Fight or Flight’s ‘A Life By Design?’ Is A Solid Break For Disturbed Fans. – Album Review

Disturbed guitarist Dan Donegan takes flight with his new band, Fight or Flight. The Chicago area musician called on his Disturbed drummer Mike Wengren to track drums for the debut album, which features Dan Chandler (Evans Blue) on vocals.

To be perfectly clear, Donegan purposely strayed away from the classic Disturbed sound so that this new project would not come across as a “watered down version of Disturbed.” I interviewed Donegan and he said, “We play the way we play as far as me and Mike so there are some signature things that you’ll be able to identify but, for the most part, writing with Dan Chandler, a different guy is going to bring a different element. That, alone, kind of helped me think outside the box and try things differently. He also offered things musically on another end because, with Disturbed, I’ve always presented all the music for David (Draiman) to write to. So with Fight or Flight, it was more a combination of me and Dan Chandler with riffs and music going back and forth; sort of a collaboration between everything.” (Read the rest of the interview here:

This method is seen throughout the entire album. Yes, there are some Disturbed sensibilities, but for the most part, Fight or Flight’s “A Life By Design?” is an original effort. There is great music to be heard, specifically on the songs, “Emphatic,” which highlights Chandler’s amazing vocals; “Leaving,” a radio friendly acoustic track that shows the softer side of Fight or Flight; and “You Refuse,” which starts off like a Disturbed tune but ends as probably the best anthem for “A Life By Design?” This track also showcases Donegan’s guitar styles, displaying tight sounding power chords mixed with dazzling rock riffs. (For more awesome guitar playing, check out “The Average.”)

Top to bottom this is a fantastic album from a group of talented musicians. It will definitely wipe out the bitterness left from the sudden hiatus of Disturbed. It has to, as the state of Disturbed, at this time, is unclear. “I’d like to think that if you talked to us all individually we’d all say the same thing that, ‘Yes, someday we do plan on doing Disturbed again.’ If anything, the fans can look forward to an optimistic response to it. Until then we’re just fulfilling our needs with other things.” (Read the rest of the interview here:

Fight or Flight’s “A Life By Design?” drops July 23, 2013. For more information on Fight or Flight, visit


Jason Tanamor is the Editor of Zoiks! Online. He is also the author of the novels, "Hello Lesbian!" and "Anonymous." Email Jason at
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