Disturbed – ‘Evolution’ review

The worst band in the world returns. Good on 'em

Interesting band, Disturbed. Fronted by a man called David Draiman, who spent most of his formative years being branded ‘Mad’ Davey by rock magazines – a nickname that really hasn’t aged well at all – they are a band forever cursed with every single one of their songs sounding like something that might be played inside a fetish club for vampires. Or what a WWE wrestler might listen to on the treadmill. Or the bit in any movie where a member of law enforcement busts a drug operation taking place in the back room of a nightclub.

It’s worth noting that the title of this, the Chicago metal band’s seventh studio album, is ‘Evolution’. Honestly: any of these 10 songs would sound perfectly at home on the band’s 2000 debut ‘The Sickness’.

But interesting, you say? Well, here’s the thing. Despite Disturbed making music that’s only really any good for soundtracking straight-to-video horror movie trailers, they are preposterously popular. Five of the band’s six albums prior to this debuted at Number One on the Billboard chart. To date, the band have sold 12 million records worldwide. Just last week, when Draiman announced he was taking out his signature double labret chin piercing, citing that he was tired of looking like ‘a 45-year-old Hot Topic kid’, it was global news. That was funny. Very self-aware.

Despite Disturbed essentially making some of the worst music that has ever been made, and most likely will ever be made again, even if civilisation surpasses the current climate threat and music is being made a million years from now, it’s really quite hard not – on some subconscious level – to be rooting for them.

Everything Disturbed do is so uncool, you half expect that, were you to be invited around to Drayman’s for tea, he would have on his wall a poster of an alien smoking a spliff, asking if you might take him to your dealer. Their album sleeves look like they were designed on MS Paint, in the dark. There is a heavy metal cover of the Simon & Garfunkel song, recorded live, with Draiman asking fans to “hold [their] cell phones in the air”, placed at the end of the record. Alter Bridge’s Myles Kennedy guests on it.

‘The Sound of Silence’, the Simon & Garfunkel cover, is easily the best song on the record, despite Draiman singing his parts like he’s The Count from Sesame Street. Then again: the magazines called him mad. He spent the majority of his career looking like a stag beetle was masturbating on his chin. This review comes punctuated with a very low score. And yet it will still sell millions and millions of copies. David Draiman and Disturbed continue to have the last laugh, even after all these years.

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