Evolution (Deluxe Edition)
After a three-year recording hiatus, Chicago nu-metal stalwarts Disturbed offer up a slab of groove-heavy hard rock that pays tribute to both the members’ classic-rock roots, and to departed friends like Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Pantera’s Vinnie Paul. Their seventh studio album opens with the slick, electronic-tinged “Are You Ready,” which harkens back to a crunchier, more abrasive sound that will feel familiar to longtime fans. Vocalist David Draiman has retained his rhythmic bark and vaguely confrontational lyrical style on chest-beating tunes like the bouncy “No More” and the drop-tuned “Saviour of Nothing.” True to form, the band also pulls back the aggression on acoustic numbers like “A Reason to Fight” (a ballad that addresses addiction) and the anthemic “Watch You Burn,” showing that they're still in touch with the softer side they’ve exhibited in the past. That mellower vibe carries through on the live version of the band’s Grammy-nominated cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sound of Silence,” which appears here as a bonus track.