Disturbed
Asylum


1.5
very poor

Review

by J. Ponton EMERITUS
August 27th, 2010 | 169 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Disturbed regress

Oh my God – I’ve been had. Disturbed got me. Bad. The pre-released cuts, another predictable "our best album ever and has a darker atmosphere" promise from frontman David Draiman – I had everything: everything that I needed to tell me that Disturbed’s next album would just be a retread of their earlier works, basically 2008’s Indestructible, except, in theory, much worse. But regardless, I had hope for Disturbed. I believed in these guys. I held onto how great of a guitarist Dan Donegan was becoming; back in 2008 I squealed with glea during the guitar solos of Indestructible’s “Inside the Fire” and “The Night”. And let’s face it – you did too. That’s why even after lackluster cuts “Another Way To Die” and “Never Again” were released before Asylum’s arrival this year, you had hope. You were just like me.

Oh how the times have changed, my friend, for both of us. Now, to put wrongs to right, let’s start by saying that Disturbed’s last outing, Indestructible, was their best. The purists, the long-time fans - they’ll tell you that 2002’s bare-bones Believe was the band’s best work. No, not true: Stylistically, Disturbed were playing better than ever on Indestructible, had stronger songwriting, sported better production values (of their own devise), and Donegan was just a beast on his ax – more so than he’s ever been in Disturbed’s history together as an alt-rock radio-destroying machine. It’s this very point of context, looking into the alternative-cum-nu metal band’s sound progression over their career, that utterly blows this year’s Asylum out of the water and into hell. The band is fucking regressing on us.

Even worse, it’s at a time when Disturbed were making something promising out of their career-evolved sound. Like, you’re led to believe something has changed, that the band has taken the next step when the fresh feel of the “Remnants” instrumental starts things off on Asylum. But by the time the recycled-chorus-filled “Warrior” fades into feedback fours tracks in, you realize what’s really going on here: Disturbed sound utterly neutered, utterly uninspired. It’s like the band have lost the last five years of their time together, coming up with a record that sounds like Ten Thousand Fists’ predictable commercial drive meets Believe’s overall diluted feel. “The Animal” even rapes several of Indestructible’s lyrical topics, particularly that of “Inside The Fire”, but comes out in the end as being a much weaker song in comparison. “Sacrifice” is much the same way, lacking any of the bite that drove Indestructible to being one of 2008’s best mainstream rock/metal albums. Like these songs, you'll find that Asylum does nothing but disappoint you from track to track, over and over again.

While Draiman's rhythmic, hibbity vocal delivery has largely remained the same throughout Disturbed’s career, when people say that the band has been making the same album over and over again – they’re full of ‎shit. Disturbed’s 2000 debut, The Sickness, sounds nothing like the album that would come eight years into the future, Indestructible - or even the two between them: The point being, Disturbed do evolve, but Asylum is the one release in their discography thus far, where any progression in the band’s sound cannot be found. It’s just not there. The title track that comes right after the opening instrumental sounds years-old in comparison to the band’s best tracks of the past, even something that is five years old like the hit “Stricken”. Hell, even Donegan sounds in the dumps. Third-cut “The Infection” may have a kick-ass solo, overextended maybe, but, uh – where is the guitarist’s presence for the rest of Asylum?

Well, apparently he’s off working on sub-par fret twinkles and a lot of boring riffs as of those on closer “Innocence”. Great. One of Disturbed’s best elements, Donegan, has sunk to the bottom level with the rest of the band on Asylum. To call this album a disappointment is true, first in its being an immediate follow-up to 2008's Indestructle, but it’s also a disappointment in another sense: That continued progression of the band’s sound that we’ve witnessed throughout their career together? It’s gone. Disturbed have stagnated. They have lost in their mainstream career as a band, making promising hits for the future, maybe, but falling back in line with the rest of the slackers, the rest of the bands that do nothing but recycle their old material. Disturbed have also done something here with Asylum that they have never done before: They have made the first album of their discography that can be truly called bad - not good, not average, just wholly bad.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
fromtheinside
August 27th 2010


19029 Comments


they got rid of the gimmicks but got worse, how did this happen?
great review jared as always.

Digging: Ibex Throne - Ibex Throne

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

haha, oh now I will definitely be giving a counter review to your counter review!

brb reading

Ponton
Emeritus
August 27th 2010


5816 Comments


thanks fromtheinside

you may need to refresh your page styles, as i fixed the censor things and changed a tense. I knew you wanted to do this one, so sorry that I went ahead and reviewed it. I figured you'd give it a semi-good to good review, so i guess i wrote a counter ahead of time

Willie
Moderator
August 27th 2010


16133 Comments

Album Rating: 3.2

I pos'd but say it isn't so!

