Disturbed - Asylum (Warner Music)

What! Disturbed aren't Metal as Fuck! But if it's on Metal as Fuck, isn't it Metal as Fuck by definition? Oh, this Aristotelian way of thinking is so confusing!

Okay – if you’re reading this you’re probably here to scoff and piss all over my metal credentials for writing this review. Yes, I am aware that the site I write for is called Metal as Fuck. No, I haven’t sold out. I’d have to be paid to sell out, right? (zing!) By the way, the name of the site isn’t a string of adjectives. It’s the name of the site - nouns. Like “McDonalds” or “Ford.”

Anyway, to the review – Disturbed have been peddlers of alternative metal – and by alternative I mean “acceptably mainstream.” In the States, most hard rock stations have Disturbed as one of their “feature” artists that they announce during every promo – the more reverb on the name, the better – you know the type. The opener (Asylum) sounds like mid-era Metallica; huge booming drums and fluid, bluesy licks abundant. Admittedly, it’s impressive compared to their usual style. In the first few tracks, they’ve really stepped it up a notch in terms of composition. However, before long their nu-metal roots begin to emerge. Infection is unashamedly commercial and treads old ground and aims for the radio friendly crowd; clean and triumphant choruses careen over the top of lethargic post-grunge riffs. Warrior doesn’t sound very belligerent; it begins muscular and Swedish but soon devolves into American tough-guy posturing. It’s as fake as tits on a snake and any metalhead worth his salt will see right through it.

Another Way To Die
starts out morosely before kicking into a uninspiring power groove – the trademark “bass-thump-chugg” that Disturbed are known for (you’ll know it when you hear it.) There’s confused System of a Down allusions and sing-a-long arena style tracks (Never Again) but it just seems to me that this album was made by committee. There’s nothing authentic sounding about it. It almost sounds as if it’s been so processed there’s no hint of personality to it left. Tracks like Crucified are just stale, overwrought and boring. American teenage indignation with a hint of southern rock is the rationale behind Serpentine which ends up sounding amateurish. Metalheads won’t be won over by this effort – there’s just no soul to it. Better luck next time, guys.