2002 Reprise Records
"I was on Ozzfest when I first got the phone call that he was on his deathbed and only had about 24 to 48 hours to live, and he was in Israel so I couldn’t be with him. I was backstage at the time and Marilyn Manson saw me coming out of the room, and he asked me if I was all right. I explained to him what happened, and it was the first time I had ever seen an actual look of remorse on his face. No one could look at the aura I projected over the course of that next week and not feel my pain and those feelings very definitely will present themselves on the record."
Those are the words of David Draiman, lead singer of Disturbed from an interview with MTV. The band’s second CD, Believe, has hit the Billboard top ten. If you pay attention, some of his shouts and yelps on the last album are Hebrew. The new one is dedicated in memory of Draiman’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor.
There is no overt Jewish content on this heavy, growling CD. But the lyrics on tracks like Prayer, Believe and Darkness indeed sound like experiences with yeshiva and family. A lot of it deals with questioning hollow rituals and "believing in yourself." The video for Prayer is based on the book of Job. MTV is choosing not to play it because of the scenes of crumbling buildings they say its too reminiscent of September 11th.
There is more melodic singing on this album and less yelping and screaming. Disturbed doesn’t rap like many of today’s other bands. But the album retains the typical fast, grinding and crunching guitars of the new metal acts that have been flooding the airwaves of late.
A standout track is Liberate, which contains quotes from Psalms about Zion and Jerusalem. “Waiting for your modern Messiah/To take away all the hatred / That darkness the light in your eye / Still awaiting.” The Holocaust, September 11th, estrangement from religious school and stereotypical metal angst are all here. And the album is pretty catchy to boot.
If you have the debut album, be sure to take a second listen to Stupify. That mystical Hebrew sounding melody towards the end is indeed Hebrew.
Copyright 2002 Jewish Community Radio