Sound — 5
Other critics have been taken in by Disturbed's claims to a new sound, or at least something new, different, creative even. This is very much the case... for the first two or three tracks. One of those is an instrumental track, and that is hardly circumstantial. Is it the absence of frontman David Draiman's voice, or is Remnants merely an innocently misleading beginning to an album of mediocrity? The title track works well, reintroducing the listener to what sounds like a rejuvenated Disturbed, fresh and ready for the presentation of a new album. Indeed, the bass guitar riff which initiates the song is impressive; unfortunately, the song lasts for at least two minutes too long, and the music sounds like the backing track to just about any Disturbed song features on any of the last three albums. Infection begins with a rampant guitar riff, which threatens to gallop, or even make the transition to furious tremolo work. Instead, it resorts to a standard David Draiman chorus. Much of the promise here is found in traces, particularly in some of Donegan's guitar work. This is much in evidence in the chorus of Warrior, when Donegan manages to add a little extra to the tired and expected chorus. Much of Draiman's vocal work is tired, restricting the Donegan, Moyer, and Wengren to working towards his vocal talents. This is a natural thing for any band to do, but in Disturbed's case, the natural tendency to working to a vocalist's talents is unrelenting, excessive, and restricting. Dogging Disturbed are questions of the band's vitality, relevance and innovation. Aside from the slight redemption gained through The Animal, Disturbed has failed to answer these questions with any authority. In other news, Sacrifice almost threatens to be Disturbed's Walk, before cementing itself as a minor success on an album of such monotony.
Lyrics — 6
An undoubtedly talented vocalist, Draiman's delivery cannot be faulted if evaluated in a narrow sense. Sadly, he has long failed to push his own boundaries in what he does with his talents. He over-relies upon his critically acclaimed rhythmic voice, and even his distorted bellowing. In danger of becoming a one trick pony, Draiman needs to step it up in time for Disturbed's next effort. Lyrically, we're looking at a lot of the same material that Draiman has explored before. He draws upon a variety of personal feelings, most notably, the Holocaust (Never Again). It would be wrong to question Draiman's sincerity in writing the song, but it is always hazardous when contributing to an issue as well documented and contributed to as the Holocaust. In the event, perhaps it is refreshing to hear Draiman's direct approach to the topic. From the title of the songNever Againto the passion and fury as Draiman sings You dare to tell me that there never was a Holocaust, you think that history will leave the memory lost? It might not be subtle or smart, but Draiman gets his point across without the frills and skills of many of his contemporaries. It works well on Never Again, but perhaps Disturbed would benefit from someone with a little more poetry and lithe to their song-writing.
Overall Impression — 5
Disturbed has delivered another album whose songs could just as easily have made it onto any of the band's other albums. A tried and tested formula is all very well, but Disturbed needs to offer better next time round. There is a fine line between tried and tested and just plain boring.