on 1 November 2011
I bought the limited edition version for my fiance, who's a massive fan of Disturbed, and has been since day one. He'd got me into listening to them a year and a half ago, if not longer, and I love this album. The track listing, and my opinions on the tracks are as follows:
2:44 of absolutely beautiful melodic guitar playing. A first for Disturbed, who have never done an intro for an album before, and I can safely say that I would happily have an entire album full of this.
This song follows on directly from Remnants, and the two fit together beautifully. The second single release from Asylum for Disturbed, and a very powerful song about love. You're able to feel David Draiman's (lead singer) emotion the whole way through. The guitar riffs are as fantastic as ever, and of course, there's some iconic Draiman noises.
3. The Infection.
This was definitely my favourite from the album with my first listen through. A deep, powerful, heartstring tugging song about depression eating away at a person's soul ("The infection must die, murder the beast that's been eating me alive") after breaking up with a partner. I love the way you can hear his emotion the whole way through, and the guitar is just fantastic the whole way through. I love the solo, fits in beautifully with the song in general.
Admittedly, I really did not like this song when I first heard it, as I've never been a fan of their "The Sickness" stage. The song starts with a guitar riff from Dan Donegan, which continues through the song, giving the song the main stability. The growling grows on you after a few listens, if you prefer their "Believe" stage. This is their latest release, and I'm glad to say that I can happily listen to this now after 10 or so plays.
5. Another Way To Die.
The first single release from Asylum which has a strong bassline and drumbeat. The guitar fits in fantastically around the singing and other instruments. As a whole, AWTD is about how we've destroyed the Earth, and the way we're aware of it, but still don't stop as we're greedy and only really care about our race, but how we're ignorant to poverty. I love the solo in it, as it's just so, so fitting to the song, incredible, but still manages to keep a sombre feel.
6. Never Again.
A controversial song about the Holocaust. David himself is Jewish, and has very strong feelings about the subject. The song is trying to raise awareness of what happened, and saying that it cannot happen again, as the name implies. The solo in this song, bar Remnants is definitely my favourite, as it's absolutely fantastic.
7. The Animal.
Their third release from Asylum. This song has a fantastic, creepy start with weird sound effects. This, quoting the man himself, "is inspired by the movie The Wolfman. It is about somebody who transforms into a werewolf under the light of the full moon." An odd choice for a song meaning for them as they're so deep, normally, but this was also another one of my favourites.
In all honesty, this song is a bit slow for me. I've listened to it several times, but I wouldn't know it if it came on, as it doesn't really stand out. Saying that, I like the chorus, as his voice sounds fantastic, it's more of a soft song than their normal loud songs, which is probably why I don't feel it's very special, although I'm sure if I focussed on this song in particular, it would grow on me.
One word. Beautiful. His voice is just incredible in this song. The entirety of the song is very melodic, and the music complements his voice perfectly. Serpentine is about "a succubus demon woman who utilizes her sexuality to prey on the weaknesses of men." You can hear his pain through the whole of the song, "My will cannot endure, as my heart is torn away." Definitely one of my favourites, and it would be a very strong single. My only problem with it is a lack of a solo, but Draiman makes up for it with a whispery, growly bit.
10. My Child.
Another controversial song. It starts off with a baby crying, which isn't really to my tastes. It's about a miscarriage David suffered with his ex girlfriend. I've never really listened to it before, and focussed, so now is my first go. It's a very deep, emotional song, and really makes you feel his pain and sadness. The bridge and chorus are really melodic, vocally, and the drum beat throughout works well with his voice, and the guitar is quite simplistic throughout, which makes a change for Disturbed.
In all honesty, this song and Crucified are very similar to me, probably because I haven't really listened to either that much. Although, the guitar before the chorus is cool, and David's voice is fantastic on the chorus. This song is about how people have two sides to their personality. The solo is pretty basic, although towards the end, leading into the chorus sounds great.
A fantastically, hard hitting song from the group. It's all about corruption within law, and lawyers defending criminals they know are guilty, so they get away with it, so they can reoffend and cause more harm. "Who is innocent? No one is innocent who is innocent." I could actually quote the entire song, every line is that good. A nice drumbeat complements the song and the singing, and there are some funky guitar bits in the chorus which I really like.
13. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For.
Disturbed covered U2's ISHFWILF for their hidden track on the album, which starts 1:34 into the last track's silence. Personally, I think it's a fantastic cover, and the guitar riffs are beautiful. David still manages to keep the emotion in the song, whilst making it heavier. I love the solo in the middle of the track as this just makes it Disturbed's own, and it's definitely not awful like some covers are.
14. Leave It Alone.
This is definitely worth a download. It starts off with a brilliant guitar riff from Dan, and then breaks into David singing about his anger, which the guitar continuing in the background, which is probably my favourite thing about the song. You can see why it's a B-Side, as it doesn't flow like the songs on the album do. The solo is quite reminiscent of AWTD, but this one just isn't quite as good.
