Disturbed: Asylum

RIYL: Godsmack, Staind, Nonpoint

Of all the nu-metallers of a decade ago, Disturbed would have been towards the bottom of most lists of those who would survive the short era. 2000’s The Sickness was perfect for that time: heavy and loaded down with chugging guitars and vocalist David Draiman’s choppy, pseudo-rap styling. Over the years the band has become a rock behemoth, consistently delivering the kind of radio-friendly heaviness that doesn’t send mom to the guidance counselor looking for answers. While hardly the musical takeoff that 2008’s Indestructible was, Asylum delivers some of the band’s best songs yet and confirms that these guys are still angry and motivated.


Asylum shows the band settling into the groove established by Indestructible. Disturbed took its biggest leap forward from a technical and production standpoint with that record, and Asylum proves to be a compulsively listenable experience. Guitarist Dan Donegan has transformed before our eyes from a down-tuned shredder to the driving force of the band. He’s simply a one-man wrecking crew. The title track is Donegan Exhibit A, offering a haunting, wah-driven lead with a fist-pumping chorus. He, along with bassist John Moyer and drummer Mike Wengren, may be one of the tightest rhythm sections in the genre today. Lyrically, it’s nothing groundbreaking. Draiman continues his ongoing assault on backstabbing politicians, bad relationships, ecological destruction (“Another Way to Die”) and Holocaust deniers (“Never Again”).

Metal fans are always looking for a band’s progression. While Disturbed have progressed plenty over the past decade, Asylum is not much more than a companion piece to Indestructible – and that’s not a bad thing. Like its predecessor, it’s a solid record, top to bottom. If you liked Disturbed before, you’re not about to stop with this release. The Limited Edition release features live versions of “Down With the Sickness” and “Stricken,” “Decade of Disturbed” documentary, and nine instructional videos for learning Disturbed songs. (Reprise 2010)

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