Review Summary: Quick! Which Disturbed album is the song “Bound” from?
If you’re like me, and had to look up the answer to the above question, then Disturbed’s announcement from earlier this year that they would go on hiatus for the entirety of 2012 probably managed to slip clean underneath your radar. And the absolute banality of the question above just about explains why: despite having four of their five studio albums debut at number-one on the Billboard 200 in the past decade, the Chicago outfit simply hasn’t been far-sighted or ambitious enough to create an oeuvre whose demise (albeit temporary) could both warrant and deserve overwrought shows of concern. To their own detriment, the band has primarily been a singles act, and while this necessarily makes them capable of putting together a handful of good tunes on each of their records, it has also resulted in them pumping out albums that are completely bereft of an identity or a unifying theme – qualities that are so often needed if a record and its parent band are to stand the test of time.
To that end, The Lost Children
, Disturbed’s first collection of rarities and B-sides, certainly feels
like the next release in the band’s discography. While this can be argued to be a mostly-happy development – if only because it means that none of the tracks on here sound like they were strip-mined from a scrap heap of third-grade rejects – it also means that, like any of their previous five studio albums, The Lost Children
is hardly earth-shattering as a whole. Album opener “Hell” hits hardest, with vocalist David Draiman scaling his usual visceral heights as the trademark sonics of Dan Donegan’s guitar run roughshod in the background. “3”, the single which was released digitally on the band’s website to benefit the West Memphis Three, is also included here, which – while good news for the Disturbed completist – is honestly a bit of a shame as the social message that the band was initially trying to deliver ultimately ends up finding itself buried beneath an hour’s worth of accompanying music. Elsewhere, “Leave It Alone” verges on overcorrection, with Disturbed engineering the song’s hook to revolve solely around Draiman’s memorable titular refrain, whilst the only completely new track present on the compilation, “Mine”, is perfectly okay – even if it resorts to far too many genre clichés (media samples and haunting electro synths are all the rage here) to get the job done.
However, the most interesting tracks on here are – tellingly – those that are not Disturbed’s own. The band’s covers of Faith No More’s “Midlife Crisis” and Judas Priest’s “Living after Midnight”, which previously could only be found on the A Revolution in Sound
and the British Steel Vol. 1
compilations, bookend this record and add a dash of class to proceedings. The former draws out some serious tonality from Draiman and recalls the sizzling, livewire feel of The Sickness
-era Disturbed, while the latter in turn may yet be the best cover that the band has ever cut to tape, with the four-piece producing a well-balanced effort that thoroughly does justice to the Judas Priest original. Although these two pieces easily make for the kind of thoroughly-satisfying coda that makes one feel like there aren’t any truly
bad pieces on The Lost Children
, the ease at which Disturbed emerge from the shadows of these former greats can’t help but make one feel like the band could really get out of their own very quickly, if only they could muster up the courage to do so.