Taproot. The riff sounded interesting and a bit complex, so from this song, I would go on to check out more Taproot eventually.
From “The Sickness” album, and Peter Loeffler from Chevelle and Joey Duenas from Unloco make an appearance.
In the end, it’s live with no studio overdubs and very different to the live albums I grew up with, (which were basically re-cut in a studio).
I also like how Disturbed put three unreleased songs on this album.
I don’t own it. Between 2016 and 2019, I didn’t buy a lot of music as streaming was becoming king.
Released in 2018 and after the success of “The Sound Of Silence”, it was inevitable that the sound of Disturbed would evolve to include a lot of acoustic guitars.
In the interviews leading up to the release, the guys in the band mentioned that the classic rock music they grew up with, influenced the writing of this album.
And this time around, Kevin Churko is also listed as a songwriter along with the band (like how Mutt Lange was listed as a writer with the bands he worked with) and the song “Uninvited Guest” has Dianne Warren as a co-writer. Yes the “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing” Dianne.
Are You Ready
A throwback to the first two albums in musical style, lyrics and vocal phrasing with an anthemic Chorus.
It’s got a riff and drum groove that reminds me of “The Beautiful People” from Marylyn Manson.
In the Chorus, if you like Swedish Hard Rock or Euro Hard Rock, then you’ll get your fix here.
A Reason To Fight
One of the first acoustic tracks on the album, about not giving up when the demon inside you wants you to. Not a favorite.
In Another Time
The start feels poppy, but then a “Kashmir” like riff kicks in.
The way the verses are delivered vocally is more in line with the popular charting songs.
And the Chorus. Huge.
Stronger On Your Own
A drum groove that reminds me of the first album from Imagine Dragons is prominent but the song still sounds like Disturbed with a bit of Shinedown.
Hold On To Memories
A simple strummed progression on the acoustic guitar starts it off, and then a melodic acoustic lead kicks in.
Draiman is hopeful, sending a message to take the ones you love and hold em close, and to make the most of your life.
And the song remains in the acoustic domain throughout, like “A Reason To Fight”.
Saviour Of Nothing
The heavy rock is back.
But the song was pedestrian, until the interlude section from 2.40 got me interested.
Then a lead break started, first with some Digitech Whammy effects and the shred kicked in after.
Watch You Burn
The acoustic guitars are back, more Led Zeppelin like especially the interlude.
The Best Ones Lie
Its back to the Disturbed Hard Rock sound.
Acoustic guitars are back again with a “Stairway To Heaven” like intro.
This is the best of the acoustic guitar songs and the only one that should have been included. The feel of it is almost Country Rock and Draiman’s bass/baritone like delivery is perfect.
Now for the bonus tracks.
The Sound Of Silence (Live with Myles Kennedy)
It’s a great track and Disturbed have done it justice with their re-interpretation.
It’s a bonus track, but the Chorus is better than some of the album tracks.
Check out the whole interlude and lead section part.
Are You Ready (Sam DeJong Remix)
It’s an Imagine Dragons song with this remix and I like it.
Another acoustic guitar led song.
Give it a listen just for the orchestra.
And the album at this point in time doesn’t have any certifications. Time will tell if people will keep listening to it. If I had to rank all the albums, this is my least favorite.
It’s the last album I purchased and much later than its release date at a discounted price. At the time I was still endeavouring at keeping my Disturbed collection intact.
So “Immortalized” is the comeback album after the hiatus, released on August 21, 2015 by Reprise Records. It’s also the comeback album for “The Guy”, the Disturbed mascot.
Between “Asylum” and “Immortalized”, there is a five year gap. “The Lost Children” doesn’t count here as it was an album of leftover tracks.
One song defines this album and it’s the cover of “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel. As soon as it was released as a single it went to Platinum, and by November 2017, it was 3x Platinum and right now its getting close to 4x Platinum.
The album itself was certified Platinum in January 2018. So in an era of no sales, Disturbed is still pulling good numbers.
The band members David Draiman (vocals), Dan Donegan (guitar) and Mike Wengren (drums) perform on the album. Bass player John Moyer was not present, due to working with Adrenaline Mob and Art of Anarchy so Donegan did the bass. But Moyer is still pictured in the booklet.
Kevin Churko is producing and his run of certifications continues similar to Olsen and Werman back in the 80s.
The reviews at the time were not kind to the album with sentences like “It won’t change the minds of those who weren’t fans before” or “Immortalized” is fans-only release as it feeds the target audience”.
