Review Summary: Ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah?
, Disturbed return from their self-imposed hiatus with a looser and more organic sound that probably constitutes their largest stylistic shift since 2002’s Believe
. This in itself is fairly remarkable, for over the years the American outfit has earned the rather unsavory reputation of often favoring reliability over ambition. Immortalized
was recorded in Las Vegas under the purview of Kevin Churko (Ozzy Osbourne, Five Finger Death Punch), and his hand in Disturbed’s reorientation is particularly evident early on in the form of straightforward rockers like "The Vengeful One" and "Open Your Eyes", which power along at a satisfying, bone-crunching pace. While the album also has its fair share of bona fide, looks-like-we-just-broke-the-bottom-of-the-barrel moments ("Fire It Up" instantly comes to mind here), Disturbed manage to do just enough to keep metal purists from dispensing with them completely. Dan Donegan, for instance, remains a powerhouse on the guitar, and while meaty solos a la
“Inside the Fire” and “The Night” are nowhere to be found, his uncanny ability to lock the rest of his band into a hard-hitting groove often proves to be the difference between success and failure. Elsewhere, David Draiman also puts in a solid shift, with his remarkably listenable cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence” proving to be one of the album’s highlights. The band’s decision to try out some of Churko’s new production elements also pays unexpected dividends, with songs like the surprisingly danceable “You’re Mine” and the atmospheric “The Light" balancing out some of Immortalized
’s more ill-advised attempts at experimentation (“Save Our Last Goodbye”, for one, is a horrible, overproduced mess). Each of Disturbed’s previous albums managed to move over a million units each, and based on the quality of some of the material on offer, chances are there are many who will choose to get down with the sickness again this summer.