Ten Thousand Fists
Say what you will about Disturbed! Say that they are a nu-metal band that has no substance to their music. Say they are one of the “main parts of the plague” that has been nu-metal. Lump them in with Limp Bizkit, Korn and whomever else you haters want to classify them with. Do all of that, and continue to be wrong. Since they burst on the scene with SICKNESS in 2000, Disturbed has continued to make their brand of hybrid metal in a style that is all their own. Sure, it has a lot of melody, and yes, it’s drum-driven instead of guitar driven metal. But there’s no denying that it’s catchy, somewhat heavy and a decent listen.
Disturbed is back after a somewhat disappointing showing with Believe. All we heard from frontman David Draiman between Believe and now was that this album was going to be very experimental, and different from the past. Somehow, I’m not seeing that. This is a heavier version of Disturbed, granted…but it’s Disturbed. It is what it is – if you liked them before, you will like this. If you didn’t, then Ten Thousand Fists won’t be your shot of Jagermeister. Ten Thousand Fists again finds the band with some thick, heavy guitar and bass, powerful drums, Draiman’s unique vocal presentation, and brilliant production from Johnny K. After several dozen listens to this release, there is NOTHING here that will surprise you. But, like other Disturbed albums, it’s a very good, energetic listen.
From the beginning, the lure to Disturbed has been Draiman and his vocal delivery. That continues here. The songs on Ten Thousand Fists feature what has become the patented Draiman sound – a hybrid of clean vocals, grunting, screams and miscellaneous noises. If there is any change on this album from past performances, it’s that Draiman uses his actual singing voice a little more throughout. Songs like “Deify” showcase this. Like always, Draiman can be counted on for a very solid, unique experience.
As for the rest of the band, they are rock solid as always. Guitarist Dan Donegan is outstanding once again. While I continue to wish for a solo here and there, there’s no denying that his crunchy riffs drive each song as they lead the rhythm section on songs like “Stricken” or “10,000 Fists”. Sure, he does throw in a few Zakk Wylde-esque squeals throughout, but ultimately Donegan continues what he’s done on the previous two releases. Donegan recognizes his place within the music, and really doesn’t do anything to expand it from the last record. The rhythm section of drummer Mike Wengren and bassist new bassist John Moyer (formerly of Union Underground) drive each and every song. Tracks like “I’m Alive” and “Son Of A Plunder” are completely powered by the bottom end, which has been the way Disturbed’s music has been from the start. That continues here.
RATING – 7/10 – Back in April, David Draiman told MTV, “”We don’t want this one to sound anything like what we’ve done, and it’s always hard to reinvent yourself and come up with something that doesn’t borrow elements from what you’ve already created. It can be very taxing.” Well, that seems very true here. It is hard, and they didn’t do it. However, this is a Disturbed album with a little more heaviness. No one is going to hear this and go, “man, they’ve reinvented themselves.” More than likely though, listeners will go, “man, another good record from start to finish”. This one’s worth having.