But hindsight is a wonderful thing and “The Sound Of Silence” for better or for worse brought in a whole new audience.
“The Eye of the Storm” (Intro)
You hear the sound of a vinyl record starting, all dusty and then a demented tremolo effect arpeggio starts, complemented by a guitar lead.
The Intro riff is classic Disturbed.
“Secure a legacy that will never die, be immortalized”
What kind of legacy is up to you?
“The Vengeful One”
It reminds me of “Louder Than Hell” from Motley Crue. And I like it.
The drum groove sets the pace and then one of my favourite riffs on the album just explodes the same way it does on “Louder Than Hell”.
Pure head banging bliss.
“The rabid media plays their role / Stoking the flames of war to no surprise / Only too eager to sell their souls / For the apocalypse must be televised”
There are no views for happy moments. Chaos, death and destruction gets people glued to their screens.
“Open Your Eyes”
It’s catchy and easily digestible.
This song has John Feldmann (from the band Goldfinger, plus he has a history of writing and producing other artists like Papa Roach, Black Veil Brides, 5 Seconds Of Summer) and Nick Furlong (another songwriter who has worked with Papa Roach, Good Charlotte, All Time Low, 5 Seconds Of Summer) as co-writers, along with Draiman, Donegan and Wengren.
But regardless of the songwriters, it’s still a Disturbed cut, through and through.
You’re hypnotized, demoralized Believe every line that they sell you Start channelling whatever will remains Discern from what’s fiction and what is true
Open your eyes
People need to read more critically and research different point of views. But with social media being such a massive force of nature, it’s very easy to surround yourself in an echo chamber, hearing the same thing, over and over and over again, until you believe it is true and you refuse to see another point of view, which could be true.
A hard rock song, reminding me of “My Hero” from Foo Fighters in certain sections.
And how good is the vocal melody in the Chorus. Pure AOR Melodic Rock.
Four punch knockout combo right there.
“What Are You Waiting For”
I wasn’t surprised that they had a cut that sounded like Five Finger Death Punch on the album. The track is also co-written with John Feldman.
The lead break has a lot of the Digitech Whammy Pedal effects.
The electronic element is back, then again, Draiman’s side project “Device” did sound like this.
The riff is a derivative of “Indestructible” and the gang vocal chants are here.
“Save Our Last Goodbye”
It starts off with a person leaving messages on a phone.
The heavy songs were getting derivative at this point in time although I still enjoy listening to em, just to hear what Draiman does with the vocal melodies, or if there is a guitar lead or an interlude that makes me bang the head.
And this song from 3.07 has this Judas Priest like riff in the Interlude which definitely gets the head banging.
In the last minute, it breaks down to a piano and Draiman’s falsetto before building up again.
By the end of it, the person is still calling the number to leave a message and the number is no longer active.
“Fire It Up”
I feel like they started off with an idea to do a song like “We Will Rock You” but once it went through the Disturbed blender, it ended up sounding like “Fire It Up” and if anything it feels like a Godsmack track, with the lyrical line, “when I fire it up, it feels alright”.
“The Sound of Silence”
My brother was singing this song on the day he died from a brain aneurysm and he’s not even a Disturbed fan, but he heard the song on a TV show and it stuck with him.
And I didn’t really care about this song or this version, but a life experience has changed that.
It’s a throwback to the debut album, with a repeating lyrical line done in the Draiman drawl.
“Who Taught You How to Hate”
A great title.
A long time ago I came across a quote like “a child’s life is like a blank sheet of paper, which every person leaves a mark on”.
So how did that child grow up to hate?
Now for the bonus tracks, “Tyrant”, “Legion Of Monsters” and “The Brave And The Bold”.
I like the lead break.
“Legion of Monsters”
Inspired by a Rolling Stone article on the Boston Marathon Bomber. It’s angry and energetic.
“The Brave and the Bold”
I like the Blues Rock riff to start off the song. The Chorus is pure Disturbed and the lead break is excellent as there are a lot of Randy Rhoads type licks chucked in and I like it.
For comeback albums, it was well received and while the reviewers said the album is for hard-core fans only, this album actually grew Disturbed’s fan base.
In Australia, Canada and the U.S, the album went to Number 1. In Austria, Finland, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K, it was a Top 10 album. In Belgium, Holland and Portugal it was a Top 20 album.
For certifications, it was certified Platinum in Australia, Canada, Germany, Norway and the U.S. It was certified Gold in Austria, New Zealand, Sweden and the U.K.
