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Music / Disturbed

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L-R: Moyer, Donegan, Draiman, Wengren.
"Everyone has a struggle in life, and the question is do you allow yourself to be overcome by it or do you master it with unified strength and power.
This is exactly what the music was meant to do, to transcend your normal world, to make you more than what you are, to make you set down your burden for a while.
Feel powerful, feel invincible, feel indestructible; believe' in something as opposed to believing in nothing; spread 'the sickness, infect the world."
David Draiman, opening line to D.O.D.

Get up, come on, get down with the description! Describe Disturbed here!

Disturbed is a four-piece Chicago Alternative Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band formed in August 1996. Released in 2000, their debut album The Sickness both shot them into stardom and earned them a devoted fanbase called the Disturbed1s. The band made a name for themselves after playing second stage of the Ozzfest tour in 2000, headlining the U.S tour in 2001 alongside the likes of Slipknot, Linkin Park and Marilyn Manson, and then again as a headliner in 2003. In 2001, they created their own tour (a small event at the time), the Music as a Weapon tour taken from a lyric in the song Droppin' Plates (abbreviated as MAAW), including acts throughout its existence such as Drowning Pool, Alter Bridge, As I Lay Dying, Chevelle, Flyleaf, Chimaira, Trivium, P.O.D., Nonpoint, Stone Sour, Lacuna Coil, In This Moment and Killswitch Engage. On September 17, 2002, they released their second album, Believe, which went straight to #1 (see below) and was lauded by critics as the album that broke them from the Nu Metal tag that plagued The Sickness. Years later in 2006, the single Down with the Sickness would be certified Gold, then Platinum in 2009.


After MAAW II's last show in Chicago, they fired bassist Steve 'Fuzz' Kmak for "personal differences" that they've yet to fully explain. He was replaced with current bassist John Moyer, formerly of the Texas Industrial act The Union Underground, who played bass for the album Ten Thousand Fists, becoming a full member during the band's subsequent tour in support of the album. The Ten Thousand Fists album also marked the band's second straight-to-#1 with the song Stricken becoming their second Gold single in 2008. Released on June 3, 2008, Their fourth album Indestructible debuted at #1, was fully self-produced, and won them their first Grammy nomination for Inside The Fire (which became their third Gold single). During the Indestructible tour, Disturbed participated in the first ever Mayhem festival alongside Slipknot, Dragonforce and Mastodon, going on to become one of the largest metal festivals in the United States. This tour also marked the most elaborate production quality and sheer scale and that the Music as a Weapon tour had ever seen, leading them to rechristen it the "Music as a Weapon festival".


The band's fifth effort, Asylum, which the band has touted their strongest body of work yet, was released on August 31, 2010, giving the band some of the best critical approval they've ever seen. Recently the band (or their manager) has become obsessed with festival appearances, playing the Uproar tour with Avenged Sevenfold, going straight to Taste of Chaos with Papa Roach and Buckcherry afterwards, has embarked on their MAAW Fest V with Korn, then it's off to their second Mayhem fest appearance with Godsmack and Megadeth, which still doesn't account for one-day events.note  After playing Mayhem and four dates in South America, the band will be taking an extended hiatus, with no continuation of band activities projected anywhere in the near future. On November 8, shortly after announcing the hiatus, the band released The Lost Children, a compilation of their all the non-album material written over the course of their career.

In 2012-13, during the course of their hiatus, Moyer joined Super Group Adrenaline Mob, Draiman started an Industrial Metal project known as Device with song-writing handled by himself and Geno Lenardo of Filter, and Donegan started writing with Dan Chandler of Evans Blue, culminating in Fight or Flight, which he invited Wengren to drum for.

On June 20, 2015, a video was posted on their official Facebook page, showing the Guy in cryosleep. Over the next two days, two more videos were released showing him waking up, culminating in him sitting upright and grinning to the camera. On June 23rd, the band announced their new album Immortalized, released on August 21, 2015 and officially ending the hiatus. Almost 3 years later, the band revealed their next iteration, appropriately titled Evolution, with the single "Are You Ready?", with the album released on October 19, 2018.

Don't expect to nail down their actual genre very easily, as debates continue to this day — they're generally seen as "something heavy metal and probably some hard rock." You can blame the ambiguity on their Alternative Metal tendencies. Try not to mention them and "nu metal" in the same sentence at any point to anyone — it isn't worth it. For all intents and purposes, they're a rock group.

To the group's credit, they're one of the few bands in history to release five straight-to-#1 albumsnote  in a row on the Billboard 200 (Believe, Ten Thousand Fists, Indestructible, Asylum, Immortalized), the others being Dave Matthews Band (at six releases since Before These Crowded Streets) and Metallica (everything after The Black Album, making for five). These groups have yet to release an album that breaks this streak, giving them a chance to push the envelope further. Disturbed also happen to be the youngest band to do this. In other words, don't underestimate the Disturbed1s.

Related Acts:
  • Brawl (Fuzz, Donegan, and Wengren)
  • Vandal (Fuzz and Donegan)
  • Loudmouth (Donegan)
  • The Union Underground (Moyer)
  • Soak (Moyer)
  • Adrenaline Mob (Moyer)
  • Device (Draiman)
  • Fight or Flight (Donegan, Wengren)
  • Art of Anarchy (Moyer)
  • Operation: Mindcrime (Moyer)
  • Various Chicago heavy metal/hard rock groups


  • Dan Donegan - guitars, programming, keyboards (since 1994) (played bass on and did backing vocals on Immortalized)
  • Mike Wengren - drums, percussion, programming (since 1994) (did backing vocals on Immortalized)note 
  • David Draiman - lead vocals (since 1996)
  • John Moyer - bass, backing vocals (since 2005)

Former members:

  • Erich Awalt - lead vocals (1994-1996)
  • Steve "Fuzz" Kmak - bass (1994-2003)note 



  • Meaning Of Life (M.O.L.) (2002)
  • Music as a Weapon II (2003, 2004)note 
  • Indestructible in Germany (2008)
  • Decade Of Disturbed (D.O.D.) (2010)note 

Other popular songs:

Not to be confused with The Mentally Disturbed or Disturbed Doves.

