DISTURBED have always held a special place in my life; I’m not ashamed to say. Being one of the first bands that I’ve grown to follow through their career, I have a fondness for most of their material and witnessed a band that has bloomed into something new and exciting from their Nu Metal roots.
This is one of the many reasons that “Asylum” might be their most interesting album to date. Although “Indestructible” was a well-crafted and highly polished album showing how mature the band has become since their debut, “Asylum” shows a slightly more aggressive and less polished side of the band. It also has a strange mix of different song tones from every musical side that the band has touched in their career.
DISTURBED still continue on (for the most part) with the direction that they started to push for on their last album. The band takes their Nu Metal roots and adds on top of them with some straight up Heavy Metal sensibilities and a focus on that radio friendly melody/catchiness that makes them such a controversial band within the Metal realm. The riffs are still here in full force with a bass heavy mix (although not near to what they have touched on before) and the focus of melodic parts is still the heart of David Draiman’s harsh crooning and guttural barks. DISTURBED will always sound distinctly DISTURBED and “Asylum” doesn’t move from that mark.
As was mentioned prior, the part that makes “Asylum” such a fun and inspired listen is the uniqueness of its tracks. Some tracks smack of the melodic focus from the album “Believe”, see “Crucified” for an example, and some even touch on the simplistic aggression and Nu Metal punch from their debut like on the song “The Animal” with its synthed opening and basic riff vocal melody combo. Of course, the band really treads some solid writing with the title track and its aggressively catchy chorus or the nicely layered closer “Innocence” that smack of their newer material. Each track touches on a separate side of DISTURBED and it makes each one memorable and different from the others.
Seeing as I just read an article that shows “Asylum” has reached #1 album in the US for its release, it’s not surprising. This album may not be their best or most thorough release (their previous one is better crafted and generally better overall) but this release might be their most fun. The heightened aggression for the release and unique tracks make it one of the best for the year with its catchy riffs and melodies. DISTURBED have done it again and only seem to be pushing themselves in new directions with each album.
Songs to check out: “Asylum”, “Innocence”, “Never Again”.
(Online September 23, 2010)