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 Evens Blue, culminating in Fight or Flight, which he invited Wengren to drum for.
On June 20th 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, set for release August 21st 2015; officially ending the hiatus. Almost 3 years later, the band revealed their next iteration, appropriately titled Evolution, with the single "Are You Ready?", with an album release in October 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.
- 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
- David Draiman - Vocals
- Dan Donegan - Guitar, Electronics, Keyboard
- Mike Wengren - Drums, occasional programmingnote
- John Moyer - Bass, Back-up vocals
- Steve "Fuzz" Kmak - Bassnote
- The Sickness - 2000note
- Believe - 2002, Sept
- Music as a Weapon II - 2003 (recorded), 2004 (released)note
- Ten Thousand Fists - 2005
- Indestructible - 2008, June
- Live & Indestructible (E.P) - 2008, Sept
- Asylum - 2010, August
- The Lost Children (B-Side Compilation) - 2011, November
- Immortalized - 2015, August
- Evolution - 2018, October
- Meaning Of Life (M.O.L.) - 2002, March
- Music as a Weapon II - 2003, 2004note
- Indestructible in Germany - 2008, Nov
- Decade Of Disturbed (D.O.D.) - 2010note
Other popular songs:
- Fear, Want, Droppin' Plates, Shout 2000, Meaning of Life
- Believe, Awaken, Mistress, Rise, Devour, Darkness
- Deify, I'm Alive, Sons of Plunder, Overburdened, Pain Redefined
- Haunted, Enough, Criminal Divide, Façade
- The Infection, Never Again Serpentine, My Child, Innocence
- Minenote , Old Friendnote , 3note
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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:
- "YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT PAIN IS!!"
- To this day, Draiman still opens shows by being wheeled out on stage by one of the road crew, strapped to a hand truck while wearing a straitjacket and restraining mask before singing a song about being insane (Voices, Perfect Insanity).
- 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: They like to use this in certain songs that didn't originally contain one.
- 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 vultures 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.
- 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!
- 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
- "I'm Alive".
- Blatant Lies/Sarcasm Mode: When asked about the meaning behind Meaning of Life, Draiman said "To encourage existential thought". Yeah, right.
- Byronic Hero: Some of their songs give off this vibe, especially "Divide" and "Stronger On Your Own", 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.
- 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: In truth, 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:
- "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
- "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, according to the band. Lyrically, very much so; 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/Superpowered Evil Side: This seems to be the theme of the chorus to 'The Night'There can be no better way of knowingIn a world beyond controllingAre you going to deny the saviorIn front of your eyesStare into the nightPower beyond containingAre you going to remain a slave forThe rest of your lifeGive into the night
- 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 Favid 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: Criminal. "I want 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).
- 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.
- "Indestructible", "I'm Alive".
- "The Curse".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
I'll never be overcome!
- 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.note
- 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.
- Green Aesop: Another Way to Die.
- Grief Album: Believe, most notably Darkness.
- Hearing Voices: Voices, Deceiver.
- 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
- The subject of "Saviour Of Nothing".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 people 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: 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
- 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.
- 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 and "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:
- 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.
- 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: Never Wrong, where the speaker is sick of such people.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.Let me enlighten youThis is the way I pray
- Reluctant Psycho: In some of their Sanity Slippage Songs.
- Revenge Ballad:
- Rhyming with Itself: "Perfect Insanity".Now I try again to find
The thing that was my mind
Behold the undersigned
Who said I've lost my mind
- Rock-Star Song: Monster, though it's actually 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. They have tons of these.
- 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:
- 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."
- 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.
- 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!
- 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."
- Astronomic Zoom: D.O.D. starts out with this sort of intro.
- Breaking the Bonds: Asylum's cover art◊.
- Catchphrase: The Disturbed1s have "Spread the sickness, infect the world."
- Digital Piracy Is Not Evil: They really don't care if you download their songs.
- Warner Music Group sure does, though.
- Fetus Terrible: The creature being born on The Sickness album cover. The band calls it "a monster".
- Fist of Rage: The Ten Thousand Fists album cover.
- Iconic Logo: No where near the level of The Rolling Stones' Tongue & Lip, but the Believe medallion combining the Star of David, the Christian Crucifix, the Pagan Pentagram and Islamic Crescent Moon has become the group's standard image.
- There is also the Guy's face.
- Licensed Game: The band had (for a time) unveiled an online game based on the Asylum album. It has full-motion video based around the patient's vision. It appears to have since been taken down.
- Limited Special Collector's Ultimate Edition: The Collection, a Boxed Set of the bands' five albums on vinyl. It will supposedly have a few Revenue-Enhancing Devices as well. Additionally it will have pieces of artwork unique to this release and is being limited to 2500 copies.
- Mascot: The Guy.
- Monster-Shaped Mountain: The cover of Immortalized is a mountain formation looking like The Guy's face (immortalized in stone).