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Tropes With The Sickness:

    Live Performance 
  • Audience Participation Song: The band likes to modify songs to encourage this trope, such as Deify and Down with the Sickness.
  • Berserk Button: Draiman hates it when audience members refuse to stand up in concert (they don't necessarily have to mosh). In general he'll call people out for visibly not paying attention, like playing video games during the show. You've been warned.
  • Big Rock Ending: Not uncommon. "Down With the Sickness" will almost inevitably end with one, since it's the closer.
  • Catchphrase: Draiman ends every concert with "Say our name with us now, my brothers, my sisters, my blood", followed by "We Are! Disturbed!" (Audience Participation included).
  • Great Balls of Fire!: Naturally, "Inside the Fire" uses flame pyrotechnics on stages that allow it. There might even be straps of fire raining down from the ceiling over the stage, covering the whole stage with fire.
  • Large Ham: Draiman; see for yourself.
    • Incoming Ham: The intro they created for the Asylum tour works like this: The band takes the stage playing Remnants, with a video of a comatose Draiman being carted off in an ambulance playing on the mega-screen behind them. His heart monitor becoming a Flatline, a doctor jabs him in the chest with an adrenaline shot (which marks the beginning of Asylum). He immediately awakens laughing like a madman, fights off the doctors, bursts from the ambulance doors in time with the "Release me!" lyric, goes running down the street and walks through a set of asylum doors to appear on-stage to start singing. If you couldn't tell by his presence in the scene that he was going to run away with it, you might have Genre Blindness.
  • Medley: MAAW IV saw Disturbed create one using Hell, Shout 2000, Criminal and Deify. For the Uproar tour they created one based on The Sickness using Fear, Meaning of Life, Numb and Voices.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: One of Draiman's major features during performance.
  • No Indoor Voice: Draiman again, but it's to be expected at a show like theirs.
  • Refuge in Audacity: At some point during the Indestructible tour one of the members of Killswitch Engage dared Draiman to change some of the lyrics to Land of Confusion. He went with it, and it's become a concert staple ever since:
    There's too many men and not enough pussy, making too many problems!
  • Rousing Speech: Draiman has said that he takes the role of a "rock and roll preacher" when onstage. As such, the band tries to create a vibe of strength. Draiman will frequently include the line "You will leave this building feeling stronger than when you came in!"
  • Shout-Out: To The Silence of the Lambs, multiple times (with occasional lines from The Exorcist popping up): early into their career before performing Stupify, they would play a clip of Buffalo Bill's famous line:
  • Spiteful Spit: Because it's customary that the opening act must go through hell: during their first tour of Europe opening for Marilyn Manson on the Paris date, the audience - already cheering "Manson! Manson!" - started spitting at the band in unison for the first 5 songs.
    "It was raining spit, you couldn't avoid it; it was falling on your clothes, on your face; I'd open my mouth up to scream..."
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: In the truest spirit of the term "co-headliner", MAAW V (for the first time in the tour's history) has Korn finishing several dates near-equal to the dates in which Disturbed closes. Yes, Korn has far more longevity and success, but it must be awkward to visitors who came to see Disturbed's personal festival only to have them say "And now for Korn".
  • Subdued Section:
    • Appears in "Stupify," "Numb," "Want," "Sons of Plunder," "Forgiven," "Pain Redefined," "Perfect Insanity," and "Haunted".
    • They like to use this in certain songs that didn't originally contain one.
  • You Are Not Alone:
    • Generally, before "A Reason to Fight," Draiman will ask the audience "How many of you have struggled with the demons of addiction and depression, or know someone who has?" When the audience raises their hands, the intended effect is to cause this in an audience member by showing that they aren't alone in their struggle.
      • Tellingly, all four members of the band also raise their hands at this moment.
    • Since the "Evolution" tour, the phone numbers for the addiction hotline and the suicide prevention hotline will be brought up.

