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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Review: Disturbed – Divisive

Label: Reprise Records

Date: November 18th, 2022

It was about time these guys quit jerking around and got back to business! Seriously though, I have nothing but respect for the band that took some time off rather than pushing some mediocre music just because the market sets the rules. If anything, out of all their contemporaries, modern or nu metal giants, Disturbed is the only band that kept their standards intact through over a quarter of a century. Even at their weakest, they could come up with at least a couple of tracks that could easily end up on a “best of” release. Until they could no more. And I’m sure that’s where this brief hiatus came from. Instead of fading away into oblivion, they burned out, called it quits, had a breather, regrouped and are now back with a vengeance!

“Divisive” is Disturbed as we all know and love them. As mentioned above, they’re among the rare ones that kept to their original path. What’s even rarer, they have yet to decline in quality of their creation. Such is the case with the new record, too. It is fresh, even if it follows what the quartet invented a long time ago. The album packs new ideas wrapped in an old coat, thus making it shine like it was never worn before.

Speaking about whether “Divisive” can compare with the band’s early classics, and that’s what you all want to know first and foremost, yes it can. And not just musically – like I said, Disturbed hasn’t moved around all that much in that department. The band is back to what they’ve been doing all these long years. Basically, catchy, melodic, modern heavy metal. Catchiness being the key, I’m sure, for their massive fan base who can easily sing along to whatever Disturbed decides to throw at them. For all of them, the band came up with a group of newborn hits. Like the opener “Hey You”, title track (with the best guitar solo the band has come up with to this day) or even the closer “Won’t Back Down”. Following the “un” cycle, started way back with “Indestructible”, the band offers “Unstoppable”, though I would say it’s sort of a “B-side” material to the already pointed out tracks. On a more melodic, atmospheric side, packing more of an emotional punch than a physical one, you’ve got “Love to Hate” or even “Part of Me” which packs both to deadly levels. Then again, there’s “Don’t Tell Me”, a ballad that’s become another aspect of Disturbed’s creation a while back. The song being augmented to unsuspecting heights by Mrs. Ann Wilson whose voice… Well, let’s just say: “Ooh, barracuda”!

Altogether I feel this review is one of the least necessary I’ve ever had the pleasure of writing. I mean, I could’ve started and ended it with “this is the new Disturbed record which sounds just as good as the previous ones”. That would’ve been more than enough for the band’s fandom who have all likely already heard it for themselves. What I’m trying to write is that the band kept their game at a high level, despite the pause. If anything, the pause might have helped them getting this record to sound like it does. And it sounds like yet another victory for the champions of modern nu metal.

Hey you! Get those fists back up in the air!