Disturbed

Immortalized

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The sixth studio long player from the Windy City-based outfit, Immortalized finds Disturbed bolting down the house they finished building on 2010's Asylum, offering up a 13-track slab of vintage mid- to late-2000s heavy rock piled high with bottom-heavy riffs, piston-like percussion, and big modern rock radio-ready choruses filled with randomly generated declarations of defiance. To say that the old "if it's broke don't fix it" idiom looms large over the proceedings is a bit of an understatement, but Disturbed's particular brand of 21st century hard rock has brought in enough platinum over the years to warrant a bit of metathesiophobia, and their myriad post-hiatus projects ultimately failed to yield the same dividends. With that noted, the listener's likelihood of deriving any kind of enjoyment from the album is directly related to their amore for previous outings, and Immortalized has more than its share of vintage Disturbed goodies, like the soaring first single "The Vengeful One," the stadium-ready "Who Taught You How to Hate," and the nervy Muse-lite title track. The band's shamelessly melodramatic reading of Simon & Garfunkel's "Sound of Silence," which effectively utilizes the pared-down piano and vocal treatment that helped Gary Jules resurrect Tears for Fears' "Mad World," and the anthemic and refreshingly upbeat mid-album gem "The Light," impress with their unabashed theatricality and strong vocal turns from David Draiman. And as per usual, Don Donegan's stellar guitar work is the glue that keeps the whole affair from disappearing into the populist ether. However, a five-year break between albums should lend itself to a bit of growth, even for a band as everyman as Disturbed, but there's just not much here to keep the group's detractors from bringing out their pitchforks, and over time, staying the course may leave fewer and fewer townsfolk to protect them.

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