Tuesday, 8 June 2010

CD Review: Believe, by Disturbed (2002)

A strong break-out album that starts with a bang, features a series of solid tracks but goes on for far too long and loses momentum.

Disturbed's brand of solo-free metal is loaded with crunch-heavy power but is relatively simplistic. Don't look here for complex arrangements and virtuoso individual performances. The rare melody changes sound forced and clumsy, well outside the band's comfort zone.

Instead, Believe offers honest, straight-forward up-tempo metal, with the drums and bass amped-up to the front and the lead guitar taking a back seat. Dave Draiman's mid-range, powerful and occasionally slightly raspy vocals, alternating between staccato and fluid delivery, are the most pronounced and unique sound that Disturbed offers.

Prayer stands out as the exceptional track on the CD, a terrific opener that pulls together all that is good about Disturbed into a tight and confident package. The rest of the CD, without ever reaching the same heights, has its enjoyable moments, with the energetic and refreshingly imaginative Rise the best of the rest of the tracks.

Eventually, however, the 12-track length exposes the band's limitations, perhaps exemplified by the single-word track titles, and the sameness of the sound on Believe starts to become irritating.

Believe showcases a band with potential, but also a band that needs to expand into new directions while tightening track selection to avoid suffocating in a single dimension.


David Draiman - Vocals
Dan Donegan - Guitars, Keyboards
Mike Wengren - Drums
Fuzz - Bass

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Prayer - 10
2. Liberate - 8
3. Awaken - 7
4. Believe - 8
5. Remember - 8
6. Intoxication - 8
7. Rise - 9
8. Mistress - 7
9. Breathe - 8
10. Bound - 7
11. Devour - 7
12. Darkness - 6

Average: 7.75

Produced by Johnny K and Disturbed.
Mixed by Andy Wallace.
Mastered by Howie Weinberg.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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