Written by: IM on 27/07/2013 11:22:32

David Draiman has always been a fairly prolific figure within metal, having fronted the incredibly successful Disturbed throughout the 2000s era. The fundamental question in relation to any new releases or side projects by nu-metal veterans is always whether or not they have managed to keep up with the times and avoid sounding dated. Some say that nu-metal has to be played loudly to be appreciated and this is certainly a release, which blends into nothingness if listened to quietly. However, others would provocatively argue that nu-metal simply shouldn’t be appreciated and ought to have remained in the early 2000s, never to be heard of again.

With the catchy and incredibly distinctive single “Down With The Sickness” from the four times platinum album “The Sickness,” it’s difficult for anything else Draiman turns his vocal talents towards to have a different ring to it. Device were formed in 2012 by Draiman and Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo, who formed a bond through their work together on the latest "Underworld" film soundtrack. However, Lenardo is not featured as part of the touring band. Draiman has previously mentioned his interest in commencing a project with an electronic yet industrial metal feel, in line with the work of those such as Nine Inch Nails or Ministry. With an interesting mixture of guests, ranging from Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale, to Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello, Draiman obviously concluded that the best way to keep things fresh was by involving a variety of acts, with perhaps surprisingly little in common.

The album opens with a fairly solid track in the form of “You Think You Know,” with an instantly recognisable Disturbed style riff and typical Disturbed vocals, there is no mistaking who this album is by. However, whilst there may be a question as to how current this style is to date, the fact that single, “Vilify” reached number 1 on the US Main Rock Chart would indicate that this is perhaps not quite such an issue as one may inititally suppose.

Duetting with Lzzy Hale of Halestorm for a cover of Lita Ford and Ozzy Osborne’s “Close My Eyes Forever,” provides surprising novelty in style, in both the vocals and the type of track itself. However, whilst this does indeed provide variety, it sounds suspiciusly like a Halestorm track has found its way onto a Disturbed album. Whilst the album is perhaps surprisingily listenable, each track when analysed individually does not really provide a huge amount to write home about. “Out of Line” with Serj Tankian and Geezer Butler is perhaps a surprising combination, but there is really nothing very surprising about the track, as it sounds so like the majority of the rest of the release. Fellow nu-metal veteran Tankian, is very much drowned out by Draiman’s vocals, which are certainly stronger than his own. Unfortunately, Butler is incredibly drowned out by the vocals.

“Opinion,” with Rage Against The Machine’s Tom Morello is another example of how Device’s self-titled release is very much a showcase of different artists’ sounds, rather than a collaboration to produce anything that actually sounds that different. Morello’s distinctive playing is immediately recognisable and the track certainly opens well, with catchy riffs which is what really makes the track one of the best on the album. “Haze,” with Avenged Sevenfold’s M Shadows is in stark contrast with this however, a bizzare track which even sounds as though M Shadows is doing his best to impersonate Draiman.

It’s difficult to say what appeal Glenn Hughes may have for a nu-metal becomes industrial/electro act’s project. Perhaps to provide a melodic interlude from Draiman’s aggressive vocals? Despite incredible success in his own right, having worked with acts such as Tony Iommi and Black Country Communion, Hughes’ vocals simply sound bland and uninteresting, providing a rather forgettable track with “Through It All.”

Bonus track, “Wish” certainly remains faithful to the sound of its original artist Nine Inch Nails, and illustrates the industrial and slightly more electronic feel which Draiman had suggested he wished to achieve. However, it stays a little too faithful perhaps, eventually appearing like the kind of cover that does not really add anything new to the original.

Final track, “A Part Of Me,” brings Draiman back to what he knows best, in typical Disturbed style, with him concluding each line with his trademark angry guttural snarl, which is resemblant of someone trying to growl and hurl at one and the same time.

One may ask; has Draiman provided Disturbed lovers with a new anthem, or has this project come 10 years too late? The release is literally a nu-metal extravaganza, with a variety of guests thrown in to avoid too much repetition, which helps because an entire album of Draiman singing and nothing to accompany would most likely have been considered ‘very boring,’. Yet Draiman was definitely bitten by the nu-metal bug and once this has occurred, it appears one will be “down with the sickness” for the rest of eternity.


Download: You Think You Know, Vilify, Opinion
For The Fans Of: Disturbed, Disturbed, Disturbed

Release Date 02.04.2013
Warner Bros

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