Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Review: Disturbed, "Indestructible"

While I do think that metal fans owe some amount of gratitude to the nu-metal movement of the late 1990s for bringing the genre back to the forefront, the truth of the matter is that it didn't produce a lot of music worth listening to. There were a few exceptions, however, and one of those is Disturbed.

I first came across Disturbed as the opening act for Pantera on a now defunct late night concert series on HBO. I was struck by vocalist David Draiman's unique vocal style and the tightness of the band and immediately went out and found their first record, "The Sickness." Unfortunately, they drifted into more generic rock territory on their second record. With "Indestructible," the band has finally found a way to integrate the two styles seamlessly. While the crazed vocalizations that became Draiman's trademark on the first record are scattered throughout the album, there are also some strong melodies that balance it out and make it seem less cartoonish.

The perfect example of this is first single "Inside the Fire," which really showcases the blending of the band's unconventional early work with amore melodic smoother sound. "Criminal" is another strong point, with a hook that's hard to get out of your head. My personal favorite is "The Curse," one of the darker tunes on the record. I don't know that it's one of the best songs on the record, but it's certainly one of the most relatable for me personally.

Draiman's manic vocals are, admittedly, still the star of the show, but it's also nice to see guitarist Dan Donegan getting a bigger chance to shine on this record. The guitar comes to the forefront on a few songs, and Donegan takes a solo on every tune. It further underscores the musical maturation process of the band from chunky detuned riffs and edge-of-madness squawks to a legitimate, well-rounded hard rock machine.

Get "Indestructible."

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