Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
L-R: Moyer, Donegan, Draiman, Wengren.

"Everyone has a struggle in life, and the question is do you allow yourself to be overcome by it or do you master it with unified strength and power.
This is exactly what the music was meant to do, to transcend your normal world, to make you more than what you are, to make you set down your burden for a while.
Feel powerful, feel invincible, feel indestructible; believe' in something as opposed to believing in nothing; spread 'the sickness, infect the world."

David Draiman opening lines to D.O.D.

Disturbed is a four-piece Chicago Alternative Metal Heavy Metal/Hard Rock band formed in 1994. 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, headling 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, POD, 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.[1] 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.

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 Alt-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 four straight-to-#1 albums in a row on the Billboard 200 (Believe, Ten Thousand Fists, Indestructible, Asylum),[2] the others being Dave Matthews Band (at five 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.

Related Acts:

  • Brawl (Fuzz, Donegan, and Wengren)
  • Vandal (Fuzz and Donegan)
  • Loudmouth (Donegan)
  • The Union Underground (Moyer)
  • Soak (Moyer)
  • Adrenaline Mob (Moyer)
  • Various Chicago heavy metal/hard rock groups


  • David Draiman - Vocals
  • Dan Donegan - Guitar, Electronics, Keyboard
  • Mike Wengren - Drums, occasional programming [3]
  • John Moyer - Bass, Back-up vocals

Former member:



Other popular songs:

Not to be confused with The Mentally Disturbed or Disturbed Doves.

Disturbed provides examples of the following tropes:

Live Performance

Also see the Disturbed Character Sheet

  • 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.
  • Catch Phrase: 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 be Genre Blind.
  • 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 their's.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: Draiman's mid-concert "Speak To Me!" is more or less this to Bruce Dickinson's "Scream For Me!".
  • 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




"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.
  • Amoral Attorney: Innocence.
  • 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.
  • 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: Indestructible is basically one long boast (a sense of confidence was the intention during the writing process). It's quite charming, really.
    • Also "I'm Alive".[15]
    • "Warrior", to levels of extremity that manage to out-boast all of these.
  • Better to Die Than Be Killed/Death Seeker: Criminal.
  • Blatant Lies/Sarcasm Mode: When asked about the meaning behind Meaning of Life, Draiman said "To encourage existential thought". Yeah, right.
  • 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.
  • Crapsack World: Common theme in their music.
  • 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/Super-Powered Evil Side: This seems to be the theme of the chorus to 'The Night'

There can be no better way of knowing
In a world beyond controlling
Are you going to deny the savior
In front of your eyes
Stare into the night
Power beyond containing
Are you going to remain a slave for
The rest of your life
Give into the night


"No hope for the hopeless".


"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: Innocence, 3.
  • Mondegreen: 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.
  • 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.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Indestructible (whose chorus lends itself to the trope page quote) 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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Fear. Apparently the song is meant to be told from the perspective of the victim.
  • Religion Rant Song: Prayer is a type one.

Let me enlighten you

This is the way I pray


"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".


"You really don't know how long I've waited for your destruction, I'm telling you you just can't get away."




  • Audience Participation Song: Land of Confusion, Stupify, Ten Thousand Fists.
  • 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.
  • Chorus-Only Song: Despite Down with the Sickness' mention, Glass Shatters is an Egregious case with "I'm bringing the limit inside you! Stop begging someone to hide you!" Showing up about 10 times.
  • 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, Land of Confusion by Genesis, Midlife Crisis by Faith No More,[19] 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".
  • 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.)
  • Dramatic Thunder: Haunted.
  • 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).
  • 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
  • Hidden Track: The band had hoped that their U2 cover would be this, but since iTunes generally splits up hidden tracks,[20] 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 that’s 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 that’s 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.


Music Videos

  1. Rock on the Range, Rock am Ring, Download fest, etc
  2. This entails releasing an album which sells enough copies in its first week to debut at the #1 spot.
  3. can play guitar/acoustic bass, but doesn't on album work.
  4. ;a decent guitarist when required
  5. Has been given an Updated Rerelease in celebration of the album's 10th Anniversary.
  6. Was never a proper single, just a fan-favorite
  7. (final date in Chicago) with Taproot, Unloco and Chevelle
  8. Technically a promotional single
  9. Technically a promotional single
  10. Marked as "Sickness (Live USA 2003)". Not licensed by Warner and features no performances by Chevelle, Taproot or Unloco (aside from the Stupify vocal triet), unlike the live album above (both are the same performance).
  11. Packaged physically with every copy of the Asylum special edition with a digital download inside every standard copy.
  12. This is the first time the song has ever been heard before, as every other track saw a release of some kind elsewhere
  13. This is the first time the song has been officially released; it first came into the fandom's hands through a leak
  14. This was originally not going to be put on the album since it was made specifically to benefit the West Memphis Three, but their unexpected release before the compilation came out made them change their mind
  15. 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!
    I'm alive!
    I'm Alive!!
    I'm ALIVE!!!]]
  16. at least, that's what Satan is hoping will happen
  17. she's specified as female near the end
  18. Plain White T's Big Bad World, Staind's The Illusion of Progress, 3 Doors Down's Self-Titled Album and Black Tide's debut Light From Above
  19. The song was recorded for a Faith No More tribute album that was going to be released, 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 Record's Covered: A Revolution In Sound
  20. because then they'd have to sells several songs for the price of one
  21. Darkness is this, yes, but should Overburdened be considered a Power Ballad or just a straight-forward hard rock stadium song? And even then, does it fit this trope?