Released: August 21, 2015
Genre: Heavy Metal, Alternative Metal
Label: Reprise, Warner Bros.
Number of Tracks: 13
Their first album in five years, recorded after a three year hiatus, it breathes new life into the band and shows that they aren't near done yet.
ImmortalizedFeatured review by: UG Team, on august 20, 2015 5 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: Disturbed formed in 1994, though their debut album, "The Sickness," was not released until 2000. Since that time the band's lineup has been very stable except for the replacement of bass player, Steve Kmak, with John Moyer in 2003. The band's most identifiable characteristic is very probably David Draiman's unique vocals and vocal melodies. "Immortalized" is the band's sixth studio album, which includes 13 tracks and a total runtime of approximately 53 minutes. The lead single from the album was "The Vengeful One," which was released in June, though it was quickly followed by the title track, "Immortalized," then "Fired Up" and "What Are You Waiting For." The album also includes a surprising cover - "The Sound of Silence," originally written and recorded by Simon and Garfunkel.
The album opens up with the short instrumental track, "The Eye of the Storm," which clocks in at under a minute and a half, though it is a very intriguing and engaging introduction for the album. The title track, "Immortalized," is the next song, and it absolutely starts with a bang - the riffs are huge, the drums and pummeling, and the vocals are strong. "The Vengeful One" opens up slower and quieter than you would expect from a lead single from Disturbed, but it gets up to speed with a vengeance, including catchy riffs and some solid drumming from Mike Wengren. "Open Your Eyes" seems like it was written for crowd participation at live shows - it has a beat that is easy to follow, has a very singable chorus, and a lot of groove. "The Light" opens up more like an indie rock song than a hard rock/alternative metal song, but really it probably stood out in a positive way from the rest of the album. It seemed like it was really on the outer limits of what David Draiman's vocals are good for, but it still worked somehow. "What Are You Waiting For" is built around a lot of aggression, and in a lot of ways is possibly the most stereotypically Disturbed song from the album, with a positive message, to boot. "You're Mine" starts out more like an EDM song than a hard rock track, but gets a little heavier later in the song. "Who" is easy to listen to, but on closer examination it doesn't exactly have a lot of substance to it. "Save Our Last Goodbye" opens up with a voicemail skit, and transitions into a huge guitar riff, complete with some really tight drumming and a lot of groove. "Fire It Up" is the obligatory party song, it opens up with sounds from a water bong, but at least the message isn't the usual "party 'til you drop," though it is a celebration of marijuana. "The Sound of Silence" is actually a Simon and Garfunkel cover, and somehow Disturbed really makes this work - this is another track where you can tell this is the very edge of what David Draiman can pull off. "Never Wrong" is a pretty solid track about the difficulty of dealing with someone in denial and can't admit when they are wrong, and how you just have to walk away. The album closes out with the track, "Who Taught You How to Hate," which is a fairly strong track, musically, but the lyrics don't really have a hook for me even though I can definitely appreciate the message. I do enjoy a lot of the guitar work on this one. // 8
Lyrics: David Draiman's vocals are what they are - very recognizable, and initially unique in a cool way. I think that his voice and the vocals from a lot of their earlier music began to rub me the wrong way years ago, and this album may eventually start doing the same thing but right now it is all really enjoyable. His vocal performance is solid, but he has a unique way that he uses vocal melody and cadence and has a distinctive voice - that can be a good thing because it makes the band immediately recognizable, but it also can start to get old after repeated listens. The lyrics are fairly typical for a hard rock album, though possibly a little bit more diverse. As an example of the lyrics, here is an excerpt from "What Are You Waiting For": "I have never compromised/ I never gave in/ And so I have welcomed every challenge in my life/ And I have never wandered blind/ I'm led by hunger/ And so I savor every drop each minute I'm alive/ Leave nothing left behind/ So what you waiting for/ Tell me what you waiting for/ Don't stand by and deny it/ So what you waiting for/ Tell me what you waiting for/ Break new ground and defy it/ Don't let the world outside/ Leave you cornered and alone/ So what you waiting for/ Tell me what you waiting for/ Let them all be reminded." // 7
Overall Impression: This isn't rocket science, it is hard rock, but this album is done right. In a genre that is plagued with "same-ness," this album is a breath of fresh air - even if only because it does a better job at the same thing a lot of other hard rock bands are trying to do right now. These sound like arena songs, like they would be killer at a live show, which I'm sure the band will put to good use in the very near future. You gotta give Mike Wengren some credit, too - that joker plays tight and has a lot of groove for a hard rock drummer. You always hear people talking about David Draiman or Dan Donegan, but honestly, Mike Wengren makes a super valuable contribution to their sound and he really shines on "Immortalized." My favorite songs on this would have to be the opening track, "The Eye of the Storm" because it is good even if it is a very short instrumental, and then from there probably "Immortalized" and "The Light." // 8
UG Team, on august 20, 2015 3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: "Immortalized" is the sixth album by Disturbed, an album that comes five years after their last release "Asylum." While previous albums have often had a problem of lacking variety and various parts sticking to a formula of some sort, this new effort shows that band evolution comes in small steps, not to mention the healthy addition of the time the band needed to refresh themselves.
