Disturbed’s David Draiman is one angry young man. Sure every American youth experiences some angst now and then, but most of us tend to outgrow it. Unfortunately Draiman is wallowing in it long after his teen years are over. He’s the kind of person who thinks the shit poetry he wrote in high school is still good ten years later and feels an unquenchable need to bitch about how religion fucked him up for life.

Paul Wong
Warner Records

Despite their aspiration to “bring back the majesty of metal” (did it ever have any?) on Believe, Disturbed deliver nothing more than forgettable, angst-filled pap. Draiman’s angry-white-boy lyrics sure don’t help any. On opener “Prayer” he howls, “Living just isn’t hard enough / Burn me alive inside.” First listen I could have sworn I heard “Heaven just isn’t hot enough.” Regardless, such tripe permeates Believe, making it one of the dullest records of the year.

Producer Johnny K. and veteran mixer Andy Wallace continue one of metal’s stranger trends on Believe. While the album has the loudness requisite of metal, it’s polished and overproduced. Disturbed have lost touch with their roots, choosing clean production over the reckless abandon of their punk/metal predecessors.

Believe’s first eleven cuts feature bland metal tunes complete with huge bullshit Def Leppard choruses and Draiman’s standard-metal-singer yowl. After that 44-minute assault, the tranquil and introspective “Darkness” is tacked on to the end. Featuring some hi-lariously out-of-place acoustic guitar and cello, “Darkness” provides much needed, if unintentional, comic relief.

David Draiman thanks God for the gift of music in Believe’s liner notes, which is ironic because God sure as hell wouldn’t associate Himself with such an awful album. If Heaven really isn’t hot enough for Disturbed, I can’t see the Almighty turning up the thermostat for these guys anytime soon.

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