- Nintendo Hard: Another Way to Die on Rock Band is basically double-bass hell.
- Out of the Inferno: The Indestructible album cover.
- Pre-Order Bonus: Those who pre-ordered Indestructible from the band's website got a poster, a VIP for major Disturbed events throughout the year, the song "Run" and the Making-of documentary.
- Real-Person Fic: Oddly enough, they do exist. Some of them have the band palling around with The Guy.
- Record Producer: For the first three albums they worked with the Chicago producer Johnny "K" Karkazis, then went the DIY path from Indestructible onward. The loss of his influence can be felt.
- Interestingly, K after parting with Disturbed produced a string of successful albums,note earning him a Grammy nomination for Producer of the year 2008, same class as Disturbed's nomination for Inside the Fire. Neither won.
- 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:
- 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!!"
- The Game. "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!!"
- 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: Shout by Tears for Fears into Shout 2000, The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel (on "Immortalized"), Land of Confusion by Genesis, Midlife Crisis by Faith No More,note spearheaded by Chi from the Deftones which Mike Patton put a stop to because he doesn't want there to be FNM tribute for some reason. There's two versions of the song floating around the internet, one with Fuzz on bass that leaked onto and was floating around file-sharing sites for years and a 2008 remix that many thought would be a B-Side to Indestructible but which ultimately appeared officially on Warner Records' Covered: A Revolution In Sound, Living After Midnight by Judas Priest and most bizarrely I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For (ISHWILF) by U2. They also covered/remade Jim Johnstone's theme for "Stone Cold" Steve Austin into "Glass Shatters".
- Live, they've been known to cover Walk by Pantera whenever the Abbot brothers were nearby. Since the death of Dimebag Darrell, they haven't done it since. Interestingly, the group preformed a cover of Cold Gin by KISS in Darrell's honour when the band organized a benifit show for the Abbot family. They performed Fade to Black by Metallica during MAAW II, and during their underground days they would do Tool, Korn and Sevendust covers.
- Some covers aren't necessarily Disturbed covers, but more localized to Draiman, such as a when he went to a Steel Panther (at the time, called Metal Skool) concert, and they (in typical Steel Panther fashion) invited him up on-stage to sing Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. Another event had the cover group Camp Freddy backing him while he sang Man in the Box by Alice in Chains (with Jerry Cantrell).
- Down With The Sickness has been covered by Richard Cheese, in Lounge Lizard style. And it is awesome.
- 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.)
- Dark Is Not Evil: The Light from Immortalized delivers this message, telling the listener that "sometimes darkness can show you the light."
- Dramatic Thunder: In the beginning of Haunted.
- Drone of Dread:
- Used during the verses of "Down with the Sickness"
- Provides Last Note Nightmare in "Stupify".
- 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".
- 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 thats 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 thats 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" and "Perfect Insanity," 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.
- 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: 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.
- Abandoned Hospital: Stricken.
- Animated Music Video: Land of Confusion, thanks to Todd McFarlane.
- Bedlam House: Asylum, of course, which includes gratuitous restraint, regular beatings and occasional torture. Parts of it are implied to be a part of the patient's delusion, but based on the more sane perspectives from the doctor's POV, the Asylum isn't that pretty to begin with.
- Big "NO!": Inside The Fire's opening.
- Bragging Theme Tune: The Guy gets his own in 'The Vengeful One'.
- Chekhov's Gun: A literal example in the video for The Vengeful One.
- Compelling Voice: Voices, Inside the Fire.
- Content Warnings: The uncensored version of Inside the Fire opens with Draiman cautioning the audience about the sensitive subject matter, and that the lyrics and imagery in the video might be hard for people with suicidal thoughts to take, ending with him giving the number for the national suicide prevention hotline (since he appears to have done this in his own home, it was probably his personal wish). After the video is over the number comes up again with a notice that the hotline isn't affiliated with the video's producers nor do they endorse its contents.
- Cool Car: Since it takes place in a parking garage, The Night has Draiman singing in front of a sweet Lincoln Continental, circa 60's-70's.
- Cuckoo Nest/Or Was It a Dream?: To depict his insanity, Asylum has the patient throughout the video trying to escape from the asylum, only to be killed every time. After a brief shot of a literal Reset Button, he wakes up in his padded room occasionally finding some reference to his Hallucinations within. This ends with him throwing himself into a furnace thinking he'll end up back in his cell... except this time it was real.
- Dark Messiah: The Guy is implied to be this for the video to The Vengeful One, however, he is actually not a Dark Messiah, being closer to a Good Is Not Nice/Dark Is Not Evil Anti Heroic character.
- Disposable Intern: The media-controlled zombies can be seen feasting on an intern's entrails at one point in The Vengeful One (who happens to be named Hope).
- Dress Rehearsal Video: Stupify, Stricken, Indestructible, Inside the Fire, and The Night.
