Even now that nu-metal is about as popular as flannel, I firmly believe that “The Sickness” is a great debut (one of the best debuts this side of the year 2000) from one of nu-metal’s best bands. Disturbed’s follow up album, 2002’s “Believe,” is more mature than this C.D., but “The Sickness” is more imaginative. And it’s full of raw aggression, off-the-wall energy, and catchy songs (almost every one of these songs is very catchy). “Stupify” has vocal hooks, whereas many of the other songs (i.e. “The Game” and “Down With The Sickness”) have cool, fast scat (by frontman David Draiman). “Voices” is another highlight (it has stutter-step rapping and syncopated riffs), as is “Fear” (which has eerie electronics and a mosh-pit ready, fist-pumping chorus) and “Shout 2000″ (which is a louder, more pissed off version of a song originally done by a band called Tears For Fears). Finally, with violent lyrics and mean vocals, “Meaning of Life” is a good anthem to listen to when you’re mad at the world.
It may not be the most innovative or mature album ever, but this is essential nu-metal and a must have for everybody who has 1990’s nostalgia. The bottom line is if you hate nu-metal, it would probably be wise to give “The Sickness” a wide birth, but if you do like this genre and this band, or if you are willing to listen with an open mind, you should really like this C.D.