After the huge success of 2000's "The Sickness", Disturbed were riding high on a wave of immense popularity among mainstream metal artists. Although "The Sickness" was well recieved by the masses, the album itself had some flaws, and it's biggest selling point seemed to be frontman Dave Draiman's enraged, "monkey like" wail.
Enter 2002's follow up, "Believe". The record boasts alot of the same, widely accepted musical formula, but the soundscape has matured, with the flaws being hammered out, and the selling points only being strengthened.
Line up at the time:
David Draiman - Vocals
Dan Donegan - Guitars
Fuzz - Bass
Mike Wengren - Drums (and stuff?)
The CD opens up with the powerful single Prayer. The song is driven equally by all members of the band, with Draiman's soaring vocals over them all. The chorus of the song is especially strong, with a thick bassline and good percussion keeping it going. Liberate follows up, and the highlight of the song is Wengren's drumming, which keeps the tempo at a frantic, but controlled pace. The pre-chorus sees Draiman being multitracked, with fast vocals at the forefront, and mournful wailing in the background. Awaken is once again driven by the rhythm section, but at a less hectic pace than previous tracks. Fuzz's bassline is especially nice before the chorus, while it's not quite walking, it's varied. Draiman switches off between mellow and raucous vocals in this track quite well, creating two distinct moods in the song. Believe is yet another strong number, with another rhythm-driven verse section, and catchy but powerful chorus driven by Draiman's strong vocals. This song is the first real glimpse of Donegan's improvement in playing, with layered guitar parts coming in after the second chorus that weave in and out of one another quite tastefully. Remember might very well be the best track on here, if not, it is clearly one of the best. Opening synth gives way to a chugging main line, which transcends into a verse section which goes back and forth between 4/4, 5/8, 3/4 and 4/4 time signatures, something not often seen in mainstream music. Donegan does alot of layered guitar work in this one, with a clear rhythm and lead line being played, with the lead, while not groundbreaking or mindblowing, are nice changes of pace compared to his earlier work.
The second half of the album sees a few interesting numbers. Rise sees a neat moving guitar line, something somewhat different from Donegan's usual foray into palm muted chugging. This is another good track to see Draiman vary up his vocal stylings.Breathe also sees a good varied guitar line, and a very cool bassline to compliment it. This is probably one of the only tracks where Wengren takes a back seat, albeit a slight one, to the guitarists. Devour is an interesting number, which starts out slow, but picks up tempo a bit, it has a somewhat somber feel to it, with a slow and subdued bassline, and sustained guitar notes complimenting that. The biggest surprise, and arguably the best track (along with Remember) comes at the end with Darkness. Acoustic guitar, piano, and strings, set an eerily calm, but sad background for Draiman to pour his heart out. This is definetly a shift from the norm for these four, but it is a great song, regardless.
To sum up, "Believe" takes a step or two foreward from "The Sickness". Their first album was decidedly made for radio play, but this one shows them expanding their talents just a bit. The guitar sees a little more melody, the bass gets even more prominant, and Draiman shows he can sing just as well as he can shout like a madman. The only thing missing from this album is a solo or two from Donegan, as there are definetly a couple of spots where one would've worked well. Otherwise, this is a good album, even if it is a little radio friendly.
I loved this album for some reason. I love the bridge in "Liberate," there's something about those harmonics that I can't put my finger on but they sound so cool, especially with the voice in the background. "Remember" has a lot of energy and a neat riff. From what I remember I liked "Devour (does it start out with Draiman yelling "Darkness Cover Me?)," "Rise," "Darkness." I need to re-borrow or buy this cause I forgot what the songs sound like, but I do remember loving them. One thing, isn't there a song "Intoxication?" Anyway, great review.
Great job on the review (nice monkey reference on Draiman by the way). Ive been waiting for this one to be posted. My favorite track is probably Remember, and I thought Darkness was a cool change of pace. Believe really does show more musical talent from the band, but I still stay The Game is their best song.
Great review, you sum it up pretty well. I love this album, and I think it is much better than The Sickness for basically all the reasons you said. They patched up the holes in their old sound, and then expanded it. Donegan is definately one of the better mainstream metal guitarists, he has great arrangements, and you can see a good amount of variety in his riffs on this album. Based on this album, I think we can expect even more progression and growth with their coming album (despite having a different bassist, which could change things up...the bass on this album is really good.)
I hated this album with a passion, It was not in the same league as the first album for me, I dont know -- Everyone I've spoken to about it seems to agree with me but, O_o seems everyone here likes it..
I think the first album had some cool songs, in fact, most of them were really good. But a few songs on their just screamed "filler" whereas this album doesn't have any of those for me. Not to mention the fact that their sound is a lot more fresh, powerful, and driven on Believe. Also, the song-writing and arrangements are much more mature and somewhat more complex, and to top it off, David's vocal arrangements and melodies are more forceful and well-written than ever.
[QUOTE=YDload]I wasn't a big fan of "Liberate" because of the awkward censoring: "Liberate your mind, you muthaMUTHA..." Eew, but the chorus is a lot better.[/quote]
Well, Mutha*silence* or muthaMUTHA were your options, so I think they made a good decision.
Also, which single was the really good one? The second one, with the guitar solos and such? I think it was "Remember," and it would definitely fit JoZ's definition of the album's best song.
I dunno, my brother has this but I've never actually popped it in a CD player and listened to it myself.
Yeah, it was Remember. And I'm glad you mentioned solos, because I almost called them solos myself, but I didn't want to offend anyone. There clearly are soloistic moments on that song, and I think one 'true' solo mixed in there as well.
Yeah, "Remember" is really cool. The riff is really powerful and I like how the chorus and the verse contrast. The verse is that crunching riff and Draiman softly singing, whereas the chorus explodes with some impressive vocals and guitar from Draiman and Donegan. "Prayer" was pretty cool, have you seen the original video? I saw an article about them having to do a new video because the orginal for "Prayer" was "to reminscent of 9/11." Anyway, they still have the original on Launch I believe and I watched it. It's not that bad, it's like a city collapsing and the buildings are falling down, if I remember correctly.