  • Abusive Parents: "Down with the Sickness"' child abuse segment is a metaphor for "mother society" beating down the freaks.
  • A Chat with Satan: "Inside the Fire" is about the devil tempting Draiman to follow his girlfriend to hell by killing himself. Apparently, Devon wasn't worth it.
  • Amoral Attorney: "Innocence" is about attorneys who help criminals get away with their crimes. "The suited vulture’s circling."
  • And I Must Scream: The ending of "Asylum" has the narrator, who finds himself entering the "asylum" of his lost loved one ("now it's dragging me into your grave") finishing by saying "I will get to join you in time" with a voice screaming "Without you!", meaning that he'll now be staying in the asylum without the one thing he came for.
  • Angrish: Draiman's wordless vocalizations combined with the delivery and the topics of many songs come off as this.
    • "The Game":
      If you even try to look the other way,
      I think that I could kill this time.
      Rah! Rah!
    • "Stupify": "Look in my face, stare in my soul, I begin to stupify! RAH!!"
    • "Prayer": "Take everything awaaay! RAH!"
    • "Asylum": "Release me! RAH!!"
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: "Sickened".
  • Arc Words: "Are You Ready" for the Evolution album. Several songs have a variation of the phrase, either the direct phrase, the polar opposite "You're Not Ready" or the self referential "I'm Not Ready".
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: The words 'terrible', 'hell', 'dark' (or 'darkness'), 'sacrifice', 'pain', 'alive', 'death' (or 'dead'), 'hate', and 'hatred' are just a handful of the words the band says at least once an album.
  • Badass Boast: Almost every album has one.
    • "I'm Alive".
      The things I treasure most in life
      Cannot be taken away
      There will never be a reason why
      I would surrender to your advice
      To change myself, I'd rather die
      Though they may not understand
      I won't make the greatest sacrifice
      You can't predict where the outcome lies
      You'll never take me alive!
      I'm alive!
      I'm Alive!!
      I'm ALIVE!!!
    • "Indestructible" is basically one long boast (a sense of confidence was the intention during the writing process).
    • "Warrior", to levels of extremity that manage to out-boast all of these.
    • Immortalized has the title track and "The Vengeful One".
      I'm the hand of God
      I'm the dark messiah
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "Never Wrong":
    You want a fight be careful
    What you’re wishing for
  • Beyond Redemption: In "Criminal," the Death Seeker narrator thinks that about himself.
    Malevolent criminal, I
    When the vision paints my mind
    Cross the invisible line
  • Be Yourself: According to Word of God here, the message behind "Divide" is this: "Instead of going with this trendy notion of trying to always unite and be one, say the hell with it. Be yourself, be an individual. Stand out from the crowd. Make your own mark, make your impact."
  • Blatant Lies:
  • Byronic Hero: "Divide" and "Stronger On Your Own" give off this vibe, with the narrator being intelligent, passionate, conflicted, determined, cynical, self-destructive, and charismatic.
  • Calling the Old Lady Out: Down with the Sickness, though not literally; the rant is metaphorical as explained above.
  • Children Are Innocent: Showing that Rousseau Was Right, "Who Taught You How To Hate" contrasts the judgmental, aggressive adults with the innocent, unbiased kids who play together paying no mind to their differences.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Down With the Sickness; Liberate is a minor version (even though the word "motherfucker" appears 16 times, counting stanza repetitions, most of the lyrics are pretty swear-free).
  • Concept Album: Draiman has said he thinks the Rock Opera and the concept album is either dead or isn't possible in the age of the single (digital downloading takes convenience in the place of thematics). That being said, most of the albums can be interpreted as having an overarching theme.
    • The concept behind The Sickness was of course "Sickness": the sickness of your thoughts and psycology (Voices, Meaning of Life), your loved ones (Stupify, The Game, Numb), your environment (A Welcome Burden, Conflict, Violence Fetish) and the sickness of the beasts that inhabit society along with the sick society that created them (Down with the Sickness). The album says "No matter how you try to bring me down (Fear, God of the Mind) I am what I am (Droppin' Plates, Want) and you'll never change that (Down with the Sickness again)".
    • The concept behind Believe was of course "Belief": Belief in your passions (Rise), belief in your vices (Intoxication), belief in your justice (Liberate, the title track) and belief in your evil (Breath, Devour). It asks the listener to find something to care about and shout "I'll stand through whatever you throw my way (Prayer) no matter how much it may hurt (Remember, Mistress). I've chosen my path, I'm at peace with it (Bound, Awaken) and I'll always walk forward through it (Darkness).
      • Ironically, the title-track is just nearly anti-belief.
  • Contemplate Our Navels: Just about the entirety of Believe has this theme.
  • Cosmic Plaything: "The Curse."
    Object of an evil eye
    No point to let anyone try
    Take heed my friend lest you be torn asunder
    Like all that's become of me
  • Crapsack World: Common theme in their music. Examples inclule:
    • "Down with the Sickness": like an Abusive Parent, "mother society" beats down those who are different until they submit... or snap.
    • "Prayer".
      Another dream that will never come true
      Just to compliment your sorrow
      Another life that I've taken from you
      A gift to add on to your pain and suffering
    • "The goddamned world / Of the dead and the lonely" in "Breathe."
    • "A Welcome Burden".
      Gather your psychotic masses and bring them to me
      To a world devoid of sanity
      Another time and another place
      And let the violent ones crave calamity
      Rip away her disguise and you will realize that ya find
      The truth is sickening!
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: "This Moment".
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • Indestructible, lyrically. Draiman's string of bad luck inspired much of the work.
    • If the name wasn't already an indication, Asylum seems to have out-dimmed Indestructible; with topics ranging from the Nazi Holocaust, corrupt attorneys, miscarriage, global warming, bad relationships and overall deep depression to fantastic/mystical songs about werewolves and succubus demons, it's no sunshine-and-rainbows record.
  • Dark Is Not Evil:
    • This seems to be the theme of the chorus to "The Night":
