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Sometimes I notice that I review the biggest majority of music album rather positively and give them at least an above-average mark. In fact, it’s rather rare for me to make really negative and highly critical reviews. It’s similar to the reviews of theneedledrop (Antony Fantano), when he rarely gives 10 out of 10 to an album, while I rarely give the lowest mark to an album.

This is also illustrated by the fact that while writing this review, I’ve been listening to the 5th album of this band, titled “Asylum”, which I personally find the best in the band’s career. At first, I thought that I’ve just gotten old and tired of heavy metal or simply became a music snob. However, having listened to the Asylum once again, I’ve confirmed again that this band could have done better with their new release just because of the fact that Asylum sounds better than the far majority of the modern metal albums. Still. As for the current album, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone for listening because you’ll might get either frustrated or bored because of it.

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This time, it’s Disturbed – an American metal band that I really liked during the years of my studies, when the genre of alternative metal didn’t sound like pop-rock, but instead was a powerful guitar-driven music with strong vocal performances. Initially, I remember that critics didn’t like the first albums of these guys that much, as well; however, I liked the first 5 albums of these guys and have been listening them on repeat for long. These albums contained all the metal features that I like the most, including original metal- and core- guitar riffs with slight inclusion of progressive metal vibes combined with really powerful drum parts. Additionally, the vocal parts of Disturbed were also more than awesome for me that time.

As for the 7th album of this band, titled Evolution, the band has reached its artistic bottom. This includes reaching the lowest quality songwriting, quality of sound and overall conceptual meaning of the album. To be honest, I’ve found a certain trend with the albums titled “Evolution” because all these albums with such titles generally represent the worst sound the respective bands could’ve ever achieved. Basically, having listened to this album I’ve also got to admit that neither cover art nor the title of the album make no sense in relation to music and create no conceptual background for the album whatsoever.

Of course, this is not a novelty for this band not to have a strong meaning for albums they tend to release. However, it was always common for the band to include the same old symbol with a dude with bad teeth and fire eyes hiding his face under the hood, which was a certain linking piece for the tracks of the respective albums. The concepts of all the previous albums were mostly inspired by the band’s name, not the albums’ titles. In such a way, they tended to depict the stories of various disturbed people and express unpopular opinions regarding religion, war, ecology etc. like it was in the tracks Prayer, Indestructible, Another Way To Die and the rest. Here, it’s not Disturbed we all used to know, it’s more of a castrated form of Nickelback, which severely lacks originality and emotional appeal in its music.

And if we can barely consider the first couple of tracks similar to the sound delivered in the previous albums of the band, the rest of the album sounds like a complete parody for the most cliche rock ballads of 70s and 80s, which makes the listening experience really boring. When I first heard the track “Are You Ready”, I thought, the rest of the tracks will be at least mediocre as this one; but instead, with each next track it was more and more shameful for me to hear this and know that it’s supposed to be Disturbed. Therefore, I don’t have that much to tell about the album’s musical content not because I don’t want to (thought it might be a second reason), but because there’s nothing to analyze and consider worth of your time. Just like I’ve said, the couple of opening tracks sound mediocre, which is somewhat okay, but the rest contain 3-chord ballads with the same repetitive vocal lines that sound like leftovers from their previous works. Thus, it’s the case, when the band couldn’t transfer to lighter sound successfully and instead they’ve dropped the ball completely.

The same goes for the lyrical content of the album. Instead of the aforementioned depressive, provocative or highly-social lyrics, we can hear cliche motivating themes about challenging adversities and finding internal peace, happiness etc. Maybe there’s also some deeper social meaning behind the lyrics, but it was rather hard for me to dig deeper because I didn’t even want to listen the album after the first third of it.

And because of this, 43 minutes and 14 seconds of this album cannot be defined as enjoyable. It was one of the rare occasions, when I had to skip certain sections of the track to get to the next one quicker in hope of listening to something better. Though, I didn’t happen. I still hope that the band will be more responsible in delivering even new lighter and rock-ish sound and will be more creative, original and emotional. As for this record, it’s not really good. I’d rate it 1 out of 5 because of the track Are You Ready, which reminded me that the band is capable of delivering a significantly better sound and meaning.

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