Disturbed is back, releasing their third album of brutality. It is notably heavier than their last album, Believe, but not at the same level of their 2000 debut, Sickness. The new album, Ten Thousand Fists, brings a little more of that heaviness that was the trademark of that first album.
Disturbed is one of those faces of this new wave of metal, that takes cues from the old school of Metallica and mixes it with modern edge and has created a sound that isn’t pure metal nor is it truly a member of the nu metal crowd. They have developed a unique sound that has matured over the course of their three albums, each one representing a different stage in the evolution of the band and their ever maturing sound. The first stage was straight up heavy, the second stage was the introduction of the more melodic and introspective side, now we are upon the third stage which is a blending of the first two into this melodically heavy wall of modified metal.
The album opens with the anthemic title track, “Ten Thousand Fists.” Demonstrating their heaviness and percussive nature. Open chords surrounded by incessant drumming, while the vocals soar above clear words with rough edges. This moves into the more immediately clipped rhythms of “Just Stop.” Other highlights include “Deify” and “I’m Alive”. Not to mention the first single “Stricken.”
Then there is the odd inclusion of the cover of Genesis’ “Land of Confusion.” They do a pretty good job of it, but just like Tears for Fears “Shout” on The Sickness it just seems a little odd. I like the idea of bands including cover tracks on their albums, especially when they have a unique spin placed on the song, just like Disturbed has done here with Genesis. It is a bit jarring, but before long you will be caught up in the groove.
Disturbed is a drum based band, at least that is what I get from their music. There is a heavy groove which always seems to be led by Mike Wengren on the drums. Strong rhythm sense is what carries the band. Well, that and David Draiman’s amazing voice, he can shift gears from a rough edged growl to smooth and melodic, often within the same song, seemingly at will. He is one of the most unique voices on the scene. Let us not forget Dan Donegan and his guitars, this time around we get some more solos than we have been accustomed to, allowing Dan to show off his chops and skills a bit more, and being more than up to the task.
Bottomline. Disturbed has one of the more unique sounds going right now, and this album shows the maturity and growth they have been undergoing. They deliver the goods in heaviness and good songwriting. This is a band that is hear for the long haul. Plus they put on a great live show. This album, while not at the same level as their debut, is headed in the right direction, the convergence of song and weight.
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