Sound — 8
Following a multi-year hiatus to pursue other projects and simply take time off from working so much, Disturbed has returned with a much anticipated album in Immortalized. If anyone was expecting them to change up the sound that they are widely known for then it hasn't happened and in many ways that is a good thing. That doesn't mean they didn't experiment with a few things in certain songs such as using a phone call with cryptic tones in "Save Our Last Goodbye" which more than likely refers to a friend with terminal cancer. But for the most part, this is indeed a Disturbed album post-"Ten Thousand Fists" from 2005. Songs like "The Vengeful One" show case the trademark sound of a single that will receive air time ironically enough through media outlets. David's chorus approach remains the same which is a good thing as you start to hear some hard rock voices fade at this point in a singer's career however he retains the same fierce attitude and sound he's known. Mike Wengren's drums are on point, especially in "Open Your Eyes" which has a good timing to it and easy choice for headbanging to. John Moyer's bass is as heavy as always and keeps a good groove throughout each song taking a front stage in "Save Our Last Goodbye." And finally, Dan Donegan's guitar has its trademark tone especially showcased in the album's title track. The melodies are also ever present in each track while containing that reserved aggressive nature in them.
There is no questioning the quality of sound throughout the album. Vocals, guitar, bass and drums are mixed very well as have most if not all of Disturbed's albums from the fast. Of course David Draiman's trademark voice is as great as ever along with Dan Donegan's guitar, Mike Wengren's drums and John Moyer's heavy bass all working in perfect sync with one another. If you've listened to Disturbed's past three albums and you've enjoyed them from the sound aspect, you'll enjoy this as well from David's howling voice to headbanging drum beats. I'm not going to go into every song through detail and I'll explain that in the overall impressions, but just known it is that Disturbed sound you know well. The band may have been apart for an extended period but they known what works for them and they come back strong.
Lyrics — 6
David Draiman is known for tackling many themes from a population uprising to suicide and now more recently, media corruption. Yes, he sings of issues such as that in "The Venegful One" while asking for people to become "Immortalized" and stand together under a hero in their album's title track. His known delivery of chorus is ever present in each song and while using his quieter voice as a way to build up that anticipation of when it hits. Even in tracks like "Save Our Last Goodbye" talking of a friend with a terminal illness, his voice is powerful but there lies a problem within that. The lyrics for certain songs, ones like "Fire It Up" are just so damn uninspiring and bland that it detracts away from the performance he gives. I found myself more interested in the rest of the band compared to his singing wondering where he took the lyrics from or rather if he's copied certain things from "Ten Thousand Fists" and said to hell with it on other songs. I understand it's not easy to keep finding inspiration in songs but there had to be more than this in his arsenal after a long hiatus.
Overall Impression — 7
Now then, I don't review albums that much but when they're major albums from artists such as this, I'd like to leave an opinion on it if only to help someone who's younger that's just getting into this genre of music to try and find their sound and hopefully they'll find what makes them happy as I did. For all the good that Disturbed have done with this album, making it no doubt better than their last album, "Asylum," by putting in renewed energy into it, there seems to still be that hint of complacency with Disturbed that I was hoping there wouldn't be. I'm not saying reinvent the sound that you have completely like Axl Rose has been trying to do for twenty years but tweak it, update it.
I'm sure that I'll possibly get a lot of eye rolls and middle fingers for this but hearing Slipknot's ".5: The Gray Chapter" was a thing of beauty to my ears. It had been six years along with the death of Paul Gray and the departure of Joey Joridson since they had released an album. And yet they were able to make an album that was critically acclaimed and is considered by some to be on the same level of their debut album and "Iowa." That was what I was hoping for with this album, that it would capture that same energy I heard from Disturbed ten years ago and wish that they would put some kind of theme into their albums instead of hearing a little bit of the same. You can only pull AC/DC style music for so long
I remember listening to "Ten Thousand Fists" in 2005 and thought "This could be the start of something amazing for them." It had such energy and is still one of my favorite albums. But it seems some of the magic of that album, at least for me, has been lost. This is still a good album for anyone that is a fan of Disturbed, and I am one of them, or for anyone that enjoys a variety of hard rock / heavy metal music. However, at least to me, it's something that won't make you go "WOW!" but more "That was okay, but it could've been better."