Aggressive, dynamic and in your face.

No, this isn’t me on a good day! This is the music of Disturbed.

I never thought of myself as a heavy metal fan. Not before cancer, anyway. Post cancer and chemo I have had a continued struggle with disconnection. I have a disconnection with other people (except for a few cases), with the world (apart from the natural order of the seasons) and with myself.

I find it very difficult to feel any kind of emotion except for frustration and rage. Just what it is I am raging about, I still don’t know. The frustration is easily explained; other people don’t understand me or don’t want to understand me. Cancer has changed me. Chemo changed me. Having open surgery where 15 cm of intestine was removed and having my uterus taken out at the same time, irrevocably changed me.

In 2015 I was recovering and not coping at all well, despite having come to terms with nearly dying and the physical and mental changes inside me. But I couldn’t feel. Anything. Music helped a bit, particularly Punk and Muse. But it wasn’t enough.

Then, in the autumn, my soulmate came home and told me to watch the video of The Sound of Silence covered by Disturbed. Wow! I don’t often like covers of songs but I actually prefer Disturbed‘s version to the original (sorry Simon & Garfunkel!). Neither of us had come across Disturbed before, but based on that one song, we bought their album Immortalized.

As soon as we started listening I felt alive! The drumming shot through me like bullets, the guitar and keyboard notes screamed in the same key my soul keened in most days, and the voice of David Draiman made me realise I needed to let loose the rage inside.

Listening to Immortalized showed me two things: it’s OK to experience the darkness, and it’s OK to express how the darkness has changed you. This resulted in the publication of my cancer and chemo journals in 2016 as Insides.

Then, late 2016, Elisa Ang encouraged me to start painting. Because of Immortalized, I was able to express how I felt inside in a different way. If you look at my early paintings they are abstracts in black, purple and red pouring out the negativity of chemo and cancer. (If you want to see how my paintings have changed over the years to portray both monsters and beautiful landscapes, sign up to my Patreon profile!)

Immortalized remains my favourite album by Disturbed, closely followed by Ten Thousand Fists, Asylum and Evolution. I have added my favourite Disturbed songs to my playlist for writing as there is something about the voice and the music that triggers off my creative flow.

I do appreciate that heavy metal isn’t for everyone but when you’ve been through the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual trauma I’ve been through, it is a cathartic way of expressing the negativity inside one’s soul.

To find out more about Disturbed here’s their website and Facebook Page. And I’ll leave you with some lyrics from one of my favourite songs…

So sleep soundly in your beds tonight

Judgement falls upon you at first light!

I’m the hand of God

I’m the Dark Messiah

I’m the Vengeful One

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7 Comments on “Disturbed”

  1. I haven’t heard of Disturbed. I’m off to check them out!

  2. Jeff Says:

    You defeated the beast! I for one am thrilled that you survived that dreaded disease.

    On new groups redoing old songs. Often I’ll add both the old and new versions to my playlist, usually playing them while sitting alone around a bonfire.

    Coupling originality with the advancements in technology spawned by the spans of time, leads the listener down the path of appreciation for both artistic creations.

    Thank you for sharing and the wonderful insights.

  3. Geo. Raymond Says:

    I will still never listen to heavy metal, but I have a better appreciation of its power. Great piece,

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