- Empathy Doll Shot: Land of Confusion contains one...the doll is stepped on by one of the soldiers.
- Evil Chef: Asylum, when the patient meets him, he grins then tries to catch, cook and serve the poor bastard using a chainsaw. While attempting to escape, the patient knocks into a fridge which opens to reveal chilled human bodyparts. One Gory Discretion Shot later, we're treated to shot of human stew garnished with an eyeball. It was thought to be All Just a Dream, but afterwards the doctors Force Feed him the human soup that was supposed to be him.
- Exploding Fish Tank: Stupify.
- Faceless, Gas Mask Mooks: In Land of Confusion.
- Gaia's Lament: Another Way To Die has multiple points dedicated to humans living as they do, then switches to a future that could be.
- A Glass of Chianti: The Animal, using a bloody example.
- Helicopter Blender: Happens to the Big Bad of The Vengeful One.
- Hope Spot: "A Reason to Fight" ends with the protagonist breaking out of a glass bottle, walking back towards his house, which has its lights on, a symbolic representation of him breaking his addiction.
- Imagine Spot: Voices, to portray the violent thoughts in the subject's head.
- The Invisible Band: "Another Way To Die". To get the Green Aesop across it depicts a wasteland destroyed by humanity's treatment of the earth interplayed with images of the current earth and things such as oil spills and smoke stacks.
- Kubrick Stare: In the "Inside The Fire" video, Draiman does a lot of glaring into the camera from beneath his eyebrows.
- Mega-Corp: Who The Guy ultimately brings down in The Vengeful One.
- Milking the Giant Cow: Draiman throughout the videos. It's hard to find an instance of his on-camera presence in which he isn't doing this.
- Mummies at the Dinner Table: "Inside The Fire".
- Music Video Overshadowing:
- Asylum doesn't have that much to do with the song's meaning (which doesn't talk about a literal asylum). This could also be taken as simply a case of All There in the Linear notes.
- In recent videos it seems as if the director chases Rule of Scary over the song meanings. One egregious example would be The Animal, which is heavily built around the Indonesian lore of the Pontianak, a kind a Vampire similar to a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl. The song was written primarily from a western perspective in defiance of the Vampire fad (since Draiman has already contributed to that with Forsaken and Devour).
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Many fans theorize that one of the background characters in Land of Confusion is modeled after Zakk Wylde.
- Moreover, the five evil world leaders looks suspiciously like their real-world counterparts at the time (Vladimir Putin, Jacques Chirac, Junichiro Koizumi, Tony Blair). Oddly, only the American leader doesn't look particularly like George W. Bush, despite the band not being shy about using his voice clips in Deify (this may just be a cop-out by Todd McFarlane).
- No Escape but Down: Asylum, when the patient is being pursued chooses this.
- Performance Video: "Down with the Sickness."
- Police State: Another Way To Die has Oil Company Mercenaries controlling the remaining water supplies while suppressing any kind of agriculture outside of their control.
- Power Glows: The Guy in Land of Confusion.
- Psychotic Smirk: Draiman is prone to this in the videos.
- In Asylum the doctors and staff are often doing this from the patient's perspective.
- Putting on the Reich: The evil Mega-Corp soldiers in "Land of Confusion."
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Guy in "The Vengeful One" never has his face seen, only showing red eyes through a black hood.
- Savage Wolves: The wolves in The Animal. They looked intimidating in the first half of the video (especially interwoven with the line "We begin the hunt tonight") until they attempted to kill the band. By the end of the video the entire pack has been domesticated.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: "The Vengeful One" features The Guy taking out hordes of news media robots and demons with shotgun blasts. At the end of the video, he even blows up two satellites in space with a single shotgun blast each.
- The Stinger: The final scene in Asylum has the charred corpse that was once the patient laying in a morgue... only for his eyes to open and stare at the camera (the schizophrenic camera editing remains).
- Strapped to an Operating Table: Asylum has both the standard variety and the "wheeled down a hallway" type. The doctors while trying to calm down the patient with cold water to the face, eventually drown him. The beginning also has the "strapped into a chair" variety, but the patient escapes before any of the surgical equipment sprinkled throughout the scene is used.
- Surreal Music Video: Asylum edges close to this. Scene depicted from the patient's POV are edited and undercranked to erratically flash with violent imagery. Meanwhile, scenes without the patient are completely clean shots. This could also be considered a way to differentiate between the patient's insanity and reality.
- Talky Bookends: Voices and Inside the Fire.
- Twice-Told Tale: Prayer's video is based on the Book of Job.
- Unflinching Walk: In Prayer, Draiman strolls through a city among falling debris, explosions and car crashes, Milking the Giant Cow.
- Vertical Kidnapping: "The Night" ends with the black energy picking up the security guard in this fashion.
- Writing Around Trademarks: Some of the media networks The Guy shuts down in The Vengeful One include TNN, Kox News and BSNBC.