Disturbed is back and is definitely not suffering from a sophomore slump. The new album doesn’t exactly pick up where they left off with The Sickness, but takes the band into some new and exciting territory.
Instead of playing with redundant sounds that they covered on the first album, they experiment with newer sounds and rely more on the power of David Draiman’s vocals and strong rhythms. One of the main reasons I like this band so much is the raw power they display in the songs and they didn’t sacrifice that on the new disc. Even the slower songs have the same amount of power of the straight ahead riffing and drum fills of the first album. The sound is updated, but they have lost none of the pep that made The Sickness such a perfect example of how heavy metal should be. The real catcher on this disc is that the songs sound different. While the first disc was an overall fresh sound, the songs themselves sounded almost exactly alike throughout. Here, they’ve varied the overall sound and the individual feel of each song.
Check out the solid, straight ahead aggression of “Prayer” or the muted power of “Believe.” Just about every song on this disc is strong and varied. I’m not sure they still had to prove it, but this disc shows that Disturbed can REALLY PLAY. The use of subtle electronics to accent the playing is masterfully woven throughout, although much less than on the first disc. I think the electronic accents aren’t really necessary on these songs, though, so it’s no loss. The trademark of Disturbed is Draiman’s snarls and sneers. While less prominent than on the first disc, the snarls and verbal sneers are still there, reminiscent of Billy Idol. He also proves in several places throughout this disc that he is a top-notch front man and a damn good singer to boot. The melodic singing on songs like “Awaken,” and the acoustic ballad “Darkness” really let his talent shine through.
I would rate Believe a MUST-HAVE for anyone who likes heavy music, but has gotten tired of the rap-metal (nu-metal?) sound that all the clones out there are mass-producing. This disc has barely left my CD player since I got it.
12. Darkness Powered by Sidelines