Indestructible is the fourth studio album by American heavy metal band Disturbed. A self-produced effort, Indestructible is the first Disturbed album that did not feature Johnny K, the producer of Disturbed's previous three albums, The Sickness, Believe, and Ten Thousand Fists. Indestructible was recorded at Groovemaster Studios in Chicago, Illinois. The album features two songs that were written by Disturbed before their first album, The Sickness, but were never previously featured on an album. Those songs are titled "Perfect Insanity" and "Divide".
The album features significantly darker themes than any of Disturbed's previous work. Many of the lyrical themes are about relationships that didn't work out, about a car accident vocalist David Draiman was in, and even one about suicide. To match the aggressive attitude of said themes, Draiman told the other band members to create darker, more textural music than they have before. On the other hand, the title track, "Indestructible", is a song meant to encourage troops fighting in wars, to make them feel strong.
Indestructible was released on June 2, 2008 in standard compact disc format, and also a limited edition digipak, and it shipped over 253,000 units in its opening week. The album was Disturbed's third consecutive number-one debut on the Billboard 200. Indestructible was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America in July 2008, for shipping over 500,000 copies. The album's lead single, "Inside the Fire", received significant radio airplay. An EP was produced to promote the album, titled Live & Indestructible, which featured the music video for "Indestructible" as well as three live tracks from Disturbed's online concert.
Early in the writing process, Donegan creates guitar riffs. The rest of the band listens to the riffs, and writes the rest of the music, with the riffs being the base. As Donegan comments, "The writing process is ... pretty much the same since the beginning ... of this band. It's always been riffs; something musically that I'll come up with [that begins the writing process]." Wengren commented, "We're always tossing around riffs and beats, but it isn't really until we get home and we are able to clear our minds, decompress for a little bit, and then hit it, especially Danny and I, and just start throwing the riffs and the beats out, that the music starts to finally come to life." When Wengren and Donegan complete a song musically, they send it over to Draiman, and wait for him to make a melody line. The first song completed musically was "The Night", and Draiman completed the melody line in three days. This caused Draiman to tentatively call the record The Night. As Draiman commented, "The instrumentation was so cool and so dark and textural that I right away kind of jumped into it."
Bassist John Moyer left the studio during the recording process, due to his wife being pregnant. Donegan and Wengren sent him demos through e-mail, and he continued to write bass lines for the songs from his home studio. When the instrumentation was complete, Draiman began to write melody lines for each song. The vocalist commented, "I'm a big believer in the vibe of the music and the feel of it, how the song makes you feel musically should dictate what it is to be about and so if you start with something that has meaning, but the music doesn't support the meaning, then what good is it?" When the songs were completed, the band sent them out to the record label and waited for their approval. After they received approval, they continue the writing process.
Regarding electronics on the album, Donegan said, "When the basic guitar, bass, [and] drums were being laid down, at first I didn't really see a whole lot of room for some of the electronics, but as the songs were starting to develop, I was just in that frame of mind to try and toy around with some of the electronics."
Wengren comments, "We thought it would be pretty cool, especially for the fans, if we brought back maybe a song or two, that were actually written during the same period that The Sickness songs were written. Danny brought in some old demo tapes, I'm talking twelve years old, back when 'Down With the Sickness' and 'Stupify', and all that stuff was written, this was actually written before that." The songs that Wengren was referring to were "Perfect Insanity", and "Divide".
The band also recorded a version of the song "Midlife Crisis", which was originally performed by Faith No More. Draiman comments, "We took the song, revamped it and modernized it to our current level, and the version’s killer." However, the song did not make it into the final track listing of the album.
Regarding the choice of the title, bassist John Moyer commented, "... usually there's some name or phrase that sort of sums up, you know, what the vibe of the record's about, so this one's Indestructible, and it is an aggressive record, this record's about kicking ass." Donegan, commenting on the meaning of the title, stated, "... we feel that we've become indestructible to be able to survive this long in the business, and continuing a success with it." Draiman concluded, "... we have been through a lot. No matter what gets thrown at us, as a band, no matter what happens in the musical environment, we're still here, we're still viable, and still standing."
