Reprise, Warner Bros.
Review by Samantha Wu
After a four-year hiatus, Disturbed is back and they’re bringing along their highly anticipated sixth studio album Immortalized. Creating the new album also came with the help of a new producer — Kevin Churko, a Canadian who has worked with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Five Finger Death Punch. Churko helped bring out an updated version of Disturbed for Immortalized.
The first single, “The Vengeful One” is a deep, dark, solid track that announces its presence with a charging bass, killer drums, a powerful hook, mesmeric lyrics, and lead singer David Draiman‘s iconic vocals. It’s a culmination of all the elements fans have grown to love about Disturbed. This track is an instant classic.
I wish I could say more about the title track, “Immortalized”; unfortunately it comes off as weaker overall. Musically, it slowly climbs to an apex without being able to fully crest it, which results in a song that doesn’t hit the mark. I have to say that even the lyrics are rather pedestrian with simplistic rhyming couplets that aren’t entirely evocative of a solid image.
There have been a lot of mixed reviews when it comes to Immortalized and I have to agree. While the album has some very strong stand alone tracks — among them “What Are You Waiting For” and “Who Taught You How to Hate”, there are a few that simply fall short. “Fire It Up” feels like a modern day homage to Black Sabbath’s “Sweet Leaf” as an anthem for marijuana use that I feel is excessive and unnecessary.
On the other side of that, I was pleasantly surprised to come across a few tracks that have stepped away from the doomsday gloom of much of Disturbed’s material. “The Light” is a deeply uplifting track with powerful lyrics discussing living through tragedy — ‘you need never feel broken again, sometimes darkness can show you the light‘. “You’re Mine” reminds me of the song “Through It All”, a track released by Device, Draiman’s side project that he worked on during Disturbed’s hiatus, as a tribute to Draiman’s wife, model Lena Yada. “You’re Mine” stands as the anthem to the beloved.
Disturbed has never shied away from the cover song. When they take one on, they often do great work breathing new life into the song — as is the case with their covers of Genesis’ “Land of Confusion” and Tears for Fears’ “Shout”. This time around, Disturbed took on the Simon and Garfunkel classic “Sound of Silence” and what they did with this song is simply remarkable. It’s a slow ballad, something I’ve been waiting for them to do since Disturbed released “Darkness” on the Believe album, that starts out with minimal instrumentation and allows for Draiman’s beautifully rich baritone voice to truly shine. When the song hits the apex and the instruments surge, it creates a musical moment that is, simply put, monumental. I find myself playing it repeatedly because experiencing that song only once is simply not enough.
It’s very difficult to find an album where each song is one you’ll fall in love with and, though Immortalized is not 13 for 13 tracks of winners, it is one with enough of them to definitely make it an album worth acquiring.