While heavy metal band Disturbed displays all the expected aggression and angst of its peers, it has achieved a wildly successful, chart-busting popularity, bolstered by a melodic complexity and frontman Dave Draiman's persuasive swagger. Formed in Chicago in 1996, the band developed a passionate following in their hometown. Their first major label release in 2000 sold in the millions, and their 2002 follow-up BELIEVE topped the charts. Main-staging 2003's Ozzfest cemented their status as the reigning kings of nu-metal, so that their hotly anticipated 2005 release 10,000 FISTS debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200.
After a triple-platinum debut and platinum follow-up, Disturbed fuses the brutality and darkness of 2000''s The Sickness with the added melodic nature and complexity of 2002''s Believe for album number three. Aggressive, relentless and intense-yet at the same time transcendent-Ten Thousand Fists is a rock sledgehammer.
On their third album, Disturbed don''t as much break out of expected patterns as show their potential for doing so. Fans eager for more of the band''s patented fist-thumping gruel will take satisfaction in the album''s opening (and anthemic) title track, plus "I''m Alive" and "Forgiven." The band shines brightest in the record''s early moments, where "Deify," "Guarded," "Just Stop," and "Stricken" demonstrate that this unit''s capable of discovering a song''s subtleties and crafting radio-ready choruses meant to uplift the souls of disenfranchised subdivision dwellers. The album isn''t without its problems––come the halfway mark ("Sons of Plunder") vocalist David Draiman and his mates lapse into the expected, with a series of songs that are good but rarely as remarkable as those found in Act I. That said, Ten Thousand Fists ultimately reminds us that Disturbed refuse to relent in their journey toward greatness. --Jedd Beaudoin
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