If there is one thing you can say about Disturbed it is they are consistent. They have never strayed too far from the sound that has made them so popular and with Asylum they continue with the formula which made them the band that so many are compared to now. The sound is unmistakably their own and this time they bring it with a maturity which shows a band that is totally at ease with who they are where they are going.
Starting off this time with an instrumental piece that sets the brooding, darker feel to this album, "Remnants" is Dan Donegan's guitar intro that opens the doors to the "Asylum" which follows. Once the title track kicks in you will be on familiar ground sonically as this is pure Disturbed with the chugging rhythm and the unmistakable voice of David Draiman taking you on a sinister journey. If you are a fan of the band than this song will put a smile on your face as it could have been pulled from any of their four previous records. In most cases this would be a bad thing but for some reason the formula that has made them is also one that still sounds as good as ever.
They will not get points for creativity on this release as it could have been called Indestructible II but by the same token if it isn't broken… When you listen to a song like "The Infection" you can't help but think back to their hits of the past and just like them this one will have you singing the line " The infection must die" just like you did with "Down with the sickness".
The band does seem to bring a new maturity to the disc that is hard to describe. Dealing with subjects like global warming and tormented love affairs it seems like they are drawing upon topics that are more near and dear to them. They also seem a lot more comfortable with what they are doing. Draiman's vocals are as meaty as they have ever been and Donegan's guitar playing only exemplifies the tone that has brought them this far.
With a bunch of killer tracks on this disc and a few that might not be as strong but still, average Disturbed is better than 90% of what you hear anyway, this is an album that will satisfy the fans and should draw some attention to the few who are new to the band. Hard hitters like the title track "Asylum", "The Infection", "A New Way To Die", "Never Again" and "Sacrifice" are enough to make this an enjoyable album with the remainder still a dose of classic Disturbed that will not disappoint. This is definitely an album for the fans and they are going to love what they get.
There is also a hidden track on here called "ISHFWILF". In case that title isn't recognizable it is a remake of the U2 classic "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For". The band pulls off a very good update that brings this song into the present day. It reminds me of the Five Finger Death Punch version of "Bad Company" and how they turned that one into a tune with some metal punch. I really like how they did this one and hope to catch it live.
This deluxe edition also has two live tracks "Down With The Sickness" and "Stricken" which are both good versions but really are pointless on the disc. Most everyone has heard them before and fans undoubtedly have them in their possession already. Newbies might get a kick out of it though.
Bottom line is Asylum picks up where their last release left off and if you were a fan of it than you are going to love this one too. Disturbed has given us four high quality heavy metal releases before and this one stands right up there with them all. I can't say it is their best work but by no means is it anything but the high standard music that they have continuously given us in the past. Some might feel let down by not having an album that blows their last release out of the water but then how can that be accomplished when they set such a high bar then?
3. The Infection
5. Another Way To Die
6. Never Again
7. The Animal
10. My Child
13. ISHFWILF (Hidden Track)
14. Down With The Sickness (Live Bonus Track)
15. Stricken (Live Bonus Track)