Rating:
6.7
Disturbed - The Sickness
2000


01. Voices
02. The Game
03. Stupify
04. Down With The Sickness
05. Violence Fetish
06. Fear
07. Numb
08. Want
09. Conflict
10. Shout 2000 [Tears For Fears cover]
11. Droppin' Plates
12. Meaning Of Life
13. God Of The Mind [2002 Reissue bonus]
14. Stupify [live] [2002 Reissue bonus]
15. The Game [live] [2002 Reissue bonus]
16. Voices [live] [2002 Reissue bonus]
17. Down With The Sickness [live] [2002 Reissue bonus]
+ Stupify [video] [European bonus]

[10th Anniversary Edition bonus tracks]
18. God Of The Mind
19. A Welcome Burden
20. Stupify [live]
21. The Game [live]
22. Voices [live]
23. Down With The Sickness [live]


Considered by some die-hard fans to be the best work that Disturbed has ever recorded, The Sickness, the band's very first record, truly is not as impressive as its hype and success have pretentiously made it appear to be. Despite the fact that every man and his dog have heard successful songs like "Down with the Sickness" and "Stupify," The Sickness shows a lack of brain matter in songwriting and the unprofessional inclination to employ repetitive, mind-numbing guitar riffs. Yet, the sheer mindlessness is what makes The Sickness somewhat of a fun listen. So is this album actually worth a listen? That depends on how much one can stomach the nonsense.

Although Disturbed can be classified under "Alternative Metal" or "Hard Rock" these days, they were originally a "nu-metal" band, and The Sickness is the epitome of the "nu-metal" style. The guitar riffs are very repetitive, random electronic noises are sometimes sounded for no reason, and the singer raps and oftentimes uses quite a limited vocabulary. However, like most nu-metal bands, Disturbed relies on catchy rhythms for appeal, and this is where the band hits the mark. Several of the songs, despite their idiotic lyrics, are quite enjoyable listens due to their catchy sounds. "Voices," "The Game," "Stupify," "Down with the Sickness," and "Meaning of Life" are decent, catchy songs that show how "nu-metal" can be done correctly.

Unfortunately, most of the other songs, regardless of any catchy appeal, are derided by the some of the dumbest and cheesiest lyrics I've heard this side of Limp Bizkit. The themes generally revolve around insanity (a staple for this band), anger, and violence. Despite the "yawn factor" of these ubiquitous themes, they aren't half as bad as the lyrics that correlate to them. In "Droppin' Plates" (the worst offender), singer David Draiman raps terribly about how he's going to literally drop plates on someone he seems to dislike. The worst part about this song is that he actually says, "Well, here I come/I'm dropping plates on your ass, bitch." Other stinkers include "Violence Fetish," "Conflict," and "Want."

Songwriting gripes aside, David Draiman's voice definitely shows potential on The Sickness (potential that isn't fully realized until Disturbed's more professional Believe). Although his occasional rapping is very annoying, David primarily employs clean singing that actually sounds somewhat decent and fits perfectly with the catchy, rhythmic songs. His best vocal performance can be heard on "Numb," which is actually the very first song that shows David's melodic side.

In spite of the rapping, the repetitive instrumentation, and the dumb lyrics, The Sickness still retains some appeal. There are some catchy, fun songs to be enjoyed, and David's voice is actually decent. I wouldn't go an extra mile to recommend this album to everyone, but anyone who enjoys listening to catchy, mindless music at parties should give The Sickness a try. However, anyone who is actually looking for a good Disturbed album should skip this disc and listen to Believe, Disturbed's second studio album that discarded all "nu-metal" influences and embraced a more mature sound.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 6
Originality: 5
Production: 8


Band profile: Disturbed
Album: The Sickness


 


written by Axe Argonian | 13.11.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Kennoth - 14.11.2010 at 00:25  
While this isn't their prime work, I think you misunderstood the whole point of the album. It's meant to be raw, mindless and reckless. Or 'insane' to put it bluntly. Droppin' Plates is actually a jab at the music industry (plates being an old word for records), and yes it's very minimalistic and hard to enjoy/get used to.

I wouldn't call all lyrics mindless. The Game is about a jealous boyfriend (obviously) who decides to kill his girlfriend after he caught her in a lie. Violence Fetish is about the violent nature of humans and it's necessity and presence in the society, while the Meaning of Life is mostly 'I wanna fuck you' anthem.

