I was introduced to this Chicago based band from the "Indestructible" that also marked DISTURBED's […]
By Dimitris Kontogeorgakos
September 1, 2010
Disturbed - Asylum album cover

I was introduced to this Chicago based band from the "Indestructible" that also marked DISTURBED's publicity explosion back in 2008. Despite the almost nu-Metal and definitely US mainstream identity DISTURBED managed to 'touch' many metalheads who enjoy from time to time and spice up their album collection. Among them I found myself who I have to admit that enjoyed to the most the band's performance at this year's 'Uproar Festival' at Chicago, US. Along with the publicity burst came the intense promotion during the second half of this year that managed to raise the expectation for the album in question entitled "Asylum". Sometimes the intense promotion is a double edged sword that might produce the opposite of the anticipated positive effect. But let me explain myself by talking about music...

It is really hard for any band to compete itself and produce an album that can stand close to the one that was a milestone for the aforementioned publicity burst. So, DISTURBED had or allegedly had to come with an album that good or better than "Indestructible". Personally, I would hate to have an album just like the previous one. I mean why in the hell return after two years playing exactly the same music? Now, I am not into the drastic changes but a new band should show sings of progression especially in the music is based in general simple structures and catchy grooves. And this is exactly the case with DISTURBED; "Indestructible" is full of those moments that are perfect for concerts but -let's face it- does not work that good during one's personal music listening time (at least for the 30+ listeners).

So, "Remnants" is a nice clean guitar intro that reveals a part of the album's dark atmosphere that to my delight shows early signs of maturity. And on top of that, the following solo raises the expectations that DISTURBED finally decided to work more on the guitars. "Asylum" is the first song of the album that pretty much follows the trademark DISTURBED recipe with Draiman's characteristic vocals but with additional guitar work and some interesting backing vocals (you have to pay more attention here). Actually this is what I liked the most in "Asylum"; the fact that it needs additional spins to grow in the listener's mind that has to quit thinking of the previous album. Draiman has added more melody to his singing style giving more depth to the compositions and -yes- sound more expressional. As I said, the guitars have gained more 'air time' in "Asylum" and I add Donegan's on stage performance I say they did well. Take for example "The Infection" that is a song that is more complicated than most of DISTURBED's tracks. Another album highlight is the PANTERA riff driven "Sacrifice" that also comes with a killer dark atmosphere yet again expressed through Draiman's wider vocal range. "The Animal" is the closest song to the "Indestructible" album with the mid tempo groove and the "Into The Fire" attitude.

So, personally I am more than happy with this album; clearly DISTURBED have move forward and avoided to be caught in the same-producing-music-loop that many other bands like doing (do you want to point fingers?). There are things for you to discover while listening to "Asylum" like the wider vocal range and -of course- the guitar work. DISTURBED are currently in top condition and I am glad that they chose to challenge themselves and brought different elements in their music. Just listen to "Crucified" a couple of times more and I believe you will meet my thinking point.

8 / 10


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"Asylum" Track-listing:
  1. Remnants
  2. Asylum
  3. The Infection
  4. Warrior
  5. Another Way To Die
  6. Never Again
  7. The Animal
  8. Crucified
  9. Serpentine
  10. My Child
  11. Sacrifice
  12. Innocence
Disturbed Lineup:

David Draiman - Vocals
Dan Donegan - Guitar
Mike Wengren - Drums
John Moyer - Bass

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