So where do we begin? At "Eye of the Storm," a strange and almost chintzy guitar prelude that masks the strength of the next real track, "Immortalized." Immediately, this already a stronger sounding album than "Asylum," the title track grabbing you with this massive swing of a riff tied around a chorus that meddles with surprisingly complex chord changes and more background production than would be expected on a Disturbed track (added guitar layers, subtle synthesis etc.). This is one of the more unique tracks to come from Disturbed, one that aims to promise for more variety for the rest of the album. And truth be told, if you had this album placed next to the extremely popular "Ten Thousand Fists," the sound is already much more interesting. While it's not a massive, game-changing progression in the ten years since "Ten Thousand Fists," all these little details and improvements over various aspects of what they had previously add up. What it's lacking a bit of is some of the more progressive sounding riff ideas from "Asylum," for instance, tracks like "Warrior" and "Another Way to Die" use more left-of-field or old-school sounding melodic progressions that don't have similar analogues on "Immortalized." There are a few very new-ish ideas here and there, like the opening groove on "Open Your Eyes": it's a little bit more sophisticated than what we'd expect while not going completely off base. "You're Mine" starts off with an electro-industrial section that balances a really interestingly detailed riff, one that could be expected from electro-prog bands like OSI. Topped off with a very fancy chorus, bridge and guitar solo and it's one of the stronger tracks on the album.
Another special mention is "The Light" which, while quite cheesy, has the sort of production and song writing density akin to Devin Townsend's "Addicted" and also has a similar injection of Devin's weirdness around the mid way mark, where a really old school Disturbed bridge breaks up the relatively palatable melodic parts. That being said, given the tendency of a lot of mainstream metal acts to release an album with an abundance of tracks with similar lengths, "Immortalized" does have a few duds here and there. "Who" has some decent riff and dynamic ideas but feels quite unambitious compared to the rest of the album, a bit too similar to how much of "Asylum" sounded. "Fire It Up" is riff driven boredom, lacking the strong, cohesive melodic ideas of the rest of the album and relying on the fact that the song is about 420 blazing it. Finally, while not necessarily a bad track, "Who Taught You How to Hate" does nothing to close this album well, and it just kinds of ends. The production and mix is a definite improvement over "Asylum," although it lacks a bit of the meat of "Ten Thousand Fists" and "Indestructible." Great tones, massive drum sound and more appreciation for layers and fancy transitions, a relatively recent concept that the band have continuously added to. This is most likely the result of the work done by producer Kevin Churko, "Immortalized" being the first album he's done with Disturbed. // 7
Lyrics: David Draiman has often been praised for his rhythmical approach to his vocal lines, that and his rather distinctive Phil-Collins-on-steroids vocal delivery. However, over time, he's shifted away from that rather monotone delivery and similar patterning to more diverse approaches, something that's in this records favour. He also tones it down a bit here and there, and the much anticipated cover of Simon & Garfunkels "The Sound of Silence" shows a rare, super-soft side that Draiman had barely hinted at before now. At it's peak, he brings the same adrenaline-releasing conviction as Alan Averill of Primordial (coincidentally, another bald guy with great vox). Gone are the "Ooh wah-ah-ahs" and instead is strong, anti-gimmick driven vocal expression, so props to that guy. Lyrically, nothing is really that out of the ordinary for Disturbed on this bout. "Indestructible" and "Asylum" had some clearer themes and topics going on, while "Immortalized" deals with reiterations and mutations of ideas from previous albums. "The Vengeful One" is thematically similar to "Ten Thousand Fists" just with a different protagonist, songs like "Open Your Eyes" and "You're Mine" feel like very non-descript personal anger songs about "getting over problems" and the less said about the inanity of "Fire It Up," the better. // 7
Overall Impression: So, what you're getting is the factory fresh feeling of a more mature Disturbed, although there's still a few wrinkles to iron out. There's some good attempts at introducing subtle progression into various parts of their core sound, nicely presented with the production of Churko. Hopefully, the band can use this album as a starting point for more interesting material, as hinted at on parts of "Asylum." While the singles are slightly weaker, overall, the track quality is better, and feels less of a slog than earlier releases. And after dropping most of the gimmicks that border on near-meme status (I, personally, never even got down with the sickness), it feels like Disturbed are in a stronger place than ever. Songs to look out for: "Immortalized," "The Vengeful One," "Open Your Eyes," "The Light," "Save Our Last Goodbye," "You're Mine," "The Sound of Silence," "Never Wrong." // 8
