I’m sorry. But when it comes to American nu metal survivors Disturbed I can’t help but get out my trusty pump action and go looking for barrels full of fish. Everyone loves an easy target, right?
The trouble is, for all the (sorry) carping and chortling, it’s actively hard to criticise anything about the band’s sixth studio full-lengther, Immortalized. They’ve sold enough records this far down the line to not give a tinker’s cuss what the likes of I think about their music, which affords them the comfort of retreading every one of their former glories on this record, in the process pleasing themselves and, doubtless, the legions of faithful fans who even now are flocking faithfully to the David Draiman-brandished Disturbed battle flag.
So what you get for your money here is seemingly hours of the heavily-syncopated, bottom-ended rifferama you’ve either come to know and love or despise, interspersed with some lighter, more radio-friendly moments to keep the bean counters at the record company happy. The Light and You’re Mine are the highlights of the lighter moments, the latter in particular sounding downright modern for Disturbed, whilst Who (which bears the racy chorus ‘who the fuck are you?’) despite its cookie-cutter nature, is heavy enough to get long-in-the-tooth Disturbees frothing at the mouth a little.
The same can be said for the muscular Save Our Last Goodbye, where guitarist Dan Donegan unfurls a particularly forceful array of riffs (even if it’s not the first time they’ve been arrayed); His meshing with drummer Mike Wengren is, as ever, a highlight of the record, providing that familiar soundscape over which Draiman struts and barks his stuff.
Actually Draiman sounds a little lost, or unconnected, at times, singing at a lower register and actually resisting unleashing any of those animalistic noises for which he’s become so well known over the years; Indeed his finest performance here is his dramatic (verging on the histrionic) take on Simon and Garfunkel’s anthem The Sound of Silence. You’ll either buy into this reading of the song or split your sides laughing, but there’s no denying the force of the man’s performance. Me? Well, the doctor says I’m still allowed a bit of cheese every now and then, so what the heck...
At the end of the day, you know what you’re in for every time Disturbed release a new album, and if you don’t like the thought of that then you’ll be going nowhere near Immortalized anyway. For the committed, there’s much in store to enjoy on this record, even if you’ve heard it all before. Which you have.