Sound — 10
This album, disturbed's third in the studio, completely blows the other two away. Their first album, "The Sickness," still had a garage band, underground feel, and "Believe" was more of a play on musical styles than a true sonic impact, but "Ten Thousand Fists" takes all doubt as to the band's ability and flushes it down the drain. The title track begins with a simple sitar in the background, followed closely by Dan Donnegan's chunky guitar track, until POW! The song truly begins with a blast that would knock an old man out of his recliner. Throughout the album, Guitarist Dan Donnegan continues to deliver everything from soft, subtle undertones to blinding, in-your-face solos, a first for the band. Bass is covered on this album by John Moyer, formerly of the Union Underground, Drums by Mike Wengren, and Vocals by David Dramain. Ten Thousand Fists is an "Inbetween" album, as it combines both the heavy, techno-metal style of "The Sickness" with the vocal melodies and melodic guitar riffs of "Believe." The combination proves to be very effective on this album, especially on tracks like "Pain Redefined" and "Ten Thousand Fists." There is also a cover of a 1986 "Genesis" song, "Land of Confusion," which plays out much like the original and still has that unbreakable "rock" feel that we used to see so often in the '80s. In addition to the standard CD, the band has also released a special edition of the album featuring artwork by the artist hired to do the album cover. Although there is a limited amount of artwork in the small CD book, it's well worth the extra 10-15 bucks, as all the artwork is high quality and very well reproduced. The album itself is basically the same, the only difference perhaps being a small refinement in the EQ of the Album, as Donnegan's solos and David's voice seem to stick out more when compared to the Standard release, but that could be just me.
Lyrics — 10
Overall, the lyrical content of this album is some of David's best, reaching back into the dark despair of songs like "Meaning of Life" and "Stupify," but at the same time retaining the powerful messages as heard on the "Believe" album. I was thoroughly impressed with the song "Overburdened," which, at first glance, seems like a song sbout someone condemned to hell, but actually is about the horrors of the war in Iraq. Throughout many of their songs, specifically the aforementioned "Overburdened" and "Diefy," Disturbed manages to be very political without coming off as a bunch of pissed-off guys waving their fists in the air. The lyrics actually make an impact, rivaled only by (in my mind) "...And Justice For All" (Metallica) and "Deep" (Nine Inch Nails), and the impact of the words themselves fits nicely with the band's music on the album. As for David Dramain's voice, I can only say that this album blew me away. He manages to reach notes far out of the standard male vocal range without losing the nasty rasp in his voice, or without splitting notes. I am thoroughly impressed with this Album; it is a masterpiece, a work of art comparable to even the most classical of classic metal, and it will surely become a classic of it's own time.
Overall Impression — 10
Comparitively, Ten Thousand Fists is by far the best album that Disturbed has released to date, and holds a very comfortable favorite in my CD collection, whereas the other two albums are further down the list. The song on the album that impressed me the most was "Pain Redefined," followed closely by "Land Of Confusion." "Pain Redefined" was an instant hit with me, because it took all the elements of their past albums and threw them together very successfully, and "Land of Confusion" was a great success because it was an amazing cover song. Not very many bands can pull off cover songs, and the only other two in my book that have successful studio covers are Metallica (The entire "Garage, Inc." album, and Marylin Manson. There isn't a single thing wrong with this album, except mabye the fact that it wasn't released sooner. If this CD were stolen, I would most definitely track down the person that stole it and beat them into a bloody pulp, then take my CD back. Should it be lost, I would tear apart everything in the general area where it was lost until I found it. Actually, about a month ago, My brother (who is 8 years old) got into my CD case and threw a bunch of them on the floor, and my Mom accidentally dstepped on it, breaking it. After screaming at my brother for digging in my stuff, I promptly went out and began to try to mow people's lawns and wash cars until I had enough money to go buy a new one. It's well worth the money, ladies and gents, and if I were you, I would get my lazy butt off the computer right now and go get one if you haven't already.