Review Summary: Disturbed blends the sound of their past four records and somehow sound better than ever.
Pretty much everyone who listens to hard rock and metal knows of or listens to Disturbed
. Even back when frontmant David Draiman wasn't a skin-head, and Fuzz didn't have a broken leg, these guys packed a serious punch with every performance. Their debut record, "The Sickness", was chock full of good listens, including album single "Down with the Sickness". However, since their sophomore album "Believe", I had yet to see an overarching sound that was both great enough to headband to and emotional enough to reach out to all crowds. "Asylum", the band's latest release, puts to rest my troubled thoughts of "where's my emotional yet heavy rock at?!"
For starters (which is a fitting term, seeing as how we're starting at the start of the album...), the opening track "Remnants" is an instrumental - the band's first ever, mind you - and sets the mood quite clearly for the entire album. The instrumental does a great job of building the tension and leading into the title track, which absolutely blows away any preconceptions you had about what the album might sound like. What's best is that it's not one of those "Blagh I want to skip this and just get to the real song" instrumentals - they really fit together! The excellent guitar and steady drum beat of both tracks may remind you of the instrument work of "Indestructible" single "Inside the Fire", and Draiman's vocals are crisp, rough, and quite welcome, working as a strange fusion of the bitter sound from Disturbed's debut and that of their 2006 release "Ten Thousand Fists", which works brilliantly and shows the progression of the band.
"Another Way to Die" and "Serpentine" are amongst two of my favourite tracks from this record because the emotional, introspective vocals fit like a glove over the absolutely incredible instrument work.Â*If you liked the riffs of "Believe" or "Indestructible" (or both), you'll be right at home here with the instrument work of "Asylum". How Disturbed managed to blend together the sounds of two radically different-sounding records and make it sound better than either one is beyond me, but then again, I don't question the music - I just write reviews for it. My only gripes with this record is that, for some inexplicable reason, I'm not ridiculously attached to it. It doesn't have the same replayability as other albums. Even if I listen to one or two tracks off of it here and there, it's not the same as listening to the whole album and actually enjoying it. A run every now and then can be quite the experience, and it certainly brings me back to my younger years, when I though Disturbed was one of the heaviest bands in existence, but it's not something I do often. More specifically, the lyrical meaning behind "Never Again" seems rather unnecessary. It's quite ridiculous to be singing about the Holocaust being real when pretty much everyone who isn't completely insane knows it wasn't faked. However, all that being said...
Everything about the band has evolved. Drumwork, guitarwork, vocals, songwriting - take your pick. You'll find both nostalgic bits that bring you back to past records and new, mind-blowingly amazing content within the walls of this asylum. Draiman proves that his lyrics can retain a thematic emotion and still blend perfectly with a heavy arsenal of guitar and drum beats. Props to you, Disturbed. You're definitely on the right track.
Enjoy the record, guys.