The “Immortalized” tour was earning on average $200K in B level cities (using California as a guide, San Diego is classed as a B level city) and about $400K in A Level cities (like Los Angeles) a night.
Good or bad, acoustic guitar songs would become very prominent on the next album “Evolution” released in 2018.
The touring cycle was done and the bad was starting a trek of shows to commemorate “The Sickness” 20 year Anniversary before COVID-19 put a halt to proceedings.
“The Lost Children” was released on November 8, 2011.
By the time this album hit the streets, Disturbed was on hiatus for an indefinite period of time. The band had been on a five album cycle of release and tour. 12 years in total without really having a proper break.
The music industry was also going through another transition. The U.S labels weren’t approving Spotify to operate until they got a percentage stake in the company, so P2P piracy was at an all time high and while the labels procrastinated, YouTube became a dominate streaming service which paid even less.
In the break, Draiman would produce a few bands, with Trivium being the biggest, form a new project called Device, which released an album that sounded like “The Sickness” while Donegan and Wengren hooked up with the “Evans Blue” singer Dan Chandler to form “Fight Or Flight” and release the excellent hard modern rock album “A Life By Design”.
Meanwhile bassist John Moyer would hook up with Adrenaline Mob for the “Coverta” and “Men Of Honour” releases, Art of Anarchy for their 2015 and 2017 releases, Geoff Tate’s Operation Mindcrime project and its 2015 release.
Because of these projects, Moyer wasn’t available to play on “Immortalized”, released in 2015, but returned to the band to tour and then played on “Evolution” released in 2018.
“The Children” in the album title is another term for “The Songs”. And “The Lost Children” is all of Disturbed’s non-album tracks up to 2011.
It’s from the “Ten Thousand Fists” album.
I feel like the riff got tweaked and used to better effect for “Indestructible”. But it doesn’t mean that this song is inferior.
Lyrically it’s about s person in a relationship who keeps coming in and out of the persons life, and every time they come back in, they mess up their world a little bit more.
“A Welcome Burden”
From “The Sickness” album cycle and the song appeared on the “Dracula 2000” soundtrack.
Its flow is like the debut album and it’s groovy Nu-Metal riffs.
It was written for the “Transformers” album, but never used.
And man, what a riff to start it off.
From the “Asylum” album cycle and a song which appeared in Dexter.
The Intro riff hooks me in. It’s head banging and almost progressive by it’s notes phrasing.
The Chorus as usual is huge.
From the “Ten Thousand Fists” album cycle and a riff similar to “Stricken” starts the song off.
I like the single note runs in the Verse riff.
And an excellent guitar lead is also present.
From the “Indestructible” album cycle.
A fast double time Intro gives way to a groove verse. Actually the drumming from Mike Wengren is a stand out on this.
“Leave It Alone”
From the “Asylum” album batch of songs. The song has excellent riffs throughout.
In the Verses, there is a natural harmonic lick that comes in on certain bars.
The Chorus riff gets the head banging with its military like groove.
For the solo, it goes to half time and how good is that bluesy solo lick to come out of the lead section.
A song from the “Ten Thousand Fists” album cycle.
Can melodic rock, Sabbath and Nu-Metal be a thing?
On this song they exist in harmony.
And I always enjoy a Donegan solo, but this time it’s the riff after the solo which gets me to pick up the guitar.
“God of the Mind”
A B-side from “The Sickness” and it also appeared in the “Valentine” movie. It’s a derivative version of the songs that appeared on the debut.
The verses do remind me of Tool but I feel like the song has more NIN and early Filter influences.
A B-side from “Ten Thousand Fists” and a massive head banging Intro kicks it off.
For the verses, a tom-tom drum pattern provides the focus while the guitar belts out chords.
And as usual, the Chorus is melodic and big.
A B-side from “Asylum” and the song is about religion as a catalyst for war.
The first part with the spoken samples of leaders and newscasters with Draiman chanting “hey“ is excellent.
After that I feel like the song becomes a thrash groove song. Wengren on the drums is the star here.
A B-side from “Indestructible” but with a riff that brings back memories of “Fighting For The Earth” from Warrior.
A B-side from “Believe” that they played live regularly with a big Chorus.
A B-side from “Asylum”, originally released as a digital single to benefit the “West Memphis Three”.
The lead break is shred-a-licious.
In case you weren’t aware, the West Memphis Three are three Metal heads convicted as teenagers in 1994 of the 1993 murders of three boys. During the trial, the prosecution asserted that the juveniles killed the children as part of a Satanic ritual.