The song, "Indestructible", which is the title track of the album, is "an anthem for soldiers", Draiman comments. "It’s meant to be something that would make them feel invincible, take away their fear, make them strong and that’s what this whole body of work on this record does. It’s music to help you feel strong." Cuts such as "Deceiver" and "Inside the Fire" are about "really bad relationships". "Inside the Fire" is about "standing over the body of my girlfriend, who just killed herself, and the Devil is standing over me, whispering in my ear to kill myself," says Draiman. The song "The Night" is, "just kind of meant to portray the night almost as like a living entity that sets you free. You're enveloped by it, enmasked by it," Draiman comments. Draiman says the track "Divide" "is meant to detract from the idea 'oh, let's all be one, let's all be united!' Fuck that, be yourself, be an individual, stand out, make your mark, make an impact." Commenting on the meaning of the song "Façade", Draiman states, "why not go ahead and write a song from the perspective of a girl in a relationship where she's abused? But it's like that she's thinking about killing him, like you see on the news. It's like 'OK, one more time.'"
In February 2008, an audio sample was posted on Disturbed's MySpace page to promote Indestructible. The sample, titled "Perfect Insanity", is actually a song written early in their career that never previously appeared on an album, but was expected to appear on Indestructible. The track was later made available for download, in its entirety, on Disturbed's website for promotional purposes.
Another sample of the track "Inside the Fire" appeared on Rock on the Range's MySpace page in March 2008. The track was anticipated to be the album's first single, with a music video directed by Nathan Cox. On March 24, 2008, "Inside the Fire" debuted on more than sixty radio stations. It was released for digital download the next day; March 25, 2008. On May 2, 2008, the music video for "Inside the Fire" appeared on Disturbed's website.
In April 2008, a limited edition pre-order digipak package of Indestructible was made available for order exclusively through Disturbed's website. The limited edition package featured the entire album, with a b-side titled "Run", a DVD featuring a documentary about the making of the album and some "InDistRuctionals", a "wrap-around" poster, a special VIP laminate which grants access to special Disturbed events through 2009, and a special code which grants access to the "Inside the Fire" website add-on. Another special edition pre-order of the album was on iTunes Music Store, and featured three live bonus tracks, as well as the entire album. Yet another pre-order of the album allowed customers who pre-ordered the album through Best Buy to download the two songs, "Inside the Fire", and "Indestructible" as playable content on the video game Rock Band. In May 2008, Disturbed participated in their first online concert hosted by DeepRockDrive. Disturbed attracted an unprecedented amount of people to the online concert, which allowed fans to interact with the band, as well as watch them play. Three songs from this performance were mastered and put on the EP, Live & Indestructible. Disturbed was a co-headlining act in the Mayhem festival in promotion of the new album, with acts such as Slipknot, Mastodon, DragonForce, and others. Disturbed is also planning to begin their fourth Music as a Weapon tour in March of 2009.
On August 20, 2008, a music video directed by Noble Jones for the album's third single and title track, "Indestructible", was posted on Disturbed's website. On September 30, 2008, the music video was officially available for purchase, exclusively through iTunes Music Store, packaged with the EP, Live & Indestructible. The single was released on September 29, 2008.
The album earned mixed reviews from critics; it received a score of 57% on review-aggregating website Metacritic, based on six reviews. Being the first self-produced effort by the band, they had more leeway to create music without any outside interference, says 411mania writer Dan Marsicano. "The band uses this opportunity to their advantage, utilizing a more aggressive and gloomier sound than their previous album, while sticking with the melodic sound that has helped to pave their way to success," continues Marsicano. Guitarist Dan Donegan’s guitar riffs were praised, "These guys really know how to write memorable hooks, and this CD is packed with them," says About.com writer Chad Bowar. Allmusic writer James Monger suggests that the record takes elements from such acts as Metallica and AC/DC. The growth of the guitars from the previous records was also praised, "If there is growth in the band, it's in the guitars. Dan Donegan takes a much more 80s approach than he has on past recordings," says Metaleater writer Chris Akin.
IGN writer Jim Kaz proposes that vocalist David Draiman has an "overly-forced" vocal delivery. Kaz also finds "the tunes are largely similar in style and structure . . . In essence, there's very little that stands out." He goes on to say that the album seems already-dated, "there's just too much of the very recent past on Indestructible to move away from it. So in effect, it sounds a bit dated... already." It is also suggested that, although possessing a reliably solid foundation, the album lacks a meaning behind its drive, "they wind up sounding a little lost on Indestructible, stabbing their weapons without any reasons behind each parry," says PopMatters writer Andrew Blackie.
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|"Indestructible"||The Billboard Hot 100||72|
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|"Inside the Fire"||The Billboard Hot 100||73|
|"Inside the Fire"||Hot Canadian Digital Singles||66|
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