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The Listening Room: Disturbed, Bon Jovi, Jordin Sparks, Rob Thomas and more...
So the open-ended hiatus that had Disturbed fans in a tizzy the past four years was much ado about nothing. After all, five years between albums -- four if you consider 2011's "The Lost Children" outtakes collection -- is not out of the ordinary in the music world, even if it's considerably longer than this heavy-rocking quartet has taken before. The good news is that "Immortalized" is, yes, worth the wait, and not just because it has plenty of the meaty, pulverizing metal that Disturbed fans know and love in the twisting title track, the grind of "The Vengeful One," the tight groove of "What Are You WAiting For?" and the staccato kinetics of "Never Wrong." There are some new elements at play on "Immortalized," too, Disturbed's first album with an outside producer (Kevin Churko) since the earliest days of its recording career. "Open Your Eyes" meshes a big beat and an industrial underpinning, while "The Light" is a melodic anthem that has rock mainstream written all over it. "You're Mine," meanwhile, is an uncharacteristically smooth and melodic love song, and Disturbed's moody, orchestrated treatment of "The Sound of Silence" allows frontman David Draiman to indulge in some rich, cantorial emoting. "This is our time/We won't be denied," Draiman sings at the start of "Immortalized," and the 13-track set (16 on the deluxe edition) proves that's indeed the case.
New & Noteworthy:
Battlecross, "Rise to Power" (Metal Blade): The Canton, Mich., heavy metal band`s fourth album introduces new drummer Alex Bent.
Bon Jovi, "Burning Bridges" (Mercury/Island): The New Jersey group's 13th studio album is its first without guitarist Richie Sambora, who does have a songwriting credit on one track, "Saturday Night Gave Me Sunday Morning."
Ghost, "Meliora" (Loma Vista): The title of the costumed Swedish headbangers' third album is Latin for "the pursuit of something better" -- much more concise, no?
Pop Evil, "Up" (eOne): The western Michigan hard rockers trooped to Seattle for it fifth album to work with Grammy Award-winning producer Adam Kaspar.
Jordin Sparks, "Right Here Right Now" (Louder Than Life/19): The "American Idol" champ's third album features guest appearances by B.o.B., 2 Chainz, Shaggy and others.
Rob Thomas, "The Great Unknown" (Atlantic): The matchbox twenty frontman's third solo album comes after a six-year interim spent focusing on the group's activities.
Also Out: Act of Defiance, "Birth & the Burial" (Metal Blade); Eric Alexander, "The Real Thing" (High Note); Alfio, "In Concert" (DPTV); Butcher Babies, "Take It Like a Man" (Century Media); Nicholas Cole, "Night Sessions" (Trippin & Rhythm); Marshall Crenshaw, "#392: The EP Collection" (Red River Entertainment); The Devil Wears Prada, "Space" (Rise); Anton Fig, "Figments" (Planula); The Foreign Exchange, "Tales From the Land of Milk and Honey" (+FE Music); Jackie Greene, "Back To Birth" (Yep Roc); Noah Gunderson, "Carry The Ghost" (Dualtone); Hate Eternal, "Infernus" (Season of Mist); Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis, "Live in Cuba" (Blue Engine); Kadavar, "Berlin" (Nuclear Blast); Talib Kweli, "F*** the Money" (Kweliclub); Eric Marienthal and Chuck Loeb, "Bridges" (Shanachie); Method Man, "The Meth Lab" (Tommy Boy); Neal Morse, "Morsefest 2014" (Metal Blade); Nils, "Alley Cat" (Baja); P.O.D., "The Awakening" (UMe); Sean Prince, "Songs in the Key of Price" (Ruck Down); Lee Ritenour, "A Twist of Rit" (Concord); Soulfly, "Archangel" (Nuclear Blast); Spock's Beard, "Oblivion Particle" (Inside Out); The Sword, "High Country" (Razor & Tie); U.D.O., "New Metal Night" (AFM); The White Buffalo, "Love and Death of Damnation" (Unison)
From The Vaults: Linda Ronstadt, "Just One Look: The Very Best Of..." (Elektra)
Soundtracks: Various Artists, "The Blacklist: MUsic From the Television Series" (Madison Gate)
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