Album: The Sickness (10th Anniversary Edition)
Subgenres(s): Nu Metal
Length: 54 minutes
Label(s): Giant Records, Reprise Records
02. The Game
04. Down with the Sickness
05. Violence Fetish
10. Shout 2000 (Tears for Fears Cover)
11. Droppin’ Plates
12. Meaning of Life
13. God of the Mind (Bonus Track)
14. A Welcome Burden (Bonus Track)
Disturbed The Sickness 10th Anniversary Edition Review
The Sickness is the debut studio album of American rock band Disturbed. Released at the height of the nu metal trend, it skyrocketed to success on the back of catchy yet simplistic guitar riffs that descended from the groove metal sound, which the band played under the name Brawl before singer David Draiman joined the band.
The lyrical themes of anger and violence as Brawl seeped over into the bands new incarnation as Disturbed and can clearly be seen just from the song titles. On the other hand, the musical abilities of each band member are played down severely when put next to the Brawl demos which had guitar solos, intense heavy metal drumming and much more audible bass.
So what did Disturbed gain from this seemingly one-sided trade off? The most obvious answer is David Draiman, a skilful singer with a knack for writing melodies that will always catch your ear whereas original singer Erich Awalt had a gruff voice that is reminiscent of Pantera’s Phil Anselmo. Other than that, guitarist Dan Donegan and drummer Mike Wengren also contributed different programmed sound effects to many songs, most notably on Voices, The Game, Fear and Meaning of Life.
David Draiman goes on to provide some unorthodox vocal performances that range from barking noises on Voices, Violence Fetish and Conflict to a Hebrew chant on Stupify and a questionable depiction of domestic abuse that takes the form of a shouted monologue in which he portrays himself being beaten by his mother before taking his revenge on her in the bridge of Down with the Sickness (“why did you have to hit me like that, mommy/don’t do it, you’re hurting me/…/you stupid, sadistic, abusive fucking whore/how would you like to see how it feels mommy/here it comes, get ready to die”).
There are 2 minor differences between the original release and the 10th anniversary edition. The first is the inclusion of the bonus tracks (although God of the Mind was included on the 2002 international reissue) and the second is that a few of the sound effects on selected songs have been altered. The significant difference is that the volume of the recording has been increased massively and it might result in ear fatigue because of this.
As Disturbed, the band forged their own sound within the popular nu metal scene which would deflect any comparisons to Pantera. The success that they capitalised on from their transformation led to them selling over 4 million copies of The Sickness which is probably due to the albums highly accessible sound while ignoring the tendency for nu metal bands to incorporate rapping and turntable scratches.
David Draiman: Vocals
Dan Donegan: Guitars, electronics, programming
Steve Kmak: Bass guitar
Mike Wengren: Drums, percussion, programming