      There can be no better way of knowing
      In a world beyond controlling
      Are you going to deny the savior
      In front of your eyes
      Stare into the night
      Power beyond containing
      Are you going to remain a slave for
      The rest of your life
      Give into the night
    • "The Light" from Immortalized tells the listener that "sometimes darkness can show you the light."
  • Dark Messiah: The protagonist of The Vengeful One. It's even name-dropped. Ironically, the music video shows the protagonist (The Guy) is actually not a Dark Messiah, being closer to a Good Is Not Nice/Dark Is Not Evil Anti Heroic character.
  • Deal with the Devil:
    • "Inside the Fire," where the devil is offering to take David to live in hell with the girl he loves who killed herself.
    • "Dehumanized".
      If I offer you my soul, will you carry me away?
  • Death Seeker: The Despair Event Horizon and Sanity Slippage turn the narrator of "Criminal" into one.
    Set me free from all of this
    I need you to quicken my end
  • Demonic Possession: Deceiver, Haunted.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The Curse contains this little gem.
    No hope for the hopeless
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Breathe (for the victim, not the narrator), Darkness, The Infection, and Asylum (which is about being driven to insanity by the memory of a lost loved one).
    • "Criminal" is about crossing it and turning into a Death Seeker.
      Despair has fallen over me
      No way to hide the agony
      Embracing my calamity
      To save myself once and for all
    • Supposedly David's lyrics for the Asylum album were so dark, even for a guy who's not known for his light and fluffy sentiments to begin with, that Dan was honestly worried David was approaching this point in Real Life.
    • Of course, the cover of Land of Confusion is just as despairing as the original version.
    • The Light is all about not crossing it, instead saying that if you feel that despair, it may show you a new solution; i.e. the light.
  • Determinator:
    • "Prayer", according to Word of God here, "speaks to the indominable nature of the human spirit, that no matter what life, fate, or God throws at you, you have the strength and wherewithal to get through it."
    • "Indestructible", "I'm Alive".
    • "The Curse". The amount of trauma the Cosmic Plaything has already endured gives him strength to keep going.
      I've held on too long just to let it go now
      Will my inner strength get me through it somehow
      Defying the curse that has taken hold
      Never surrender
      I'll never be overcome!
  • Determined Defeatist: "The Curse" states, "No hope for the hopeless" and "Couldn't help even if you tried," but the narrator "held on too long just to let it go now" and will never surrender.
  • Downer Ending:
    • Just about every song on The Sickness has some hostile outcome, though ambiguous as to whether this is a bad thing.
    • Otherwise there's Breathe, Guarded, Forgiven, Inside the Fire, Asylum and My Child (the last three the most obviously so).
    • Stricken, Overburdened and The Infection are more about the outcome of a Downer Ending.
  • Driven to Suicide: Inside The Fire. At least, that's what Satan is hoping will happen.
  • Filk Song: The Asylum B-Side song Old Friend is about Dexter, which Draiman an admitted fan of.
    • Interestingly, a line from season 7 when Dex is confronted by Ray Speltzer inspired Dan to call his new band with Mike "Fight or Flight".
  • Flanderization: Lyrically the majority of the songs used to cover themes of anger, disenchantment, annoyance at society, hatred and violent malice until Draiman started noticing that people were using these songs as work-out tunes and adrenaline-pumpers (the military in particular taking to this). He's started capitalizing on the band's natural talent for making these by writing more combat-oriented anthems of death, starting most obviously with Indestructible and This Moment.
  • Gaia's Vengeance: Referenced in "Another Way To Die": "Mother Earth will show her darker side and take her toll." The vengeance is metaphorical: by ravaging the world, people bring devastation on themselves.
  • Green Aesop: Another Way to Die.
  • Grief Song:
    • "Darkness" is a depressive ballad dedicated to David's late grandfather.
    • "Inside the Fire" is about the singer's girlfriend who committed suicide.
    • "Save Our Last Goodbye" is supposedly about one of Draiman's friends with pancreatic cancer who died just after surgery.
      The shadows of your loss
      Are tearing me apart
      My world is shattered, in disarray
      I'm beaten down, drained emotionally
      They say in time the pain goes away
      But in my soul it will forever stay
    • "Already Gone" is about losing too many loved ones, wishing you had more time, and wondering if you will get to see them in the afterlife.
  • Hearing Voices: "Voices" is mainly from the perspective of the personality giving the insane and violent suggestions.
  • Heavy Meta: Rise.
  • Heel Realization: "Overburdened" features one for a Knight Templar: "I was fighting for a reason / Holy blessed homicide".
  • He Who Fights Monsters:
    • "Overburdened".
      I was fighting for a reason
      Holy blessed homicide
      Seems I have committed treason
      All I've sacrificed
    • "Saviour Of Nothing" was a bulling and/or abuse victim in their childhood and now, they constantly find reasons to start a fight.
      Now you've become
      Everything you claim to fight
  • Holding Out for a Hero: "Liberate".
    Waiting, for your modern messiah
    To take away all the hatred
    That darkens the light in your eye
  • Horny Devils: "Serpentine", which is about the sort of manipulative women who use their sexual prowess to prey on vulnerable men seems to portray them as this.
  • Hot-Blooded: It would be much easier to list the songs that lack heroics, raging insanity, shouting, unstoppable determination, vicious attacks on whatever pissed them off, and overall burning passion.
  • "I Am" Song: Indestructible, Perfect Insanity, Divide, and vaguely I'm Alive.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Draiman doesn't approve of this tendency at all.
    • "Legion Of Monsters" is one big rant about how sensationalizing mass shooters/terrorists makes more lunatics wanting their 15 minutes of fame.
    • "The Vengeful One" touches on this topic as well, in the lyrics and in the music video.
      The rabid media plays their role
      Stoking the flames of war to no surprise
      Only too eager to sell their souls
      For the apocalypse must be televised
  • In Love with Your Carnage: "Violence Fetish".
  • Intercourse with You:
    • The subject of "Want" is unwilling to give in to their desires:
      Your mind won’t let you say that you want me