Digging: Kenn Nardi - Dancing With the Past

fromtheinside
August 27th 2010


19029 Comments


it is. this album is completely uninspired willie. few acknowledgeable tracks but the rest is down right trite.

Ponton
Emeritus
August 27th 2010


5816 Comments


its' a way worse version than indestructible imo. thanks willie

AnotherBrick
August 27th 2010


9772 Comments


your rating makes me sad, havent listened yet but was hoping for a sweet album

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Jared - solid review man and don't worry, mine's gonna be a 3 - 3.5. I appreciate your perspective though I disagree with so many things here it's crazy :P

EDIT: also, it really, REALLY baffles me how you can like indestructible so much but completely dislike this. I mean, I like that one better too, but they are very similar in sound. Oh and Donegan's still doing good stuff, you're so wrong about him haha

jingledeath
August 27th 2010


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

still gonna listen to this because i used to be a fanboy way back, ace review as always.

Greggers
August 27th 2010


2375 Comments


I've never been a Disturbed fan and it seems this is unlikely to change my mind; great review btw

Ponton
Emeritus
August 27th 2010


5816 Comments


to me styles, its a lot like indestructible true, but it justs sounds very watered down and like i said they really seem to have regressed. Donegan also seems like he's stepped back, a lot with boring riffs and mostly uninspired solos

Nagrarok
August 27th 2010


8301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

another predictable "our best album ever and has a darker atmosphere" promise from frontman David Draiman


Yeah, the whole lead-up to the album already predicted that it wasn't going to be any good.

Pos'd as usual, though this seemed a bit more ranty than necessary.

Was going to do this myself, but with you AND Magnus already on it I'll give it a pass.

iPim
August 27th 2010


331 Comments


Am I the only one who truly LOVED Indestructible?

Oh well, I am dl'ing it right now, probably will suck because the singles weren't any good.

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

but it justs sounds very watered down
if you could elaborate on this a little for me, that'd be cool

Also, Donegan's riffs here are a amtter of taste I guess, but c'mon man the solos here are cool :-(

Ponton
Emeritus
August 27th 2010


5816 Comments


solos are a matter of taste too haha

watered down as in the choruses sound generic and recycled, as do the lyrics. like i said in the review, to me it sounds uninspired. Sorry if it sounded ranty nag, it's just if im going to give a popular band like disturbed a 1.5 rating, i have to really get the point across of how bad it it, to me anyway

ThePalestMexican
August 27th 2010


2816 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I didn't much care for Indestructible nor this
Just couldn't get into the vocals I guess.

Some parts of the review sounded too much like a rant in my opinion, but you made your point and made it well.
pos'd

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
August 27th 2010


8387 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

To Jared:

yeah I know but I find them technically proficient in every way (well, the fact they're not fast could be like the only complaint but fuck fast, it's about the feel here). Of course I know it's a matter of taste, I just really like 'em and am arguing for the sake of...arguing haha

Also, the choruses are a matter of taste again, but as for the lyrics, I wouldn't call them recycled. They're just Disturbed lyrics - they've written stuff like this for a long time already and it's what obviously suits them and I'm not gonna bag them for it.

I think this comes down to whether you expect/like the band to be consistent or want them to improve/experiment. Asylum is more of the same old Disturbed and if you appreciate the band's signature sound, you'll most likely turn out liking this. If you're expecting them to evolve further/experiment though, then I can see why this would be a complete disappointment. They're adding/fixing up minor details (added guitar leads that play over the rhythmic main riff, for example), but they're not stepping out of their comfort zone. I for one don't mind that, while you obviously do, and the consistency vs evolvement dilemma is going to be the decisive factor in whether or not people will like this (I'm expecting there to be a huge rift between the two oposing sides after this album).

Ponton
Emeritus
August 27th 2010


5816 Comments


you make a lot of fair points there, and i can see why you ould see it that way. Lyrically, there was a fairly large change between fists and indestruct though, the lyrics of the latter were more inward about draiman and his relationships, whereas earlier stuff was more anthemic, us against them material. This just copied a lot of indestructible's themes.

there was a noticable progression from album to album for them up until the last, and with this they've regressed. Everything, to me, sounds weaker.

Nagrarok
August 27th 2010


8301 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

Sorry if it sounded ranty nag, it's just if im going to give a popular band like disturbed a 1.5 rating, i have to really get the point across of how bad it it, to me anyway


You can get the same point across just fine if you tone it down. That's just my opinion though, I don't mind ranty, but it seems to me it's just a bit too much here. I also agree with what Magnus said about that they have been doing this stuff for a long time and it is wrong to totally put them down now, it's part of why I feel this is a bit too ranty. You're being a little harsher on them then you should be.

But hey, I can be critical for a change, normally I find not much to remark about your reviews.

bailar12
August 27th 2010


1766 Comments


oh disturbed youre killing the angsty middle schooler inside of me



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