Disturbed, the Chicago-based nu-metal band known for its hard-hitting rock tracks, surprised its fans with a remarkable cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s iconic track, “The Sound of Silence,” during a live performance on Conan in 2016. The song is part of their 2015 album, Immortalized, which also includes late-2000s heavy rock with bottom-heavy riffs, piston-like percussion, and big modern rock radio-ready choruses.
During the Conan performance, frontman David Draiman, accompanied by a string section, a piano, and kettledrums, gave an exceptional performance, adding a darker quality to the song with his distinctive baritone voice. Draiman’s rendition of the song is not a metal version; rather, it offers something new to the song’s long musical history. His vocals are graceful, and he even handles the high notes with ease.
According to AllMusic’s review of the album, the band’s version of “The Sound of Silence” is melodramatic and effectively utilizes the pared-down piano and vocal treatment that helped Gary Jules revive Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” Additionally, the review highlights “The Light” as another mid-album gem that impresses with its unabashed theatricality and strong vocal turns from David Draiman.
Although the cover might seem unlikely from a band like Disturbed, it is a testament to their musical versatility. The Conan performance showcases the band’s ability to breathe new life into a cherished American classic, offering something for both folk and metal fans alike.