Four years of a battery-charging hiatus separate ‘Immortalized’ from its compilation predecessor, having escaped the ‘Asylum’ and rescued ‘The Lost Children’. It’s strange to think this is their sixth full-length, as if Disturbed have been around since the dawn of time, as if ‘Down with the Sickness’ played at the Last Supper, with David Draiman’s signature piercings raising a few eyebrows as he delivers the Sermon on the Mount. All metaphors aside, this return could have been a disaster of biblical proportions, were it not for one strikingly left-field cover song.
The intricate fretwork of opener ‘The Eye Of The Storm’ sets pulses racing from the onset. Followed swiftly by the colossal title track coursing through a trudging melody, Draiman continues to assert his raw talent backed by the consistent artistry of Dan Donegan’s fretwork.
The swaggering ‘The Vengeful One’ makes a slight nod to Metallica with an authoritative anthem to the “dark messiah”, standing tall alongside the towering contagion of ‘Open Your Eyes’ that defiantly unmasks the disguised enemy. ‘What Are You Waiting For’ demands attention with Korn-esque menace, while the sassy techno backing of the possessive ‘You’re Mine’ makes its consuming voice heard.
Disturbed have never been ones for beating around the bush, as ‘Who’ brings a roof-raising riff charged with a simple straightforward request – “Who the fuck are you?” Speaking of bluntness, ‘Fire It Up’ emerges as a comedic, colloquial ode to marijuana that has to be heard to believed. Seriously.
“I’m not taking another fucking dose of your denial today,” the chaotic vitriol of ‘Never Wrong’ spits venom and ignorance at every turn, while the self-reflecting conflict of ‘Who Taught You How To Hate’ closes once again on existential questioning. Following the survival theme, ‘Save Our Last Goodbye’ ponders the struggle for life and ultimately produces a strong, melodic anthem to loss.
”Don’t let hope become a memory,” calls out the heartfelt optimism of ‘The Light,’ a lingering sentiment among their trademark carnage. Similarly, the record’s highlight emerges in the guise of an unexpected yet truly heart-wrenching rendition of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound Of Silence.’ A complete polar opposite to its neighbours, the conscious decision to plug this acoustic and piano cover around the middle mark ensured its raw artistry is not discarded as an afterthought.
Versatile and energised, ‘Immortalized’ heralds a return of a much-loved old friend. Sure, it’s not breaking the mould, but it’s doubtful it was even intended to. The simple continued existence of Disturbed as a familiar companion rejuvenates a nostalgic ethos that can’t be topped.
’Immortalized’ by Disturbed is out now on Reprise Records.
Words by Ali Cooper (@AliZombie_)