Release Date: Oct 19, 2018
Record label: Reprise
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Metal, Heavy Metal, Hard Rock, Nü Metal
The Lowdown: Following a hiatus that began 2011, Disturbed returned in 2015 with Immortalized, an album that would eventually go platinum thanks in large part to the massive success of the band's haunting rendition of the Simon & Garfunkel classic "The Sound of Silence". Now, Disturbed are back with their seventh album, Evolution, with the bar set high by singer David Draiman when he told Metal Hammer, "This is our 'Black Album'," referring to Metallica's mega-selling 1991 self-titled disc. A lofty statement, indeed.
Coming off of the enormous success of their brooding cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Sounds of Silence," Chicago nu-metal veterans Disturbed deliver another slab of commercial grade active rock and montage-ready power balladry on their seventh studio effort, Evolution. Billed as a tribute to deceased contemporaries Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and Vinnie Paul of Pantera, the ten-track set strikes an even balance between meat-and-potatoes stadium shakers ("Are You Ready," "No More") and butane-draining acoustic numbers ("Hold On to Your Memories," "Already Gone"). Working once again with producer Kevin Churko -- bass player and backing vocalist John Moyer, who left in 2011 to tear things up in Adrenaline Mob and Art of Anarchy, has also returned -- the band's penchant for pairing uncompromising sonic heft with mile high hooks remains its greatest asset, with frontman Dave Draiman's powerhouse voice shouldering that weight with Herculean stamina.
If asked to choose the weakest Disturbed album, this would be the natural selection. Cashing in on the radical commercial success of their 2015 Simon and Garfunkel cover 'The Sound of Silence', Disturbed have decided that an over-saturation of sappy ballads is the next step in their so-called Evolution. Genetically engineered for mass-appeal, soccer mums everywhere will rejoice as they jam the latest Disturbed tracks alongside their angsty teenage kids. Without exaggeration, this latest release consists mostly(!) of forlorn acoustic dirges, stripped back to showcase David Draiman's clean singing and newly naked chin.
Disturbed became one of the biggest metal acts of all time with only two tools in their arsenal: knowing what people want and how to deliver it to them. Sure, they can feel slightly repetitive, but so do AC/DC, and no one ever tells Angus Young to change his schoolboy britches. Disturbed have updated their image slightly this time, with David Draiman ditching those chin rings after saying they made him feel like "a 45-year old Hot Topic kid." The new album is called Evolution, after all. No point looking back. After the runaway success ….