Written by: AP on 01/11/2010 18:13:45

Over the past decade, Disturbed have almost single handedly revolutionised the popularity of heavy music. Since their iconic debut "The Sickness", which was at times shockingly aggressive the band's mainstream ambitions taken to account, Disturbed have not only managed to stay relevant despite being a nu metal band at heart, they have also grown into one of the most prominent metal bands in the world. For the vast majority of people, Disturbed represent the face of heavy music, and serve as both transcendental and transitional to the clashing subcultures of the mainstream and the underground. Say what you want about the band, but their influence is undeniable.

How Disturbed have actually managed to survive the nu metal holocaust is another matter - but a matter easily explained nonetheless. Never ones to buckle or compromise, this Illinois foursome have discarded all criticism regarding their alleged sacrifice of integrity in order to sell out and continued to develop and evolve their sound into what it is today on "Asylum": groove driven precision metal and big stadium rocking anthems. During their storied career the band has nonetheless never lost sight of their roots although these have sometimes been obscured by excessive muscle ("Ten Thousand Fists"), and more so than ever, "Asylum" is a true amalgamation of all of Disturbed's best sides.

So what if the album exposes more pop sensibilities than ties to actual metal. Songs like "The Infection", "Warrior", "Crucified", "Serpentine" and "My Child" are instant hits, nevermind the pseudo-violence. And it's not like we can accuse Disturbed of shallowness: beneath the sugar coated choruses and reductionist instrumentation lies some of the most socially conscious rhetoric in the world, vocalist David Draiman speaking for the forgotten, abused and neglected of our generation. And where there isn't an infectious hook, Disturbed recall to an extent the visceral fury of classics "Down With The Sickness" and "Voices", adding a genuine metal element to the mix. Yes, this is still that band you used to bang to in your bedroom like the world stood still.

But at the same time, Disturbed have come to terms with their maturity, shedding silly monikers and opting for a more subtle approach. Rather than releasing yet another album consisting of half killer, half filler, knowing their music will always be accepted at face value, Disturbed have estranged this consciousness and created an album on their own terms. You will hear a new ember burning with both Draiman and guitarist Dan Donegan stepping up their game with thicker and more divulged guitar solos and the tightest singing sensation of Draiman's career.

Disturbed have hit a nail with their hammering aesthetics and rebuilt an aggressive foundation that is sure to leave fans and critics alike standing firm in their territory. "Asylum" is no "The Sickness", but it rectifies past mistakes, redeems past criticisms, and is in many ways a career-defining album that the band can be proud of.

Download: The Infection, Warrior, Crucified, Serpentine, My Child
For the fans of: Drowning Pool, Five Finger Death Punch, Slipknot
Listen: Myspace

Release date 30.08.2010
Reprise Records

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