Asylum

Early metal bands drew inspiration from the netherworld, but on the fifth album from Chicago hard-rock band Disturbed, all the demons live within. "Now if I am to survive/The infection must die," howls David Draiman on the chorus of "Infection," just one of Asylum's grim, grinding paeans to pain. The music is appropriately bleak: "Warrior" works a mean, thrashing groove and "Crucified" threads an eerie, snakelike melody through drill-press riffs. Draiman's vocals split the difference between post-grunge-baritone croon and tortured, acid-gargling howl — a kind of leather-clad Jekyll-and-Hyde routine. But where many of their peers settle for a few blocky chords and let the distortion pedal do the rest, Disturbed don't shy away from a few fevered fret-board workouts. As history has proven, the devil — wherever he lives — loves a good guitar solo.