nick9790, on august 21, 2015 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Following the release of "The Sickness," Disturbed is a band that has grown comfortable with the status quo. They have the foresight not to continuously release the same album over and over (like some of their contemporaries), but not enough to confidence to really stretch out and expand to what they are capable of. As is the case with most of their discography, there are flashes of brilliance on "Immortalized," but never a sustained burn. I do want to give credit where it is due, this offering is a massive improvement over 2010's "Asylum." Following four consecutive albums of solid, quality mainstream metal, "Asylum" was tragically unfocused and bland. So much so, you'd swear you could hear the band's lack of interest coming through the speakers. It was clearly time for a break, and it is nice to see that the hiatus has done the band some good.
The album opens with the instrumental "Eye of the Storm" which feels entirely forgettable and lazy. Don Donegan is certainly a skilled guitarist, and this is far below what he is capable of. A guitar tone that is oversaturated, and flourishes of hammer-ons and pull-offs that seem to exist only for the sake of killing time while David writes lyrics. Leave the wah to Kirk Hammett Mr. Donnegan, that is his dead horse to beat. The title track would have had much more impact as the opener. "Immortalized" is standard "Disturbed assembly line" quality material. Nothing new here, a chugging riff throughout, Draiman's typical vocal melodies carrying throughout. The song is enjoyable as a Disturbed creation, but only just. The album definitely opens on a frightening front, seeming to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor. The first radio single "The Vengeful One" is next, and is much more promising. Following one of Donegan's trademark jagged, off time riffs, Draiman releases his midrange vocal to great effect. The clean pre-chorus is perfectly built, and the chorus has a fabulous hook. This is Disturbed at their best. Nothing new here, but satisfying all the same. The groove is really the selling point. Your head bobs without thinking about it throughout, and you're certain to catch yourself singing the chorus after one repetition. This is very much "Ten Thousand Fists" material. Following is "Open Your Eyes" and while you may be tempted to dismiss it entirely, it does have a solid melody, and a lot of potential. Lyrics are the biggest hindrance here. We know you can do better, David. "The Light" is an intriguing offering. The initial opening brings to mind Sixx:AM material, slightly heavy, but begrudgingly uplifting. This is shameless radio pandering. It's not a bad song per say, but not one that anyone will admit to liking. The change in rhythm and feel is refreshing though, it needs some polishing, but I enjoy the attempt. "What are You Waiting For?" is a shining spot on this album, Draiman opens with some whispering, (shocking) but follows with a nice snarl. This track is the first that actually holds some venom, there's a drive to it, and the slight experimentation with the chorus melody gives it a nice fit in 2015, but still makes you want to drive fast and reckless, like all metal should. The very brief "solo" by Donnegan seems a little unnecessary, but we'll deal with it, this is a deserved moment of mental masturbation. "You're Mine" is a little unsettling, it opens feeling industrial, but falls flat coming off as a sample from "Night at the Roxbury" metalized. Kudos for the '90s club vibe, unfortunately it's not in a good way. It doesn't get any less cheesy. The lyrics are entirely dreadful. "Who" is safe, predictable Disturbed, but it is well done. Here, Draiman relies on "Who the f--k are you?" to carry the song, and it works. While it's not foolproof, a good "f--k" here and there can make something passable, and that's really what the song is. "Save Our Last Goodbye" has an exquisitely dark tone from the opening, it envelops nicely and would have fit perfectly amongst the tracks on "Indestructible." "Fire It Up" is the album's low point-without question. I should've known hearing the bong rip at the beginning. An ode to marijuana, the lyrics here make my skin crawl. "When I take a puff from the leaves of the devil and it carries me to the other side." Put the bong down, Dave, this explains a lot on the lyrical front in the last few years. These lyrics are juvenile, lame, lazy, and just plain atrocious. No issue with pot, but you can't get lyrics from your connection David. There is one bright spot, Don Donegan's riff work is truly first rate on this song. A great example of his style. The cover of "The Sound of Silence" is probably going to be the most divisive song here, some are sure to love and some are sure to hate. It is dark, and hauntingly atmospheric. I found it very enjoyable, take from it what you will. "Never Wrong" is another shining track here. Driving, vitriolic, and heavy, this is a nice blend of "Indestructible" and "The Sickness." Don Donnegan's work overall is accomplished, nothing new here, but I dig it all the same. The guitar work is glue on this album, and Donegan is definitely on top of his game. The rhythm section leaves a little to be desired, while it is good enough, and certainly gets the job done. I would like to see Mike Wengren stretch out a little more, he doesn't stray from the beaten path nearly enough. // 7
