Sunday, 17 October 2010

Disturbed - Asylum

Disturbed’s Asylum starts off surprisingly well; its instrumental opener ‘Remnants’ evokes an almost Megadeth-esque vibe in places thanks to its haunting guitar leads before seamlessly seguing in to the album’s title track. Initially driven by a crawling bass line, the path is paved for thrashing guitars and David Draiman’s bizarre semi-bark to carry a great chorus in ‘Asylum’. At this point, I begin to question my preconceptions of Disturbed, perhaps having written them off for their previous nu-metal tinged shenanigans too soon. I continue this line of reasoning as ‘The Infection’’s stellar opening riff spirals out of control before revealing a soaring, melodic verse line. However, my newly founded open-mindedness crumbles quickly as the flat chorus leads in to a generic, stop-start guitar breakdown. It is these relentless spasms of chugged riffs that make Asylum nothing short of dismal. The slow and melancholic opening of ‘Another Way To Die’ and the interesting tapped guitar intro of ‘Innocence’ are both quickly ruined by the dull, unimaginative thudding of down-tuned guitars. It’s a shame as there is some genuine good on Asylum. For instance, ‘The Animal’ sees Disturbed master the balance between melody and heaviness while ‘Never Again’ provides a ballsy anthem that tastefully tackles the Holocaust. Indeed, there are certainly some memorable choruses throughout, but when the verses are as excruciatingly pedestrian as on Asylum, listening to an entire song becomes a bit of a chore.

Musically proficient, Disturbed showcase occasional flashes of song-writing talent on Asylum but they are never realised for more than a split second. Having established a certain sound early in their career, Disturbed seem stuck in a rut of displeasing tedium where experimentation is out and repetitiveness is in.

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