So yeah, the bottom point is, this is not the pinnacle of Disturbed songwriting and musicianship, not at all, you either love it or hate it. I personally love it because it has that raw sound that's reminiscent of earlier works of established nu-metal bands. Mindless violence, mindless aggression. This is not a deep album, and it doesn't claim to be, and that's why we love it.
Mr. Doctor - 14.11.2010 at 00:42  
MEH

I bought this album when I was 13 and now I know why I liked it. Because it's fucking childish stuff tbh. Nothing interesting here, there are tons of non-deep albums that are good but this is definitely not one of them.

The songwriting and now that I think of it... Even the performance is MEH. It's not horrible, just average.

For me this is a flat 5.
batusay - 14.11.2010 at 13:36  
Not original ? are you fukin retard? Whoever wrote this article has some brain problems.

The band is called disturbed for a reason, this is the most stupid things i ever seen on this site
vezzy - 14.11.2010 at 14:22  
Written by batusay on 14.11.2010 at 13:36

Not original ? are you fukin retard? Whoever wrote this article has some brain problems.

The band is called disturbed for a reason, this is the most stupid things i ever seen on this site


How IS it original? Not one bit, IMO. Why are they called Disturbed? They chose their name as such, there's nothing raw, reckless, "insane" about this album. I wouldn't call them disturbing either, although the child abuse section in "Down With the Sickness" can be unsettling to some people, I guess.
mariano - 15.11.2010 at 14:12  
...Well, I do think it was original when it was released. It doesn't sound like Korn or Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park -just to mention a few representative nu metal bands. I don't think it's nu metal but it may have some reminiscence to it.

Even though David raps in some passages, he doesn't do it most of the time, which in my opinion nu metal singers do.

Whether you like it or not, The Sickness started Disturbed career, which end up becoming one of the most known metal bands from USA in the last ten years, so it's gotta have more than just catchy rhythms, don't you think?
vezzy - 15.11.2010 at 18:48  
Written by mariano on 15.11.2010 at 14:12

...Well, I do think it was original when it was released. It doesn't sound like Korn or Limp Bizkit or Linkin Park -just to mention a few representative nu metal bands. I don't think it's nu metal but it may have some reminiscence to it.

Even though David raps in some passages, he doesn't do it most of the time, which in my opinion nu metal singers do.

Whether you like it or not, The Sickness started Disturbed career, which end up becoming one of the most known metal bands from USA in the last ten years, so it's gotta have more than just catchy rhythms, don't you think?


Just because it's known doesn't mean it's good.
mariano - 15.11.2010 at 19:28  
Written by vezzy on 15.11.2010 at 18:48

Just because it's known doesn't mean it's good.


I think we can only talk in terms of "I like it" or "I don't like it" here. In fact, it doesn't make much sense writing a negative review of an album that already proved being successful, but we all received it well anyway just because we know that the guy who wrote it is a regular user like most of us here, trying to share our thoughts.

So you don't like Disturbed and that's Ok, but that doesn't mean "The Sickness" was a bad album
vezzy - 15.11.2010 at 19:42  
Written by mariano on 15.11.2010 at 19:28

Written by vezzy on 15.11.2010 at 18:48

Just because it's known doesn't mean it's good.


I think we can only talk in terms of "I like it" or "I don't like it" here. In fact, it doesn't make much sense writing a negative review of an album that already proved being successful, but we all received it well anyway just because we know that the guy who wrote it is a regular user like most of us here, trying to share our thoughts.

So you don't like Disturbed and that's Ok, but that doesn't mean "The Sickness" was a bad album


How doesn't it make sense? Simply sharing his thoughts on it. Doesn't matter if an album is old or not.
Kennoth - 16.11.2010 at 14:02  
Written by mariano on 15.11.2010 at 14:12

Even though David raps in some passages, he doesn't do it most of the time, which in my opinion nu metal singers do.


Is that so?
mariano - 16.11.2010 at 23:53  
Written by vezzy on 15.11.2010 at 19:42

How doesn't it make sense? Simply sharing his thoughts on it. Doesn't matter if an album is old or not.

Yeah ...right, it's like saying Metallica's black album isn't good just because you played it yesterday and found out you don't like it. Come on!
vezzy - 17.11.2010 at 08:36  
Written by mariano on 16.11.2010 at 23:53

Written by vezzy on 15.11.2010 at 19:42

How doesn't it make sense? Simply sharing his thoughts on it. Doesn't matter if an album is old or not.