Due to the dubious nature of the evidence, the case generated widespread controversy and was the subject of several documentaries. Celebrities and musicians held fundraisers to support efforts to free the men. Metallica, Pearl Jam and Disturbed come to mind.
And after serving 18 years they were freed and the real killers still walk the streets.
A Faith No More cover and a B-side from “Indestructible”. And each Disturbed cover is a great rendition. This song could pass as a Disturbed original.
“Living After Midnight”
A Judas Priest cover which starts off with the “Painkiller” drum Intro and a B-side from “Asylum”.
By the end of it, the album didn’t feel like a put together cash in. It actually felt like a new Disturbed album as the sequencing of the songs didn’t follow the chronological release of the songs.
By album Number 4, the Disturbed brand was bigger than ever. Johnny K was gone from the Producers chair. The deals that artists have with producers means that the producers increase their cut and royalty points with each subsequent album. It’s simple business. Instead of paying someone else, they decided to do it themselves.
Disturbed for this album and all albums after is David Draiman on lead vocals, Dan Donegan on lead and rhythm guitars, John Moyer on bass and Mike Wengren on drums.
Released in 2008, it quickly went on its way of matching its predecessors.
In Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S, its certified Platinum. In Finland and the U.K, its certified Gold. It charted well in a lot of countries.
It was called “Defend” before it was re-titled to “Indestructible”.
While it is a hopeful song to the armed forces, it also serves as a reminder to everyone that Disturbed is still here after all these years.
Killer metal groove riff to start the song off.
Actually, the guitar lead breaks on the album shows the Guitar Community that Donegan is a lot more accomplished than previously thought.
“Inside The Fire”
It was nominated for a 2009 Grammy Award in the “Best Hard Rock Performance” category.
It’s a disturbing song, which Draiman has explained as “standing over the body of my girlfriend, who just killed herself, and the Devil is standing over me, whispering in my ear to kill myself.”
The guitar starts off before the drums and bass kick in.
The chorus shares some similarities to “Primal Concrete Sledge” by Pantera however Disturbed sing it in a melodic and anthemic way and of course the guitar solo is “Guitar Hero” worthy.
Another song about a bad relationship or that person in your life that lies, deceives and takes from you.
The original title of the album and the first song written for it. The “Night” in this song is a living entity that surrounds you and hides you.
How good is the intro to this?
And another anthemic Chorus.
Check out the guitar lead. Donegan moves to a new level here with some serious sweeps and string skipping.
It’s pre “The Sickness” as the band thought it would be pretty cool, especially for the fans, if they brought back maybe a song or two, that were actually written during the same period that “The Sickness” songs were written.
Another killer lead break from Donegan.
A bass and drum groove start the song with the sound of rain and a tolling bell, before the guitar riff comes in, all staccato like and in sync with the bass drum.
The way Draiman sings the Chorus showcases his vocal abilities.
It’s Disturbed from the first album. There’s a bit of everything here.
Another great lead from Donegan.
The bird calls are back as Draiman sings “huh, huh”.
Another old song from pre “The Sickness”, it’s like a punk thrash song in the intro, before it moves into a groove metal riff that reminds me of Judas Priest’s “Better By You, Better Than Me” for the verses.
Draiman is telling you to be an individual, make your mark and stand out. Don’t be a conformist within the pack.
The drums are frantic for the closer.
And in the same way that AC/DC plays its standard blues rawk and roll, Disturbed doesn’t really stray too much from a style which has brought them public acceptance.
Metal elitists will always look down on em, but Disturbed have flown the flag of metal for many years in the face of hip hop, dance and other crap styles.
After the excellent “Believe”, I was eagerly anticipating this release and I was a first day buyer. The cartoonish comic cover got my attention, as people from all walks of life are together, raising their firsts in the air.
Released in 2005, “Ten Thousand Fists” is the third studio album from Disturbed.
John Moyer joins David Draiman, Dan Donegan and Mike Wengren this time around. However, Moyer was considered a session musician during the time of recording, and only became a full-time member during the tour supporting the album.
Johnny K is also producing. This would be his last album with the band.
The album was also dedicated to Dimebag Darrell, who was murdered the year before the album’s release.
“Ten Thousand Fists”
A great song about the metal show and the glorious sight of “ten thousand fists in the air”.
Musically its classic Disturbed, in which the vocal melody follows the syncopated drum and guitar riff in the verses.
