“Believe” was a game changer in just about every sense of the word. It polarized fans for a while I noticed, but by the time their follow-up album, “10,000 Fists” came out, the ones who were truly loyal fans had made their choice to stick with the band and see where things go from here, and the ingrates left.
“10,000 Fists”, while not as concept driven as “Believe”, does feature a lot of political themes. Which is a fancy way of saying some of the tracks are showing their age nowadays. Sure, some themes are timeless, but some of the tracks on this can be described as a wee bit on the topical side. Probably a good thing “Deify” wasn’t a single. 2005 was the point where Bush jokes and political commentary on the Bush administration were just then starting to get old. About a year later, the jokes and the commentaries became groan inducing. Almost as much as the administration itself, but I digress.
I absolutely loved “The Sickness”. “Believe” was pretty much love at first listen. “10,000 Fists”… Honestly, this one had to grow on me a little by comparison. I don’t know why. They still sounded like Disturbed, they were actually heavier in this than in anything they put out prior, and they were taking shots at George W. Bush: the man everyone hated, but reelected anyway. Probably because we wanted to keep complaining and making jokes while the cash cow had milk in her udders. That, or John Kerry was promising to eat orphans and kick puppies at his rallies. My memories of the 2004 election are kinda blurry anymore.
It had all that going for it… Yet it took a while before I could say I truly appreciated it. I guess I was too busy cutting my teeth on Avenged Sevenfold at the time to notice. Anything is possible.
So how do I feel about “10,000 Fists” now? Well only one way to find out. Let’s give it a listen!
ALBUM ART: B
The first album in Disturbed history to feature their official mascot: a guy creatively named “The Guy”. Not exactly a deathbat, or Eddie, or that starship thing Stratovarius was using for a while (they seem to have discontinued that fad), but I guess everybody needs a mascot.
1. 10,000 Fists
This was actually the fifth, and final single to be released. Considering they went through an insane ad campaign that could easily be mistaken for a malware attack by today’s standards to get this song out there, I’m surprised they waited so long. That, and it’s an excellent intro for what we’re about to get.
2. Just stop
This was the third single (I think) to be released off the album. This is probably where the politics are a bit on the timeless side. I’ve also seen people who are dumb enough to address trolls, or just bait Final Fantasy 7 fans into a flame war as background music. Because nothing drives your point home quite like someone else’s music.
The first single, and probably the heaviest song on the entire album. On one hand, if it weren’t for Draiman, I’d wonder if this were even Disturbed. On the other hand, it’s still an awesome track. Well worth the listen.
Like I said above, this is where the album’s political themes show its age. I’m not sure if you could call this a cashgrab, because Draiman doesn’t strike me as that kind of musician. More than I can say for those jerks in Nickelback, but I already ranted about that in SISOH. I get the sneaking suspicion Draiman might’ve been a disenchanted republican? Lines like “all my devotion betrayed. I was so blinded to see how much you’ve stolen from me.” kind of give me that impression. On his Facebook page, Draiman declared himself a libertarian, which seems to be the place to go when you’re a disenchanted republican, or a conservative-minded indivudal who thinks stuff like gay marriage or marijuana should be legal. I tried my hand at libertarianism, and I still agree with some of their philosophies, but at the same time, I believe that a government free of corruption is more important than a small government. Because a small government can still be corrupt.
I’m pretty sure I was talking about something else. Oh yeah, song. It’s showing it’s age with its anti-Bush politics, but it’s worth a listen if you wonder what we were like ten years ago I guess. Yeah, remember when the guy oppressing free speech, invading your privacy, trrkn rr jrrbs, and ultimately serving as the bane of our entire existence was a white republican? Good times.
This was the second single from the album. Admittedly, it’s not the most remarkable track on the entire album, but it still sounds like Disturbed.
6. I’m Alive
I’m not going to lie, I’m not especially fond of this one. It’s a solid track by all means, but for some reason, this one just can’t hold my attention.
7 Sons of Plunder
It’s awesome because it’s true. And also because it’s got an awesome riff, and a grove that makes it well worth a listen. Even the chorus is a brainworm in its own right. All around a good track.
Apparently, this song was written about the horrifying possibility of soldiers finding out that they went to hell after they died. It doesn’t specify which side of the war they were on, but it’s probably safe to say Operation: Iraqi Freedom, in all it’s pointlessness and stupidity, was the inspiration. It’s probably also safe to assume this is the closest thing to a ballad we’re going to get from this album. It’s a pretty heavy track, but more so with the tone than with the sound.
Not going to lie, this is kind of where the album begins to decline for me. It’s not a dramatic decline, but I think it’s pretty safe to say that all my favorites are towards the beginning. That being said, you could do a lot worse than a B. And despite the decline, songs like this are still pretty catchy.
Okay, I forgot this track was even here. I sort of take back what I said about the slump. Sort of, because as memory serves, this is probably going to end up being the highlight.
11. Land of Confusion
I’d laugh about putting a Genesis cover on here, but this is the same band who covered Tears for Fears five years prior. So yeah, all is forgiven. It’s just too bad the video for this was a wee bit disappointing. I mean Genesis isn’t exactly my favorite band in the world, but their version of the song had muppets of Ronald Reagan. And the more I look into politics, the more I’m starting to see what a lot of people are saying when they insist that Reagan was the antichrist. Bush was terrible, but Reagan? WOOOO! Disturbed’s version of the song is good, but the video is pretty forgettable. But hey, it got “The Guy” some exposure, so I guess it all worked out for someone in the end.
12. Sacred Lie
It’s kind of overkill to put an anti-war song right next to a Genesis cover that criticized Neoconservative politics.
13. Pain redefined
It’s definitely got a real brainworm quality to it, that’s for sure.
In all honesty, it’s kind of a weak ending to an otherwise pretty good album. I don’t know, it feels kind of generic.
OVERALL GRADE: A-
Though the second half of the album kind of drags its feet, it’s still an excellent album with some very memorable tracks. Sure, not everything on here is gold, but I still can’t remember why I was a little more reluctant to welcome this album into my collection. Especially when you consider what came next. Contrary to the album name, I’d soon learn that Disturbed wasn’t, in fact, indestructible.