Yeah ...right, it's like saying Metallica's black album isn't good just because you played it yesterday and found out you don't like it. Come on!


From the point of view of the reviewer, it may not be... so? Sure, his opinion may change, but I don't think the reviewer heard this album too recently.
Mr. Doctor - 17.11.2010 at 16:33  
Written by mariano on 16.11.2010 at 23:53

Yeah ...right, it's like saying Metallica's black album isn't good just because you played it yesterday and found out you don't like it. Come on!


There were many people at the time The Black Album was released that thought it was shit
Uirapuru - 17.11.2010 at 17:33  
Quote:
and The Sickness is the epitome of the "nu-metal" style.


I would give this title to Slipknot's self-titled instead.
Axe Argonian - 18.11.2010 at 00:07  
Written by vezzy on 17.11.2010 at 08:36

Written by mariano on 16.11.2010 at 23:53

Written by vezzy on 15.11.2010 at 19:42

How doesn't it make sense? Simply sharing his thoughts on it. Doesn't matter if an album is old or not.

Yeah ...right, it's like saying Metallica's black album isn't good just because you played it yesterday and found out you don't like it. Come on!


From the point of view of the reviewer, it may not be... so? Sure, his opinion may change, but I don't think the reviewer heard this album too recently.

Actually, I did hear The Sickness recently. I've been listening to Disturbed since before I even joined Metal Storm and actually began listening to loud music outside of the "Nu" and "Alternative" scenes. I own all of the band's albums, because I like the band. However, I, unbiased in my writing, reviewed The Sickness objectively. It's most definitely not the best album that this band has released, but it's still somewhat enjoyable to listen to on occasions.
Mr. Doctor - 18.11.2010 at 20:46  
Written by Uirapuru on 17.11.2010 at 17:33

I would give this title to Slipknot's self-titled instead.


This. But I will also add Korn's debut...
Paganbass - 19.11.2010 at 19:05  
HUGE disappointment as a follow up to "Indestructable."
Întunecatul - 21.11.2010 at 13:46  
Spot on review IMO
Sonic MrSumo - 23.11.2010 at 00:23  
Whilst I respect the opinion of the author of this review, I don't entirely agree with it.

I find it amusing they believe that "dropping plates" on someone is a ridiculous lyric, however a large proportion of black and death metal lyrics have the protagonist sexually assaulting cadavers. Interesting.

Also, is the repetitive nature of the guitar riffs across different songs, or in each individual song? I've listened to this album many, many times, and I don't think it's the former. That is, I can't recall a single riff that is re-used on different tracks on this album. It must be the latter. On this basis, I don't believe Disturbed are doing anything different to 99% of other bands, where riffs are re-used within the song; that is, verse / chorus / verse / chorus / bridge, etc.

I do agree that this certainly is Disturbed's most "nu metal" sound, and they do mature on Believe and subsequent albums, however if you're new to Disturbed and are curious about their music, then start at the start, and start with The Sickness, as it does have many good qualities and is worthy of your hard earned.
Mr. Doctor - 23.11.2010 at 08:25  
Written by Sonic MrSumo on 23.11.2010 at 00:23

I find it amusing they believe that "dropping plates" on someone is a ridiculous lyric, however a large proportion of black and death metal lyrics have the protagonist sexually assaulting cadavers. Interesting.


I can't talk for the othes but I do have enough balls to say that many of my favorite music have horrible lyrics sometimes but at least... the music is good
Cuca Beludo - 08.12.2011 at 18:41  
I must agree with you, this album is kinda repetitive, not too good. Still, I need to give it another listen....
Troy Killjoy - 08.12.2011 at 20:31  
The Sickness is their heaviest release but I think Believe and 10,000 Fists are Disturbed's best albums. The Sickness has some nice "weird" songs though, like "Violence Fetish", but "Fear" and "Droppin' Plates" have too much of a rap-metal attitude that always made me feel awkward when listening to them.

Like listening to someone singing their heart out on a talent show and they don't realize they suck... it makes you feel embarrassed when they're the one who should be embarrassed.
Mr. Doctor - 08.12.2011 at 20:37  
Written by Troy Killjoy on 08.12.2011 at 20:31
Like listening to someone singing their heart out on a talent show and they don't realize they suck... it makes you feel embarrassed when they're the one who should be embarrassed.


It took me a while to realise that I felt exactly like that while listening to this album. When I discovered what was wrong.... I gave my copy to my sis.

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