The Chorus’s by now have become anthemic for Disturbed.
You will remember the night you were struck by the sight of ten thousand fists in the air
The interlude with the backwards guitars gives it all a Middle Eastern vibe. Check it out.
Another killer riff to start the song off. Check.
Verses is syncopated, with riffs, vocals and bass drum. Check.
Anthemic chorus. Check.
Just stop enough of the limitless critical comments on my life Just drop the judgment and all of your pseudo-involvement in my life
We might see our Metal hero’s as indestructible, but they are normal like all of us and they have feelings, which do get hurt within relationships.
A speed metal cut, as it comes racing out with double kick drums and fast alternate picked lines.
Guarding yourself from the love of another Left you with nothing tonight
How much are you willing to let people in?
Then it goes into an arpeggio riff that reminds me of Coverdale/Page’s “Whisper A Prayer For The Dying”.
“Deify” means to worship someone or treat as a god.
The song starts off with a sampled speech of George W Bush Jnr before it cranks into an angry song against the Bush administration.
I won’t let them Deify you They view you as the new messiah Deify you Renew belief in some demented man
It’s a divisive time. A lot of people disagreed with our Government’s at sending soldiers into Iraq and Afghanistan. And look how that’s worked out for Afghanistan at the moment. And Iraq hasn’t been stable since.
Check out the speed metal in the Interlude.
One of my favourite tracks on the album. It has a groove riff similar to “Remember” in the intro.
The Chorus is anthemic as you would expect by now.
And finally Dan Donegan shreds.
2005 was the era for guitarist who didn’t normally shred on albums to start shredding.
Another song with an anthemic chorus.
How good is that Tool like groove in the Bridge?
There will never be a reason why I will surrender to your advice To change myself, I’d rather die
Would you rather fail doing it your way or on someone else’s advice?
“Sons Of Plunder”
The dog and bird barks are back vocally with the catchcry “Tell me you like it” as Disturbed rocks the new metal sounds in the verses and goes all anthemic in the Chorus.
At 1.53 it goes into this bass feel that reminds me of “My Friend Of Misery”. But the way the guitars and drums build it back up, needs to be listened to.
Lyrically Draiman is attacking artists that create soulless songs just to have a hit.
You say you’ve found yourself a new sound The shit’s loaded and ready to go A bit too much just like the old sound Already heard it for the hundredth time One hundred more, all have the same sound Running around with all the sheep that you know “It’s so sublime, they’re breaking new ground” “They’re sure to have another hit this time”
It sounds like the decline of Hard Rock music between 1988 and 1992.
I’m still surrounded by the “new sound” I’ve had enough and I’m ready to go A strangle-hold throughout the world now The new obsession will fade in time A thin reminder of the past now All convoluted hardly ready to go Their whines and moans will never last now I think you’ve given us our fill this time
And the Grunge came (“the new sound”) that took over the world only to see if fade within 5 years.
The bass riff again echoes an influence of “My Friend Of Misery” with a bit of the “Orion” interlude and “Rime Of The Ancient Mariner” interlude chucked in.
Then it becomes a groove cut, reminding me of Tool. And all of those little references to songs I know, makes me like this song a little bit more and it also gets me to check out those influences.
Lyrically it’s about war.
Check out the anthemic Chorus.
At 3.54, the Bridge begins. The riff is like ascending before it descends giving an eerie feeling.
At 4.26, Donegan clicks on the wah-wah pedal and we get another lead break. His style is more bluesy, but when needed he can break out some fast legato lines or alternate picked lines.
And the song ends the way it started, with the bass riff.
A throwback to the debut in the intro and verses but the Chorus is the new Disturbed. Anthemic and melodic.
How good is the interlude/bridge section between 2.00 and 2.43 and then Donegan breaks out another lead break?
“Land Of Confusion”
The Genesis song from 1986 gets disturb-iz-ied.
This is the world we live in And these are the hands we’re given Use them and let’s start trying To make it a place worth living in
This is truth, but how many are willing to risk being uncomfortable.
There’s a perceived safety in comfort so we put up with our Government’s invasion of our privacy and removing more liberties in the name of security and keeping us safe.
Verses like the debut album. Check.
Anthemic Chorus. Check.
Massive drumming. Check.
My conviction is stronger today As I fight to uncover your sacred lie And the fear isn’t going away As the soldiers still die
Remember the war on “weapons of mass destruction”. The biggest bullshit ever.