      Your mind won’t ever, never let you have what you want
      I feel your hunger to taste me
      Still your mind won’t ever let you say
    • "Meaning of Life", though probably one of the most twisted examples listed.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: "Sacrifice" is said to be inspired by this trope.
  • "Join the Army," They Said: Goes back and forth. "Indestructible" is about a soldier kicking all kinds of ass through a Badass Boast, while "Land of Confusion" paints the army in a negative light.
  • The Juggernaut: The refrain of "Indestructible" sums it up well.
    Every broken enemy will know
    That their opponent had to be invincible
    Take a last look around while you're alive
    I'm an indestructible
    Master of war
  • Loners Are Freaks: "Divide".
  • Lighter and Softer: In comparison to Asylum, Immortalized is this. While it has its share of dark songs, they are balanced by several Pep Talk Songs, Self Empowerment Anthems, a jovial Ode to Intoxication and a WAFF-y love song of all things.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: "Sickened".
    I can't believe that my sanity
    Lies in abandoning you
    Sickened from wanting you
  • Love Martyr: The subject of "Façade", though she had just about enough: "If he raises his hand again / She'll find her freedom in killing him."
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Breathe" is a tranquil tune about stalking a helpless prey and whispering to them while they die.
  • Mad Hatter: "Oh sweet insanity" in "Perfect Insanity".
  • Madness Mantra:
    • "I wanna get psycho" in "Meaning of Life".
    • "I think I'm losing my mind... lost my mind" in "Perfect Insanity".
  • Malicious Slander: "Innocence", "3".
  • Manly Tears: "Rise".
    I cannot stop this pure emotion / falling from my eyes.
  • Meaningful Name: 'The Lost Children', a collection of Disturbed's works that the public never saw.
  • Miscarriage of Justice:
    • The topic of "Innocence".
      Their defenders ready to
      Embrace their lies
      With their devious smiles
    • "3", Based on a True Story.
      What have I done to justify the sentence they gave?
  • Mondegreen:
    • In "Inside the Fire," does he say, "Devon, no longer living" or "Devon, one of eleven"?
    • In "Warrior", it sounds like he's saying "So suicide now" instead of "So decide now". He also at one point sounds like he's saying "I am a weapon of immense ability" instead of "Invincibility". Really, both of them work.
  • Money Song: "Avarice" malignes greed: "Avarice will kill you in time."
  • Mook Horror Show: The refrain of "Indestructible" has the line "From the other side a terror to behold."
  • Murder Ballad:
    • "The Game". "Another victim dies tonight."
    • "Breathe", as mentioned in Lyrical Dissonance.
    • "Forgiven". "You're just another dead man living to me. How can you let a dead man live?"
  • Never My Fault:
    • The entire point of "Never Wrong" is calling out people who are unable to accept being wrong.
    • In "Tyrant", both the narrator and his parent used to have this mindset ("Why did both of us have to believe that we were right?"); the narrator has grown out of it and asks the parent to own up as well, with little success.
      And it's like pulling teeth 'cause you'll never confess
  • The Notable Numeral: The Asylum B-Side 3 was written about the West Memphis Three, told from their perspective. Draiman had expressed a desire to donate it somehow on their behalf rather than release it conventionally, which the band did eventually over their website, asking for dollar donations to get the song. The proceeds go towards the defense fund of Damien Echols.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Fire It Up" is about smoking weed. You can tell because it starts with Draiman taking a bong-hit, and the official lyrics video has a ton of marijuana leaves in the background.
  • Ode to Sobriety: "A Reason to Fight" is a slow ballad about overcoming addiction. The music video emphasizes this, with the protagonist losing his kids, wife and home to booze, before symbolically breaking out of a glass bottle and walking towards his house.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: "Devour" is vaguely about this. The song was inspired by David's experience with the ‘Queen of the Damned’ soundtrack.
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: "The Animal" jumps between loss of control and enjoying the transformation (or enjoying the loss of control). The narrator warns his victim to run.
    Time to shed the mortal disguise
    For the beast is coming to life
    Taking form in the glimmer of this tainted moonlight
  • Pep-Talk Song:
    • "Are You Ready," "Immortalized," "Indestructible," "Warrior..." There's a lot. The band started deliberately invoking it after realizing that a good number of people listen to their music during workouts, leaning into songs designed to make someone feel awesome while listening to them.
    • "The Light" is about coming back from the brink of Despair Event Horizon.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: "Indestructible" and "Warrior".
  • Please Don't Leave Me: "Stricken", in a sense; it's about a person who came into the narrator's life, bringing nothing but problems. The narrator stuck by them despite it, but they ultimately left without explanation. The narrator seemed to be in love with the person, but is conflicted on whether he wants them back, or can let them go.
  • Poor Communication Kills: One of the problems in "Tyrant".
    There's so many things that I wanted to say
    But the love turned to hate we kept pushing away
    And the words that came out turned it into a mess
    And it's like pulling teeth 'cause you'll never confess
  • Power Of Hate: Mentioned in "Avarice".
    I'll savor this anger
    My hate makes me stronger
  • Protest Song: Many, mostly from Ten Thousand Fists. Draiman's later said that he no longer sees the meaning of these since they rarely cause an effect. That didn't stop him from writing "Legion Of Monsters" or "No More."
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • "Fear". Apparently the song is meant to be told from the perspective of the victim.
    • Also "Never Wrong", which calls out people who refuse to admit their own faults.
  • Religion Rant Song: "Prayer" is a type one. It was most heavily inspired by 9/11 and the problems in the world at the time of its writing, carrying themes of the tribulation and hardship piling up like some sadistic test. The overall idea is "It's gotten so bad that I've stopped caring, so go ahead and kill me, I dare you! You'll never sway me from my defiance of you, you petty bastard."
    Let me enlighten you
    This is the way I pray
  • Reluctant Psycho: In some of their Sanity Slippage Songs.
    • "Voices":
      I can hear the voice but I don’t want to listen
