Published on April 22, 2013

Help! I was all set to write something about how embarrassingly bad the band DISTURBED is.

But they're not. They fucking rock.


(2000) Disturbed - The Game

Okay, let's just hit Play on "The Sickness". These guys are professional. I hesitate to call this nu-metal, because it's industrial metal at its roots. The drumming is mechanical and precise; there are synths all over the place; the guitars are heavy but clean. That guitar riff in "The Game" sounds a whole lot like early-90s KMFDM, yeah?! These guys are pretty comfortable with their songs and can transition from pounding industrial beats, to balls-to-the-wall heaviness, to jazzy bridges, to breakdowns.

(2000) Disturbed - Numb

"Numb" is a TOOL song, btw. Skip to around 2:53 and you'll notice the ending is exactly like, idunno, Opiate-era riffs combined with the verbs of "Pushit". Maybe it's unfair to pretend like Tool is the only band that ends a song by doubling their picking speed over the same riffs, and playing fuller, more intense drums. Maybe it's unfair to act like Tool is the only band that can start a heavy song out with ominous darkness, building to a climax at the end. But seriously, the Tool influence is undeniable.

Yeah, I don't really think "Stupify" or "Down with the Sickness" hold up over time. Also, "Droppin' Plates" was pretty embarrassing even back then. I mean, "a little something for your earhole! / Disturbed in the house we're droppin...PLATES!" Kitchen destruction, y'all. I mean, personally, I don't like the "mosh pit cheerleading" style of metal, and this album is full of it. Get psycho with me! Bring the violence! Get down with the sickness! Put em up, mothafucka!

Leave me the fuck aloooone!

DISTURBED loves playing bad covers, btw. Here's a short list, just of the cover songs that have been on their studio albums:

  • "Shout2000" (Tears for Fears cover)
  • "Land of Confusion" (Genesis cover)
  • "ISHFWILF" (U2 cover)

Perhaps due to my predilection for their industrial tracks, I didn't find anything valuable in their future albums. They turned into a generic 'hard rock' or 'alt-metal' band, losing their experimental edge. They become pretty supportive of the military down the road, which I think is lame for all sorts of liberal reasons[1], but mostly because it seems like an exercise in marketing more than anything. Sometimes it's just so goddamn obvious when a record label pushes a band in a certain direction. I shed a single tear of mercury each time I tell the tale of labels ruining bands. (I don't blame the bands, as they are victims of this, of pursuing their dream of making music for a living.)

  1. namely that metal, to me, is about giving power to those oppressed by society. The army is about enforcing the will of those in power. Also, they toured with System Of A Down, one of the most vehemently anti-war bands out there. Explain that, Clarissa! ↩︎