Read the comments for “Sacred Lie”, but this one has a lot more electronics, like “The Game” from the debut.
Then again, how can I not mention the massive Chorus.
Avarice means extreme greed for wealth or material gain.
So we get a speed metal barrage to finish the album off just to show the anger.
Politics and evil All one in the same Satan hides behind a different name
There is a small demented chromatic like lead break I like which kicks in over an ascending chord progression.
In Australia, it was certified Platinum. In Canada, it was certified 2× Platinum. In New Zealand, it was certified Gold. In the United Kingdom, it was certified Gold and in the United States, its certified 2× Platinum.
It charted well in a lot of other European countries. It was everywhere.
P.S. All the solos on the record are excellent. Kudos to Dan Donegan for stepping up.
P.S.S. This is Disturbed at their best and itt’s a great addition to any Heavy Metal Collection.
P.S.S.S. The “wah-ha-ah-ah!” scream is still there.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I was working as an Insurance Broker in Sydney during this time. And everytime I went for a walk during lunch time to the record shops, the flyers for Disturbed always grabbed my attention, but I didn’t buy.
Then they got added to the Ozzfest festival. Ozzy apparently said, he’s seen the future of heavy metal and that is “Disturbed”. Then I got a transcription of “Voices” in one of the guitar magazines I subscribed to and after playing through what I thought the song sounded like, I was very interested.
So in 2001, I made the purchase.
And I looked at the band member names. Totally unrecognisable.
From Chicago, they formed in 1994. The band currently (2021) is vocalist David Draiman, guitarist/keyboardist Dan Donegan, bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Wengren.
Donegan and Wengren have been involved in the band since the start, with Moyer replacing former bassist Steve Kmak and Draiman replacing original lead vocalist Erich Awalt.
In 2000, the band released its debut album, “The Sickness”.
In the U.S alone (and if you like to use the RIAA sales metric as a gauge for success) it went Gold by August, 2000.
Platinum by November, 2000.
2x Platinum by October 2001.
3 x Platinum by March 2003.
4 x Platinum by September 2008.
5x Platinum by June, 2018.
It went Platinum in Australia, 2x Platinum in Canada, Gold in the U.K
“Are you breathing?”
And a new trademark is born.
The metal groove of the riff became known as the “Nu-Metal” riff.
And Draiman talks about some freaky shit, and the staccato vocal delivery from Draiman was so unique it got me interested. It was just so different from the 80’s type of singers I was so used to.
The NIN electronics plus bass drum acting like a metronome and a catchy vocal melody hooks me in.
And those dog barks from David Draiman. WTF. But I liked it. It was different. Very different.
Also the syncopation of vocal melody, guitar riff and bass drum was insane when I first heard it.
The groove on this. And the vocal style of Draiman was bizzare, it was like he had a health issue the way he was singing. But I couldn’t turn it off. I wanted to hear what he would come with up with next.
At 2.33, this Middle East style vibe kicks in, before the heaviest part of the song kicks in when Draiman is singing “Don’t deny me”.
The guitar riff takes the style of Korn and guitarist Dan Donegan has this ability to take influences from what was current like NIN, Korn, Limp Bizkit, Tool and put it all into his metal influenced blender, and out comes the magic brew of Disturbed.
“Down With The Sickness”
The drum pattern and riff to kick off this song is now iconic, along with Draiman’s bird like calls “Oo Wahahahah” and the disturbing Bridge, which has Draiman talking and screaming at an abuser.
In the live arena, there are a sea of faces jumping up and down and head banging, like an ocean swell about to hit the stage.
The riff is jarring.
“Bring the violence its significant”
It’s like soundtrack music at the start but when the riff kicks in, it’s more of the same.
It has this Deftones/Tool like feel in the music which I like as it offers some variation from the previous tracks.
The verse riff is cool to jam to.
It feels like a re-write of the first four songs with “en-e-me” as the catchcry.
I really like what Disturbed did with this “Tears For Fears” song and how Dan Donegan created the heavy palm muted riff.
A groove metal cut, a fan favorite.
“Meaning Of Life”
It starts with electronica and the riffs from Donegan build nicely while Draiman is singing “I wanna get psycho”.
Lyrically there wasn’t anything that grabbed me, but the music, the grooves and staccato vocals definitely got me thinking differently when it came to writing riffs.
Disturbed would nail it with the next two albums, “Believe” and “Ten Thousand Fists” which I consider superior to “The Sickness” and both of them did good business in the multi-platinum figures. But those stories are for a different post.