      Strap me down and tell me I’ll be alright
    • "Perfect Insanity" begins like this, then turns into a Mad Hatter song.
    • In "Criminal", the narrator seems to fight his insanity, lose the battle and turn into a Death Seeker.
    • "Hell":
      Save me from wreaking my vengeance upon you
  • Revenge Ballad:
    • Hell.
      Save me from wreaking my vengeance upon you
      All my emotion and all my integrity
      All that you've taken from me
    • "The Vengeful One" and its music video chronicle the arrival of a divine being come to exterminate evil from humanity.
  • Rhyming with Itself: "Perfect Insanity".
    Now I try again to find
    The thing that was my
    Behold the undersigned
    Who said I've lost my
  • Rock-Star Song: "Monster" is a subversion. It's more along the lines of a rant about how being a rockstar kind of sucks.
  • Rousseau Was Right: "Who Taught You How To Hate" purports that all prejudice is learned and not inherent.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: They're called Disturbed.
    • "Down with the Sickness" tells of child abuse as a metaphor for society punishing the "freaks," but the main point is that the narrator has just snapped.
    • "Voices" is about Hearing Voices.
    • "Stupify"
      Why do you like playing around with
      My narrow scope of reality?
      I can feel it all start slipping
      I think I'm breaking down
      Why do you like playing around with
      My narrow scope of reality?
      I can feel it all start slipping away
    • "Perfect Insanity", duh.
    • "Sickened", of Love Makes You Crazy variety.
    • In "Never Wrong", the narrator snaps after dealing with a blame-shifter for too long.
      Feel the anger coming
      Feel my patience running
      And it’s easy to see
      You’ve made me LOSE MY DAMN MIND!!
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: "Never Wrong".
    "I'm not willing to deal with someone who insists that they can never be wrong. So just keep on talking to the wall because I'm walking away!"
  • Self Empowerment Anthem: Immortalized has a few of these, including "What Are You Waiting For" and "The Light". Evolution continues the theme with "Are You Ready?"
  • Shoo the Dog: "Guarded", though presented critically.
  • Singer Name Drop: "Droppin' Plates".
    Disturbed in the house, we're droppin' plates
  • Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter!: The concept behind "Prayer".
    "It's not very godly for a God to inflict pain and suffering on his people to elicit a response. I would hope that God wouldn't be that petty. But if that's what is happening and you're inflicting pain and suffering to get me to return to the flock, bring it on. There's nothing that you're going to do to me that's going to change my conviction or change my path".
  • Split-Personality Takeover: Implied at the end of "Sacrifice".
  • Stepford Smiler: "Façade" is about type 1, a Love Martyr who pretends that everything is fine.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: The chorus in "Legion of Monsters" goes "You made sure the world will remember the name / But didn't the thought even enter your mind" (which goes on to rhyme with "life").
  • Survivor Guilt: If Remnants is to be interpreted as the last moments of the loved one's life as they died, the narrator's line about "No remnants were ever found of it" probably means that he's the only one who knows about her death.note 
  • Talk to the Hand: Draiman instructs whoever he's ranting at in "Never Wrong" to talk to the wall (because he's walking away).
  • Take That!:
  • Take That, Critics!: "Droppin' Plates". FYI, "Plates" is an old studio term for hit records.
  • Tautological Templar: In "Overburdened" Hell is overburdened with Knight Templars who don't understand why they are being sent there. Subverted when the narrator seems to make a Heel Realization mid verse:
  • Terms of Endangerment:
  • The End of the World as We Know It: "The Vengeful One".
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    • "Droppin' Plates": "I'm droppin' plates on your ass, bitch."
    • "This Moment": "You hear me, bitch, stop."
  • To Hell and Back: A likely unintentional example of this. If you play "Inside the Fire", "Asylum", "I'm Alive", "Hell", and "This Moment"'', in that order, it essentially tells the story of a man who accepts the devil's offer to go to Hell to be with his recently Driven to Suicide loved one, only to realise the devil tricked him, and he's now trapped alone in there without her. At which point he decides: "Fuck it! TRY and break me!" and precedes to bust out of Hell and kick The Devil's ass!
  • True Companions: References to camaraderie are a common theme. "Rise" and "I'm Alive" shoot to thought.
  • Übermensch: Draiman wrote his final paper on Nietzsche's God Is Dead concept, so this is common in all Disturbed songs. "Divide" is the most obvious example.
  • The Unfettered: "Divide", and "What Are You Waiting For" is about living life without regret.
  • Villain Song: Inverted with "The Vengeful One". The Guy is the subject of the song, the lyrics make him out to seem like the villain, but the music video reveals he's actually The Hero of the song.
  • The Virus: "Haunted".
  • Verbed Title: Extremely common. In fact, you can sum up the entire discography of as Verbed Title, Adjective Noun, The X of Y, or The Something.
  • Was It Really Worth It?: "Enough" is about a man who ruins himself trying to buy goodies for his ungrateful girlfriend. She abandons him when the money dries up, leaving him feeling like his soul is frozen and his heart broken.
  • We Have Ways of Making You Talk: "3".
    For many hours we were questioned and someone lied
    One of us couldn't take it
  • Welcome to My World: "A Welcome Burden" invites the audience into the Crapsack World that created the pissed-off man singing before you.
  • Witch Hunt: "3" is about a real one for the West Memphis Three, a group of three heavy-metal-loving teens who were charged with killing three young boys. The evidence used to convict them was flimsy at best, with the lyrics to "3" outright saying that it was because they liked metal that they were convicted.note 
  • Wolf Man: "The Animal".
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: The basic message behind "What Are You Waiting For."
  • You Are Not Alone: The basic message behind "The Light."
  • You Are Worth Hell: "Inside the Fire." Arguable since it's Based on a True Story, which indicates that the protagonist didn't commit suicide.
  • Your Soul Is Mine: "Inside the Fire." And how! The Devil (who's also the narrator) is ranting and raving, screaming temptation at the grieving Draiman... ouch...
  • You Will Not Evade Me: "Run".
    "You really don't know how long I've waited for your destruction, I'm telling you you just can't get away."


