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Disturbed

Asylum

(Reprise; US: 31 Aug 2010; UK: 30 Aug 2010)

There is no bigger band in hard rock right now than Disturbed. Over the past decade, they have helped to revolutionize the popularity of aggressive music, both in America and the world. From their stunning debut The Sickness to the thrilling masterpiece Indestructible, Disturbed is the face of heavy music for the majority of the world. They may not be the heaviest or most aggressive band, but they are the one that people will name most often when discussing the genre. It also doesn’t hurt that they are among the most socially conscious bands in the world, and that their lyrics speak for the forgotten, abused, and neglected of an entire generation. Their fifth album, Asylum, sees Disturbed at their most ambitious since 2005’s Ten Thousand Fists, crafting new and intricate songs that show a remarkable sonic evolution.


The opening of Asylum is all it takes to show that Disturbed has begun trying new things and wants to branch out more. For the first time in their career, an instrumental track, “Remnants”, opens the album, providing an excellent introduction into the album’s title track. Much of the album is focused on groove and precision structure, similar to 2002’s Believe. Tracks like “Crucified” and “Serpentine” demand movement with the flow of the music. At the same time, there is also a greater emphasis placed on tempo and pacing throughout the album. Parts on “The Infection” and “Innocence” move much faster than typical songs of the band’s history, while “Another Way to Die” and “Sacrifice” are slower and more deliberate in their composition. All of these elements keep the album interesting and varied from beginning to end. On top of the musical expansion, the album also covers new lyrical territory for Disturbed, as they attack historical subjects like the Holocaust (“Never Again”), current issues like global warming (“Another Way to Die”), and topics in the realms of fantasy like werewolves (“The Animal”) and demons (“Serpentine”).


At its core, though, Asylum is still a Disturbed album, with the key elements of their sound still perfectly intact. Nothing represents this better than the title track, which may be one of the strongest, catchiest songs the band has written in their entire career. With its infectious bass line, memorable lead riff, and sing-along lyrics, “Asylum” stands alongside “Down With the Sickness”, “Prayer”, “Stricken”, and “Inside the Fire” in the tradition of near-perfect singles from Disturbed. “Never Again” and “Warrior” also fit in well with the band’s history, showing that Disturbed has not lost sight of their roots in their effort for progression. Also still present are David Draiman’s lyrics about personal heartbreak, struggles, and loss. Some tracks come from Draiman’s own personal experiences, while others are more general topics that most of the band’s fans will relate to. Either way, these parts of Asylum link it perfectly with the band’s previous albums while still allowing it to maintain its own identity.


Asylum is undoubtedly one of the strongest albums in Disturbed’s storied career. The Chicago quartet has only gotten better with time, finding their stride and never straying from their origins. If Ten Thousand Fists is the large tiger of Disturbed’s discography, oversized with more muscle than necessary, and Indestructible is the lean jaguar, fine-cut to just the foundation and essentials, then Asylum is the lion, king of the jungle, perfectly balanced in both core strength and added power to create the purest musical engine for emotional expression. This album is one that Disturbed can be extremely proud of, and it is one that fans will enjoy for many years to come.

Rating:

Chris Colgan is a metal enthusiast, former DJ at WSOU-FM, and avid music fan. He regularly writes reviews, commentary, and recaps on all things in the metal scene, be they mainstream or underground. He contributes a weekly column called “New & Noteworthy” to MetalInsider.net, detailing the new releases in hard rock and heavy metal.


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Comments

I’d give it a 5, it hasn’t brought anything new, same riffs with the same rhythms and with the same sound. It’s also a good thing, they keep and share what the band has to distinguish from any other rock band, but still.

If i’ll want “Indestructible” again, I’ll just listen to that.

Good thing the still act, react, play and record. But the album it’s a self copy-cat.

Nice article though.

 

Posted by Muzica from UK on August 31, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Muzika, stfu. The band stated themselves that they aren’t just going to ‘copy-cat and paste’ a record on to another. If you want to just listen to Indestructible, then fine, stay off the fan pages, as We the DisturbedOnes, listen to ALL their albums, and will always do so. Asylum is kickass, and will continue to be, it has lots of new stuff. The whole point to the message ‘Disturbed has stayed solid in the industry, and not fallen in their sound or to conformity’ is because they expand but keep their sound intact.

 

Posted by Petrov on September 1, 2010 at 1:06 pm

First of all, well written article. Second, Muzica, you are obviously not a true fan and don’t get it. I’ve been a Disturbed fan for years and own all of the albums. If you actually listened to all of their albums you would realize that they are all different but still contain Disturbed’s unique style. Bands like Linkin Park have sold out in an attempt to be mainstream and popular but Disturbed have remained true to their roots while still growing and maturing as a band. Asylum is one of the best albums in the bands history and my favorite album since The Sickness.

 

Posted by PCJ600 from Australia on September 2, 2010 at 5:58 am

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