Disturbed – Immortalized
Immortalized is the sixth studio album by American heavy metal band Disturbed. The album was released on August 21, 2015, by Reprise Records, and is Disturbed’s first studio album since Asylum (2010), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career. With 98,000 album-equivalent units in its first week, Immortalized is Disturbed’s fifth consecutive number-one debut on the United States Billboard 200 chart. They are the third band in history to achieve this feat, after Metallica and Dave Matthews Band. The band also found cross-over success in the album’s third single, a cover of the 1964 song “The Sound of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel, which marked Disturbed’s highest-ranked single on the Billboard Hot 100 at number 42 and has since become Disturbed’s biggest song since “Down with the Sickness”.
A five-year hiatus ended with the release of the group’s sixth studio album, Immortalized. To keep the recording sessions under wraps, the band recorded in Las Vegas with producer Kevin Churko, not even telling friends and most family members what they were doing. Singer David Draiman told people who saw him in Vegas either that he was there with his wife and son or that he was producing a new act. Guitarist Dan Donegan and drummer Mike Wengren made sure to post on their social media accounts only when they were home, so nobody could put together that the group’s members were all in the same place at the same time.
So, in January 2014, band members David Draiman (vocals), Dan Donegan (guitar), Mike Wengren (drums) met for dinner and began secretly writing material for Disturbed’s sixth studio album. Bass player John Moyer was not present for the album’s making, due to working with other bands and projects. The album was recorded at The Hideout Recording Studio in Las Vegas with record producer Kevin Churko. Dan Donegan told The Pulse of Radio about working with a new producer: “I think we needed… we wanted that. We wanted, especially having this time off, and being off from this long break, to come back with something that sounds a little bit more fresh. It’s been five years between albums, so it was nice to have, kind of, a new production element to it and things that, kind of, pushed us and challenged us to raise the bar.” Draiman told Billboard regarding the songwriting process: “There’s a lot of new and fresh in the mix. We had more input on each other’s parts than we probably ever had previously. Everything was really put under the microscope and everybody had an opinion, and, believe me, everyone was voicing them loudly… We were very, very cooperative with one another, very professional the entire time — not that we haven’t always been, but especially this time.
I might also mention that typically I don’t like cover songs but The Sound of Silence made my fucking jaw drop due to the range of Draiman’s voice. I realize the gritty sound is what is used in most metal type music, but this dude has an absolutely beautiful voice. I also liked its positive message and I feel it’s another one that shows the excellence of Draiman’s voice.
In 2011, following the tour of their fifth studio album, Asylum, Disturbed announced that they would go on a hiatus. During the hiatus, the band released a compilation album of previously recorded B-sides, The Lost Children (2011), and a box set of their five studio albums, The Collection (2012).
Immortalized isn’t quite as good as the heights of Ten Thousand Fists or Indestructible in my opinion, but it comes pretty damn close. It’s way better than Asylum was and there aren’t any bad songs at all on the album. The tracks cover a very wide variety of styles from the very “Disturbed” sounding Immortalized, to the heady optimism of The Light, to the slow creepy awesomeness of the Sound of Silence cover to the electronic intro of You’re Mine, which would be even better if the synth lasted the whole song and not just the intro. Never Wrong is my favorite of the album, the energy, and drums of the chorus are awesome!
The group, which announced the hiatus in October of 2011, has just released the album`s first single, “The Vengeful One,” along with an animated video by Phil Mucci. Disturbed Releases B-Sides Album Before ‘Going Away for a while. “We always said right from day one that this was a hiatus, and it was planned and calculated and we were going away for a while, and that it wasn’t a break-up, just a break,” frontman David Draiman tells Billboard. Guitarist Dan Donegan adds, “We wanted to give the fans a break, and we wanted to give ourselves a break and break up that routine so it didn’t feel like it was just a machine to us of write, record, tour, do the same festival over and over. That was all great, but we just thought, ‘Let’s put the brakes on for a minute here. Let’s walk away from it and give everyone some room to breathe and we’ll come back when we’re ready to come back and when we feel like we’ve got the strongest album we can deliver.’ We were at the peak of our career and that was a tough decision to make, but we felt like it was the right one.”
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.
Released: August 21, 2015
Label: Reprise Records
Producer: Kevin Churko
Genre: Heavy / Alternative Metal, Hard Rock
Website: Official Website
Discs: 1 disc
Reviewed by: Mike Davidson
Our Rating: 3.8 /5
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