  • Audience Participation Song: Land of Confusion, Stupify, Ten Thousand Fists.
  • Bad to the Bone: Any time the familiar drum opening or staccato howl from Down with the Sickness is heard in a film, something violent is probably going to happen.
  • Bilingual Bonus: Draiman will sometimes slip Hebrew phrases into some of his works, such as "Tefached" in the bridge of Stupify, and "Elochai / Bury me tonight" in Pain Redefined. These translate to "Be afraid" and "My God" respectively.
  • Careful with That Axe: In every second song. Examples include:
    • "Voices". "And do what you are compelled to do... SAVE ME GOD!"
    • "Down with the Sickness." "You've woken up the demon IN ME!!" and the child abuse segment.
    • "Stupify" rhymes the shouts. "When I feel like I'm shit out of LUCK!!"
    • For most of "The Game," David switches between Creepy Monotone and shouting, back and forth, at the drop of a hat. "Now that I have allowed you TO BEAT ME," "Will she now run for her life now that she LIED TO ME!!" and so on.
    • "The Vengeful One." "So sleep soundly in your beds tonight / For judgement falls upon you at first LIGHT!!"
    • "Never Wrong." "You've made me LOSE MY DAMN MIND!!"
  • Chart Displacement: Their signature "Down with the Sickness" technically wasn't their biggest hit at all. "Prayer" peaked at #3 on Alternative radio, and they've scored six #1 hits on Mainstream Rock. One of those six #1's, 2015's "The Sound of Silence", is their biggest hit on the Hot 100, peaking at #42.
  • Cover Drop: "You will remember the night you were struck by / the sight of / Ten Thousand Fists in the Air!".
  • Cover Version:
  • Creepy Monotone:
    • The bridge of "Voices."
    • The verses of "Down with the Sickness."
    • The parts of "The Game" which David is not yelling.
  • Dark Age of Supernames: Most songs that aren't Adjective Nouns (Violence Fetish, Ten Thousand Fists, Perfect Insanity, Sacred Lie), The X of Y (Meaning of Life, Sons of Plunder, Land of Confusion), or The Something (The Game, The Night, The Curse, The Infection, The Animal) are likely single word titled. This fits in with Draiman's cryptic lyrical style, so he's generally being very blunt when a song name is a phrase (I'm Alive, Just Stop, Leave It Alone, Never Again, Another Way to Die, Inside the Fire, Pain Redefined, etc.)
  • Dramatic Thunder: In the beginning of Haunted.
  • Drone of Dread:
  • Evil Laugh: David Draiman has a good one, and he's not afraid to use it. "Inside the Fire," "Perfect Insanity" and "Asylum" come to mind.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener:
    • Asylum and Remnants, which begins with several serene electronic sounds, moving into a subdued acoustic section which leads into a minute of 80's-inspired guitar euphoria and then after a quiet sustain (and heavy bass galloping) becoming the radio-ready Asylum, a 7-minute, 2-part song (the band's longest to date).
    • The Eye Of The Storm opens the Immortalized album and its title track. It's quite a bit faster and more electronic than Remnants. One Youtube comment even imagined the video to Eye of the Storm being the four band members heading towards a stone monolith of the Guy, before their mere presence activates it and the band rises once again...
  • For Doom the Bell Tolls: Haunted, Serpentine.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "All I wanted was just one FUAWK / One tiny, little, innocent FUAWK" in "Stupify."
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: "Meaning of Life" starts with a rhythmic double bass drum closely in line with a heartbeat that slowly loudens into a think, distorted power chord.
  • Hidden Track: The band had hoped that their U2 cover would be this, but since iTunes generally splits up hidden tracksnote , this was spoiled weeks in advance.
  • Howl of Sorrow: Draiman's animal noises could be interpreted as this depending on the context. Oddly missing from The Animal.
  • In the Style of...: All of their covers that aren't by metal or hard rock bands. "Putting our stamp on it" they call it. In Wengren's words:
    Interviewer: Do you all weigh in when you cover a song?"
    Mike: Absolutely. It's just something that’s fun to do. It's like a tension release, really. We spend months at a time focusing on creating new material. Once we're comfortable with the bulk of the material and we know that we almost have a record ready, then we will lay back a bit and have some fun, and that’s what those covers are. We get to see what we can do with somebody else's song. It's usually a band that we have a lot of respect for and have been heavily influenced by, like Faith No More or Judas Priest, or it's a band that we feel has had a great hit from the past and we can try and do a 180 on the song and put our own spin on – and not get crucified for it.
    • Their cover of The Sound of Silence is pretty much their only conscious effort to not do this. Instead, Draiman uses his cantor training to deliver a chilling, beat-for-beat version of the original.
  • Last Note Nightmare:
    • "Stupify" rages itself out after the final "RAAAH!!"... and then comes the Drone of Dread.
    • "Enough" appears to fade out with the tune it'd been following: fast drum beat and bass/guitar riff ending in a power chord. Until at the last second after fully quieting down, the band threw the power chord in at full volume.
  • Laughing Mad:
    • "Inside the Fire" combines it with the Evil Laugh; the character in which the song is being described to is most definitely going insane, but the main narrative is being told by his dead girlfriend whispering over his shoulder (who may or may not be The Devil). In other words, it sounds both crazed and demonic.
    • "Perfect Insanity" and "Asylum" feature a deranged laughter, naturally.
  • Loudness War: Asylum has noticeably squashed playback when entered in a sound editor.
  • Melismatic Vocals: Becomes far more and more prominent as Draiman's career progresses.
  • Metal Scream:
