With Disturbed on an indefinite hiatus, the various members have been busy with other projects. Front man David Draiman has been touring with his band Device, and now guitarist Dan Donegan and drummer Mike Wengren have teamed with singer Dan Chandler from Evans Blue along with Sean Corcoran on bass and Jeremy Jayson on guitar to form Fight Or Flight. These types of projects always make me nervous. In my experience, most of the time they’re not very good. And I’ll admit it, I didn’t think this was gonna be, either.
But then I heard album opener “First of the Last” and thought we might have something here. It’s catchy, and heavy in the right places, and is a good way to get started. “Emphatic” has that signature Dan Donegan sound in it, without sounding like a leftover tune from the other band, and “It’s Over” is a song about a bad relationship and having the strength to leave it.
Things picked up for me with “Eraser”. The riffs, the verses, and the choruses all come together nicely for one of the more memorable tracks before acoustic-driven album highlight “Leaving”. For over two minutes, it’s just Dan and Dan before the whole band comes crashing in for the final minute and a half. Very effective.
“If It Hurts”, “You Refuse”, and “Take a Shot” were three of my least favorites, simply because I’ve heard it before, and if you own any Breaking Benjamin albums, chances are you have, too.
“The Average” shines on this disc simply because the music is anything but, and is one of the better songs for sure. It’s great to see the guys trying some new things, especially Mike Wengren on “A Void”. It slithers along like a snake, before rearing back, ready to strike. Unfortunately, the next song “Shine” is a cliche-ridden number that stalls any momentum that was building. They recover nicely on closer “Tragedy”, though, which finishes strong and allows everyone to let loose a little.
I said these kinds of projects always make me nervous because they’re usually not very good. Fight Or Flight, though, is. I can definitely see this being a hit among fans of Hinder, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, and even Disturbed. While I didn’t love it, there are definitely some great moments on here that the guys can be proud of.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Leaving”, “A Void”, “The Average”, “Tragedy”, “Eraser”