Asylum came out before I had this site, but had I been around to review it, I’d have stated just how disappointed I was in the lack of spirit in almost every song. I wasn’t surprised Disturbed went on hiatus after its release, they really needed time to find inspiration again. I was upset that this was the last album they left us with, though about a year later they released their b-sides compilation Lost Children which helped. Now finally off that hiatus, Disturbed have returned with their first album in five years Immortalized. How exactly did the hiatus pay off?
Well immediately into the title track Immortalized I hear a difference. But Disturbed always had a way of starting their albums just right. Even Asylum‘s title (and opening) track is one of the few songs from that album I find truly worthwhile. But as for Immortalized, it’s pretty textbook Disturbed. It comes after the short instrumental track The Eye Of The Storm which proves to be a good lead in to the song, and though there are no real boundaries being pushed (yet) with this opening track, it still proves to be a killer track with just the right melodies.
When The Vengeful One was released a few months ago, I liked it, but wasn’t crazy about it. I had only listened to it the once before Immortalized‘s release, but now having the rest of the album to put in perspective, I feel The Vengeful One is one of the album’s strongest tracks and really does mark a good return for Disturbed. This too is textbook Disturbed, but unlike Asylum (this should be my last comparison of the two albums) where every song was textbook Disturbed in the blandest sense, songs like the opening two tracks, as well as Open Your Eyes, What Are You Waiting For, You’re Mine and Who have real power and spirit, and most importantly they have real effort put into their music and melodies.
I think What Are You Waiting For has the most “classic” Disturbed in it on all of Immortalized mostly thanks to its chorus. It has one of those fast simple choruses that you immediately remember. The other of the “textbook” Disturbed songs I can see fans really taking to is You’re Mine. Open Your Eyes and Who really have strong music to them which helps me consider them two of the album’s better tracks, as well as closing track Who Taught You How To Hate.
Boundaries are pushed on Immortalized I assure you. Perhaps the one most noticeable track would be Disturbed‘s cover of the Simon and Garfunkel classic The Sound Of Silence where we hear David Draiman hit over three octaves, starting especially low on a Gb (or F# if you prefer calling it that) note and only going up from there. There aren’t any vocal harmonies like on the original classic, just David and a symphony behind him. I wasn’t sure how this classic track would sound without any harmonies to it, but I have to say David Draiman has certainly never put on a better vocal performance than he does here, and proves that his voice alone can make the song just as special.
Save Our Last Goodbye is my favourite song on the album. It’s the most serious sounding song on Immortalized and one of the most serious sounding songs Disturbed has ever recorded. It’s the chorus where the boundary is pushed, as I don’t believe there has ever been a better melodic hook. One more boundary I feel is very noticeably pushed is on the track The Light. This is a very happy sounding song, from Dan Donegan‘s main guitar riff to David Draiman‘s heavenly melodies. I didn’t like the song too much at first, except the chorus. The chorus is incredible. The more I listen to it the more I like it, and I like the effort and hope it leads to something more on future Disturbed releases, but this is one of the tracks that I wouldn’t call a favourite.
There are a couple of other tracks on Immortalized I wouldn’t call favourites, though both have grown on me. Fire It Up sounds like it could have been written by any stoner out there. It sounds like lyrics were written in seconds and the music was written in even fewer seconds. Never Wrong is the other of the two tracks that I just feel doesn’t stand out above the pack. David Draiman‘s quick lyric delivery should please many fans, as it gives that classic Disturbed sound, and I like it substantially more every time I hear it, but I just feel it doesn’t properly stand out. I’d like to think I’m alone on that opinion though.
Immortalized has some of Disturbed‘s strongest moments as a band. The solo projects in their hiatus, including David Draiman‘s Device (which I reviewed and you can read here) and Dan Donegan and Mike Wengren‘s Fight or Flight (which I didn’t bother reviewing cause it was that insignificant and bland) prove to have done the band good and it succeeded in rejuvenating everyone involved. Most importantly is the album itself (I mean this is a review of the album, not the band) which stands as one of the best metal albums on the short list of great metal albums released this year as well as one of the best metal albums I’ve heard in recent years. That old wives tale that every Disturbed song sounds the same has always been rubbish, but I’m sure there are still the haters that will plead that case for Immortalized, but I find this to be quite the diverse album, not just for Disturbed, but for metal albums in general.
“You’re Mine” – It took me a few listens but it’s become one of my favourites from the album. I’ve seen many people point You’re Mine out as their favourite song on Immortalized which is what made me listen more closely and what I think makes it the natural choice.
9 (Out of 10)
|1.||“The Eye of the Storm”||1:20|
|3.||“The Vengeful One”||4:12|
|4.||“Open Your Eyes”||3:57|
|6.||“What Are You Waiting For”||4:03|
|9.||“Save Our Last Goodbye”||4:59|
|10.||“Fire It Up”||4:05|
|11.||“The Sound of Silence” (Simon & Garfunkel Cover)||4:08|
|13.||“Who Taught You How to Hate”||4:57|