    • Enough; probably the closest thing to a death growl Draiman will ever get, the other being his scream in Crucified.
    • Their Living After Midnight cover has one near the end.
    • Never Wrong contains the first shouty scream heard from Draiman in years, almost as if the band decided to revist their screamy-er days.
    • The "Sound of Silence" cover subverts this, twice — the song starts as a straight Lonely Piano Piece cover, but it intensifies on a very slow burn'', til Draiman's trademark growl has reappeared by the lyrics "And the people bowed and played". The last line, like the original, is soft and subdued again.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: They are typically around a 7. However, they have also gone significantly lower, with songs like "Darkness" (a 1), and "The Sound of Silence" (a 2). Some songs across Immortalized and Asylum reach a solid 8.
  • Mondegreen:
    • The people at Rock Band who charted "Indestructible" mistook the lyric "Their opponent had to be invincible" for "Their opponents tend to be invincible". They did it again with their chart of "The Animal" in having the lyric be "Ticking bomb in the glimmer of this tainted moonlight" instead of "Taking form in the glimmer".
    • One time they added too many words: for the drawn-out vocal segment near the end of Inside the Fire, they stuck "You will remember it all, let it fill your mind again, Man~!", when "Ma-a-a-an!" was just Draiman's usual Simlish (or maybe this was just a long "yeah").
  • Mood Whiplash: This is how the band describes the soft, mournful opening and subsequent blast of guitars in Another Way to Die: "Give them a gentle caress on the cheek before smacking them in the face", in their words.
  • Motor Mouth: Not as fast as some of the other examples, but just try to understand the lyrics to Liberate's opening verse, Fear's vocal bridge, or Meaning of Life's shout segment without reading them beforehand.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Bound", "Numb", and "Conflict", with the latter featuring the word 'Enemy' at least over fifty times. Interestingly, the classic demo-tape/underground recording of "Perfect Insanity" does feature its title throughout, but the Indestructible re-recording drops this, making it one of these.
  • Power Ballad: They've turned Remember into one.
  • Precision F-Strike: The Sickness had prominent cussing nearly the entire track through, then Believe left it out with the exception of one song (Liberate). TTF has only a single swearing song (Sons of Plunder) which is itself a Precision F Strike. Indestructible and Asylum are more balanced, and the swearing that's there isn't as pronounced.
  • Rated M for Manly: Just try to deny it.
  • Refrain from Assuming: Meaning of Life as "Get Psycho" and Conflict as "Enemy" (the latter contains the word "Enemy" 52 times).
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Frequently, with "Another Way to Die" as a particularly excellent example. Draiman does this a lot with his wordless vocalizations as well: the "RAH!" in the beginning of "Asylum" is six tracks at once. Played live, Moyer has to do his best Draiman impersonation.
  • Self-Plagiarism/Suspiciously Similar Song: The so-ah! noises in Glass Shatters are a rather blatant redux of the noises in Voices. Possibly justified in that Disturbed didn't actually compose the song, simply performing it in their own style without much flexibility.
  • Scatting: The Game's scat section most notably, along with Down With The Sickness and This Moment's more contained screams (yet Draiman swears he was saying "Better Yet!").
  • Something Completely Different: The Light is a bit of an oddity among the band's catalogue, in how much it emphasizes the electronic elements that traditionally take a backseat in Dan's compositions.
  • Soprano and Gravel: By the same person.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Appears in a few songs, like in "Haunted."
  • Subdued Section: Many.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Darkness and The Light, but Overburdened could debatably be considered either a Power Ballad or just a straight forward hard rock stadium song.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: The Sickness is likely one of the most simple but awesome records you'll ever hear.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Down with the Sickness' final chorus moves two strings up in pitch.
  • The Un-Favourite: The band has been pretty clear about not caring for Glass Shatters.
  • Voice Clip Song: "Deify" starts with clips of one pro-Bush source, one comment on a repressive government, then clips of Bush himself from his 9/11 speech.

    Music Videos 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): David Draiman



Disturbed is a four-piece Chicago Alternative Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band formed in August 1996. Released in 2000, their debut album The Sickness both shot them into stardom and earned them a devoted fanbase called the Disturbed1s. The band made a name for themselves after playing second stage of the Ozzfest tour in 2000, headlining the U.S tour in 2001 alongside the likes of Slipknot, Linkin Park and Marilyn Manson, and then again as a headliner in 2003. In 2001, they created their own tour (a small event at the time), the Music as a Weapon tour taken from a lyric in the song Droppin' Plates (abbreviated as MAAW), including acts throughout its existence such as Drowning Pool, Alter Bridge, As I Lay Dying, Chevelle, Flyleaf, Chimaira, Trivium, P.O.D., Nonpoint, Stone Sour, Lacuna Coil, In This Moment and Killswitch Engage. On September 17, 2002, they released their second album, Believe, which went straight to #1 (see below) and was lauded by critics as the album that broke them from the Nu Metal tag that plagued The Sickness. Years later in 2006, the single Down with the Sickness would be certified Gold, then Platinum in 2009.

The song example is "Immortalized."

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / AlternativeMetal

Media sources:

Main / AlternativeMetal