Review Summary: Boring, dull, uninspired and quite tragic.
Disturbed are a band that are nostalgic for many people my age. Those of us who were born in the mid 1990's are aware of the band who were part of the nu-metal craze before descending into nonsensical hard rock. Down With The Sickness might as well be a soundtrack to our generation alongside Let The Bodies Hit The Floor and Last Resort. It is a shame that the band who could still release solid albums such as Ten Thousand Fists chose to pump out duff in the form of Believe. This is an album that moves away from the style that made The Sickness an album that achieved a little respect within a genre that is mostly hated.
Believe is not a complete change from what the band was doing in the past. Instead the band retains their downtuned guitars and staccato shouts from David Draiman. What has changed is the overall feel of the album. In place of the heavy atmosphere with distressing lyrics such as what was found on Down With The Sickness the band had turned to being even more accessible. It also feels rather tired and recycled in the second half. Prayer is a cool way to open the album with the catchy "this is the way I prayer". This then continues through the equally enjoyable and fun songs Liberate and Awaken but the last few songs take away the enjoyment factor. It could be argued that songs such as Bound are unnecessary at all and are just re-hashes of the material early on in the album.
The riffs here are much weaker than on The Sickness and drag this album down quite a bit. They are the usual down-tuned nu-metal riffs but in place of the semi-catchy nature of The Sickness they are bland and uninteresting. Every song uses the same variety of open strings and the first three frets to make for an uninspired set of riffs. The drumming is similar in the sense that the band plays the same simplistic beat over and over again until it is drilled into your skull. The bass work is audible but follows the same pattern of meandering around the guitars that most bands take and the instruments do not really feel like they go anywhere. The title track opens with a shameful effort with a couple of hits of the drum kit and a collection of open strings. It then continues to do the exact same thing for much of the song's duration and gets more and more boring with every pass of the riff.
The only songs worth checking out are Liberate and Awaken. Awaken has a cool and more than listenable chorus that actually feels necessary unlike many of the quasi-catchy moments on here. Liberate has a lot of rap influence to it with the sampling that opens and the hip hop beat and rapped vocals that open it up. It is a shame that the lyrics really take the micky with boring and silly repetition of swearing.
"Liberate your mind
You mother***er, you're so narrow-minded
Liberate your mind
Now mother***er, will you liberate your mind
Don't limit your mind
Can;t you see that the pace
Has fallen behind
All the hate in your heart
Will be leaving you blind
So bold mother***er
Don't you limit your mind
That is four swears in the space of just one paragraph and that should say all that needs to be said about the lyrics to this album. They all use gratuitous swearing to no effect. Whilst The Sickness was not exactly a poetic masterpiece it at least had a lot of emotion behind it. David's rambling about abusive parenting at the end has some soul and feeling to it but Believe has nothing like that in it. Believe is just a waste of time that is not worth checking out at all.