It’s embarrassing how much fun the debut from David Draiman’s Device is at times. I’m a casual Disturbed fan, owning the first three records at least, but you mention industrial metal to me and cite early Nine Inch Nails (Going so far as to cover “Wish” on the Deluxe Edition) and Ministry as influences on your latest project and consider my interest piqued. That said, Device is a solid debut that doesn’t stray too much from the Disturbed mold yet keeps things interesting enough to keep Draiman’s (And industrial rock) fans invested enough to stick around until the end.
Beginning with the thunderous “You Think You Know”, ex-Filter guitarist Geno Lenardo’s monolithic riffs are immediately at the forefront and remind listeners that this was the guy that also made Title of Record such a memorable album. That’s actually a factor that’s a cause for some of Device’s downfall: A lot of the record feels as if it’s Title of Record v.2. That wouldn’t be a bad thing if Richard Patrick were singing but here it tends to sound like generic radio-friendly industrial rock fronted by “That guy from Disturbed”. “War Of Lies” and “Hunted” are prime examples of some great stand alone Filter songs, the latter of which would have fit nicely onto The Amalgamut, but at the end of the day they’re not.
Another spot that really hurts this album is the abundance of guests during the latter half. Songs like “You Think You Know”, “Penance”, and single “Vilify” are a great gateway into Device but as soon as you hit the cover of “Close My Eyes Forever” with Halestorm’s Lizzy Hale (Which also sounds like a desperate attempt for a big single. If this is not the next song “officially” released, I’ll be very surprised), it’s guest after guest after guest which ends up bogging down the whole thing. It’s not only the abundance of guests but the level as well. Sure, guys like Serj Tankian and Tom Morello who were peaking or making names for themselves around the time Disturbed hit the scene make sense (Think Audioslave, not RATM in Morello’s case), but then there’s M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold, the aforementioned Lizzy Hale, and random appearances from Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes and Sabbath’s Geezer Butler making it seem like Warner Bros just wanted to up the “sell” factor on this release.
In the end, Device is not a terrible album it’s just not anything fans haven’t heard before. If you love Disturbed and are a fan of late-’90’s Filter, then this one’s for you. Find out where you can get a copy here.