Disturbed, the four man metal band from Chicago, have released their fifth studio release, Asylum. The band’s newest offering was produced by guitarist Dan Donegan, as was their last album Indestructable which went platinum in 2008. Asylum debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 on September 18, 2010, making this Disturbed’s fourth consecutive number one album. Only two other bands, Metallica and Dave Mathews Band, have accomplished this.
The album kicks off with “Remnants,” a beautiful, melodic, instrumental piece that sounds like nothing Disturbed has ever attempted before, but it rolls over nicely into title track, a dark song with excellent lyrics. From this point on the rest of the album is unmistakable as Disturbed. That’s not to say Asylum is weak, in fact the majority of the songs seem stronger than past releases. The record is full of grinding riffage and Dramain’s trademark grunts. He is perhaps the James Brown of heavy metal.
Asylum’s third track, “The Infection,” is one that impressed me with its intensity and vocals. You will catch yourself singing along to this one:
“Now if I am to survive
The infection must die.
Murder the beast that’s been eating me alive
The infection must die.”
“Warrior” is one of the heavier tracks and while the chorus seems almost too familiar (you might swear you’ve heard this song before) it still stands out as one of my favorites on the album. Vocalist David Draiman’s growls roll over to a catchy chorus, but this entire song is heavy, it kicks your ass and keeps your brain pulsating with the beat.
“Another Way to Die” is the first single released from Asylum and features excellent solo work by Donegan as well as some of the best lyrics on thealbum as it covers environmental disasters.
“Still, we ravage the world that we love.
And the millions cry out to be saved.
Our endless maniacal appetite.
Left us with another way to die.
It’s just another way to die.”
“Crucified” is another of my favorites, it has an almost haunting sound to it. While not as heavy as some of the songs it features excellent guitar work and dark, depressing lyrics and vocals.
The band takes aim at the Holocaust in the lyrics, emotion and angry defiance of the album’s second single, “Never Again.”
“My Child” begins with the sound of a baby crying, threatening to take away from the flow of the album, but luckily the crying doesn’t last long and is followed by a good, fast-paced, heavy song.
“Serpentine” is another good song that has the older Disturbed sound. You can tell this is a personal song for Dramain as you listen to his angry lyrics about a succubus:
“With an angry soul
And a wicked design
Your will cannot endure
And your heart is torn away.”
The album closes out with a hidden track; a cover of U2‘s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For:” The only song that seems out of place on the album. The cover is fine, but definitely out of flow with the rest of the album. Still it’s ballsy.
For those who grab the Deluxe version of the album you’ll be treated to a cover of Judas Priest’s “Living After Midnight” and a few more bonus tracks including a live version of “Down With The Sickness,” the anthem that started it all.
While not exactly a “new sound” for the band, Asylum has plenty of fresh content to keep the fans banging their heads. Dark, angry lyrics and vocals, heavy riffs, melodic guitar, booming drums and catchy choruses all meld together to form an album that will beat you down, pick you up and keep kicking your ass until the end!
David Draiman – Lead Vocals
Dan Donegan – Guitar
Mike Wengren – Drums
John Moyer – Bass