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Disturbed - Divisive

by Jessica Smith at 28 November 2022, 6:10 AM

Chicago bred metal band heavy hitters DISTURBED, who has had over 17 million record sales worldwide, is back on the metal scene with their first album since the pre-pandemic times “Divisive”. I’m sure to no one’s surprise, much of the album messaging is inspired by the current societal environment and many of the failures within it that have been uncovered in the last few years all while keeping it vague enough to be “middle of the road” allowing the listener to interpret in their own way. Either way, word is that this album will include a return to their earlier sounds- so let’s see!

Opening track and the first single from the album “Hey You” has already reached a #1 Mainstream Rock Airplay spot, which is also probably not surprising looking back at their track record of awards past. It makes sense this was the first single and track of the album, as it sets the mood as an attention grabber and wake up call with the (literal) first lyrics “HEY YOU- have you had enough of it” and continuing into the anger and aggression we know DISTURBED for. It’s definitely hooky which is understandably how it won it’s #1 spot so quickly. “Bad Man” comes in swinging drum and bass forward before getting another classic DISTURBED hook and chorus. Next up is title track “Divisive”, which feels just as familiar as the first two tracks and half a dozen other songs from the band.

“Unstoppable” is likely the most removed (in a good way) track from the first half of the album. Still having very cliché and notable sounds, adding more guitar forward moments and riffs differing from what’s been heard so far. Though if I’m being honest, I really could have sworn they already had a song with this title. “Love to Hate” and “Feeding the Fire” are next and bring us right back to the classic sound and production style, only adding some extra techy moments in the latter. As we get into the final tracks, we are met with rock ballad “Don’t Tell Me” featuring Ann Wilson of HEART, the most differential song of the album. A break from the monotony and a beautiful harmonizing of the two singer’s vocals. I would love to tell you we get another unique moment, but the last few tracks are quite reminiscent of the rest of the album.

While I understand the hype for the band, they revisited older sounds, and I love their older stuff- the album is not inventive or inspiring. It’s kind of like they said “let’s rewrite this old album and change just enough that they don’t notice”. I would love to hear them hone their sound while also creating something that adds new elements to make you see their full range of talent we know is there. It’s definitely DISTURBED- catchy and a good listen through but I don’t see myself frequenting.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Hey You
2. Bad Man
3. Divisive
4. Unstoppable
5. Love to Hate
6. Feeding the Fire
7. Don’t Tell Me (ft. Ann Wilson)
8. Take Back Your Life
9. Part of Me
10. Won’t Back Down
David Draiman - Lead Vocals
Dan Donegan - Guitars, keyboard
John Moyer - Bass
Mike Wengren - Drums
Record Label: Reprise Records


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