15. Down With The Sickness (Live)
These last two are bonus tracks on the Limited Edition copy, which was the version that I bought, as it came with a DVD. I don't like this song, as I don't like the song itself. But David overcompensates when he sings live, since he had an operation on this throat, which ruins the purity of the song, as you can hear him straining, which I don't like. Overall, the singing is okay, but there are some bits where he's really off-key which is a bit painful.
16. Stricken (Live)
The only redeeming feature of this is the giggle you get at 21 seconds when David does his iconic scream. Again, it's very forced, and although it's not his fault, it isn't very enjoyable to listen to. It's a very emotional song, but it doesn't come across as much in this version. My favourite part of this song is the solo, as it's so, so beautiful and full of emotion (I didn't know solos could be full of emotion, but it is, somehow.) and it's absolutely flawless; the crowd rightly cheer as Dan gets into it.
Overall, a fantastic, incredible album, note the huge review.
Stand-out tracks for me are: Remnants, The Infection and Serpentine.
I recommend you buy it as soon as you can, as you're currently missing out on some incredible music. Get the limited edition if you can, you get the expanded album art, the main album art in poster form and Decade of Disturbed/Dissected DVD, which is both inspiring and comical, and the awesome album case layout.
on 30 August 2010
There isn't much here that would sway non-Disturbed fans. In fact I encourage all Disturbed haters to chew over their own favourite bands and keep their nosey noses out of this one. This album is Disturbed as you know them. Sure, there are a few tweaks, perhaps even enhancements if you will, to the formula, but this is an album that you buy when you know what you're going to get. Very much like Ronseal - it does exactly what it says on the tin.
And I love them for it.
On to the tweaks: Draiman remains front man, but there is very noticeable harmonising going on. The other band members who can sing have been encouraged to do so and it has a pleasing, full sound. Disturbed has always been aurally rich and this adds another layer, which is very welcome. The intros have had some due care. One thing you don't get with Disturbed is acoustic or balad work that other bands inevitably fall into. The intros go some way into that but remain essentially Disturbed and again provide another layer. This is largely subjective so others may wonder what the heck I'm on about, but there you go.
Onto the songs: I'll go over each of them, but I won't bore you for too long with that, just know that yes, thematically they remain dark and personal and also retain the Disturbed formula, both in structure and vocally. How they manage to have it sound fresh and exciting really is beyond me, most bands die by sticking to the formula. I guess it just works.
1. Remnants - This serves as the album intro. There's no vocals (instrumental) but some excellent guitar work including that due care I was on about earlier.
2. Asylum - Follows on from Remnants, kicks into a cool baseline then it's Disturbed with some balls out riffs. Quick song even at 4 mins +
3. The Infection - If I had a complaint about this song is that is sounds too much like a couple of songs they've already done. Nice to hear, but yeah - overbearing originality issues.
4. Warrior - Nice riff.
5. Another Way to Die - You should know this one and you may be pleased to know that it isn't the best song on the album. Okay, again subjective, but it really isn't. Honest.
6. Never Again - One I was tempted to skip actually. Not necessarily a weak song, it just didn't grip.
7. The Animal - Oooh they missed a step with this one. The intro is a killer, the potential for a real stomper here but was lost in both the verse and chorus. Very enjoyable, but yeah, could have been the best track. Ouch.
8. Crucified - Can't say much about this one. It's Disturbed. But then that's all you need to know about this one.
9. Serpentine - One of their 'tracklist previews.' Draiman talked about this one along with others. Nothing particularly wow about it, but it has a good hook, some excellent lyrics and a nice piece before the changeup midway. But then I could be talking about any Disturbed song.
10. My Child - I'm sure this will get talked about more than the others. It's about Draiman's lost child (no more details please.) It starts with a baby crying. Which in my opinion, in relation to the subject matter is either crazy brave or disgusting. When I put this on my mp3 player I will be cutting that bit entirely. Really not cool. The rest of the song is good though, and Draiman appears to address his critics over the subject matter. Yeah, fine Davey but the baby crying at the beginning is better left out. Ok?
11. Sacrifice - Nice heavy riff that basically plays itself out.
12. Innocence - Balls out drum work and where I noticed the harmonising the strongest. Good song.
From here on out it's iffy - because I don't know what version you're getting.
13. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For - Beign a fan of U2 I played this track first - caught me off guard it did. Not so much a cover but a re-work. Musically it's disturbed. Anthem and lyrics wise - it's U2. Weird but cool all the same.
14. Leave It Alone - Yeah, I didn't get this one. Not on my version. Weird.
15 & 16. - Live versions of songs you already have, of which you probably have liver versions of anyway. My suggestion is that if you get the regular copy buy track 13 and 14 from itunes individually. These two songs aren't worth the money buying again.
Well, that's it. May seem like a mixed review but it only has one real low note. I applaud the creativity of Disturbed and am already looking forward to the next one.