Sound — 8
Disturbed formed in Chicago back in 1997 when long-time friends Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums), and Fuzz (bass) met singer David Draiman and convinced him to join them. The band recorded two separate demo EPs and sent them to every possible record company. The idea behind it was to show record companies that they were serious guys and not some loosers happened to record a couple of songs. Apparently that brought results and Disturbed broke out in 2000 with the debut album "The Sickness," released on Giant Records. Being very ambitions musicians, Disturbed wanted to make the next album at least on the level of classic metal bands they were in love with. Having taken Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Pantera and Soungarden as examples, guys locked in the studio with producer Johnny K. and mixer Andy Wallace to create an album, that would become an ultimately superior record to it's predecessor. The team knew exactly what they wanted to archive and "Believe" debuted at #1 in 2003 and became platinum. Disturbed is currently touring in support to their third album "Ten Thousand Fists," which is due to be released September the 20th. If you followed the news about the band, you probably heard Draiman promising that the new record was gonna be very experimental and different from the past, though he admitted it is very hard to re-invent oneself. Well, the first difference on the record, there's no more Fuzz here. Bassist John Moyer (formerly Union Underground) is now Mike Wengren's new partner in Disturbed's rhythm-section and I should say they do their job excellent, being the most powerful part of the band's music. As for changes, I guess that's all. Good or bad, Disturbed stayed true to music they played before and to the formula that worked quite well in the past. The album has a melodic base, produced by clean strained vocals, powerful drums and overloud guitars plus brilliant production. Donegan's guitar leads rhythm section, using a lot of thick, heavy riffs. The band doesn't use trashy sound in the versus too much, letting the melody play it's part. Because of that some songs are catchy (which is not too popular occurrence among nu-metal bands) and you can actually differ one from another. Fans of Disturbed have been looking for guitar solos from Donegan on the previous two albums without any luck. Finally they are rewarded! The band's guitarist has developed the ability to play guitar solos, though he seems shy on this record and shows up only in some songs. Donegan's skills sound impressive (listen, he can play so fast!), but reminds exercises and would much rather fit a classical rock album of mid '70s. "I'm Alive" pictures images of a pirate's feast, esp. when it comes to the chorus, I can actually see 13 fat old dudes sitting on an old decrepit ship, drinking rum and singing "The things I treasure most in life cannot be taken away..." The most standout track on the record is a cover of Genesis' 1986 hit "Land Of Confusion" -? it's very close to the original and thus has much of a rock sound. The revolutionary lyrics though support the album's conception. The first single from the album "Stricking" starts from the memorable sound, which brings the memories of someone on a toilet taking s--t (sorry). "a-a-a-A!" ? plop... Well, that's as much as stayed in my mind after listening to "Ten Thousand Fists" a number of times and looking for something outstanding. Unfortunately, most of the songs on the album have the same structure and idea.
Lyrics — 8
David's voice and lyrical content are the main focus of the band. Drainman sings in a strong hollow voice and puts a lot of aggression into words, but there's nothing really horrible he sings about as it might seem. Relentless lyrics are about universe subjects ?- relationship, struggles, fighting for the right to be what you want to be (this one probably came from David's childhood as his parents wanted him to be a minister, but far not an angry musician). The title track "10,000 Fists" is good enough to be an anthem of a youth uprising, having a highly energized call to fight lyrical content. For the album Drainman recorded some very stereotypical yells. Not that his growling is bad, but I wish there were more of that and maybe he could even invent a sound of his own to define him from other thousand singers growling on five thousand albums.
Overall Impression — 8
"Ten Thousand Fists" is a good soundtrack for driving very fast down the road with thoughts that one day you'll change the world -? the songs would defenitly give you more confidence if you are five minutes to be Che Guevara. The band has a unique style, doesn't matter whoever they're compared to ?- Limp Bizkit, Korn or SlipKnot. The main difference from all metal and hard core bands is that they play music, which takes it aggression and drive from drums and vocals. Even though the album is excellently produced and played, the band should find the way to add more variety to their music. Two records with the same sound is quite enough. I hope next time guys would find some new hooks and won't be that predictable.