Lyrics: The lyrics are this album's weakest link. It is as simple as that. For the most part, they feel entirely uninspired, and like they were only recorded because David probably should sing something right? Wrong. These dumb downed lyrics may have worked when nu-metal was king, and with the intelligently devoid stuff that makes it to radio now days, I know it's easy to be complacent, but when your band is trying this hard to make a solid return, you could participate David. "Fire It Up" still just chaps my a-s. What Mr. Draiman needs to understand, is that even if your performance is good (which it is) crappy lyrics detract from it, and worse from the record. As a result, a record that could have easily been "great" becomes just "pretty good" and while it may seem like a small distinction, the fact that fault lies almost entirely with one member should leave him feeling ashamed at his lack of true effort. // 5
Overall Impression: Overall, despite the criticisms I, and undoubtedly others will levy, this is a good record. It is miles ahead of "Asylum" for mainly one reason-there's a drive here, Disturbed feels alive and ready to conquer rock radio once again. Fans will enjoy the album immensely, and detractors will dismiss it as "just another Disturbed record." At the end of the day-that's what this album is, but at least it's Disturbed doing Disturbed well. Accessibility is a big factor here, both to the album's benefit and detriment. The hiatus has undoubtedly breathed some life into these old bones. The world knows your awake Disturbed, shake off the dirt and let's hear a real roar next time. // 7
Thomasg2488, on august 26, 2015 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: 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. // 8
Lyrics: 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. // 6
Overall Impression: 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." // 7
Rob Routon, on october 02, 2015 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Overall, I was not disappointed with this album. At first, I only liked "Immortalized" and "The Light," but once I bought the CD and the songs grew on me, I liked almost all of them. Draiman's vocals still sound great on the record. "The Vengeful One" is the one song that really shined his older-album, rock-heavy sound. When I heard that one I thought, "Yea this is definitely Disturbed!"
They still range from heavy to beautiful on their songs throughout this album. I for one liked that hidden track on the "Asylum" CD of that covered song they did. Well guess what, they did it again with Simon and Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence" and I couldn't have been happier! Also, "The Light" stepped into that softer-sound arena too, but with some punch! It made that song both cool and melodic (Which to me is what great music is all about!). // 9
Lyrics: The lyrics are great overall on this album. There were 2 songs ("Who" and "Fire It Up") where I thought they weren't. Of course, "Fire It Up" is really more of a get-high song, so it's understandable. I personally didn't think "Who" was too creative and was actually pretty repetitive. It was my least favorite song on the disc both lyrically and musically. If there's a deeper message I just don't get it or haven't looked into it enough.
Don't let me bring this album down though, "The Light" is a beautifully written song with catchy melodies. It shows the die-hard fact that darkness can show you the light. Sometimes, a venture through the harder times of life is just what you need to bounce back up and live peacefully in "your own asylum" :) (see what I did there?)
"Immortalized" and "The Vengeful One" are two of those songs where Draiman sings about being a badass (at least partly). They reminded me of "Indestructible" the way they throw in long words that aren't used in common conversation, but just make it sound awesome! // 9
Overall Impression: Personally, I thought this album was better than both "Asylum" and "Believe" but that's it. I still think "Indestructible" is my favorite album. Almost none of the songs on "Immortalized" measure up to "Indestructible," "Inside the Fire," "Criminal," "Down With the Sickness," "Stricken," etc. Of course, there were 2 that came close: "Immortalized" and "The Vengeful One." And then the one song I truly loved from this album that I believe matched some of those, "The Light." I would definitely recommend this album to any rock fan, and make it a must-have for Disturbed fans! Thanks for your time guys and hope you bring "Immortalized" into your life.