As 2015 started, I’m not sure many of us would have predicted that we would be sat here talking about a brand new Disturbed album. The band went on hiatus back in 2011 and it seemed like they were in no hurry to come back, occupying themselves with family life, production work and various side projects.
After a series of teasing videos earlier in the summer and the release of a single ‘The Vengeful One’ Disturbed had announced they were back and in a big way. Now here we are with ”Immortalized” their first new album in 5 years.
I’ve listened to the album 3 times in preparation of writing this review, and I can safely say the underlying feeling I took away from the experience is disappointment. This is a very different Disturbed than the one that went on hiatus 4 years ago.
Time appears to have mellowed the band, in particular band leader David Draiman who is usually the most outspoken member of the band, and it’s that passion and outspoken nature that has fueled many of their best songs, but it seems awol on ”Immortalized” he seems like a lion that has had his teeth pulled out, he still wants to hunt, but seems to have forgotten how.
There seems to be an emphasis on choruses and the band taking a more anthemic approach which ironically enough has led to the bands most uninspired clutch of songs. Take for example ‘Fired Up’ a song that starts with a bong hit, giggling and lyrics about the joys of being stoned, it’s the kind of frat boy immaturity you would expect from band like Atilla, but it seems grossly out-of-place here.
Curiously there is also a piano lead cover of Simon & Garfunkel‘s ‘The Sound of Silence’ which pretty much kills any and all momentum the album has attempted to build to that point. I can’t help feeling that is something that could have been left as a b side, or on the cutting room floor entirely.
There are a few bright spots on ”Immortalized” ‘The Vengeful One’ and the title track are both classic Disturbed, but even they aren’t enough to save an otherwise bland and somewhat uneven album that sounds like a band on autopilot trying to rediscover a sound rather than a band that has come back with a renewed energy trying to take back their place amongst metal’s elite.
One can only hope this is a minor blip and that Disturbed can bounce back from this, failing that at least we still have the bands other albums to remind of us of how great they used to be pre hiatus.