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Greetings. I am the Illusive One. For many years now I have been a huge video game player, movie viewer, and book reader. For almost as long, I have been a critic of these things and many people respect my opinions of these things and have often said I belong on G4 doing reviews on X-Play or a similar show. Sadly that is not likely to happen. So instead I shall do reviews for you, uninfluenced by other reviewers, of video games books, movies, and, occasionally, music and political actions. I hope you find this informative and helpful. Thank you for your time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Disturbed's Singles

          As I stated on my previous post Disturbed's albums as wholes were hit or miss.  The singles, however, are usually great and are a subject of their own and I felt they deserved their own post.  So here are The Illusive One's thoughts on Disturbed's singles.


           Stupify was Disturbed's first single and was one of the few Disturbed songs to contain rapping, (and thank God for that).  Despite this, I really like this song.  The rifts, drums, bass and lyrics all match perfectly to make one hell of a song.  The lyrics also seem to contain a young person’s perspective of reality and racism and this has always been something that has hit hard for me.  This has been supported by lead singer Draiman that the lyrics were inspired by racism he dealt with as a Jew and how people he knew dealt with it as well.  The video for the song features the band performing the song in a rusted cellar-like room, intercut with footage of a young boy sitting in the same room and as the song progresses, the boy is revealed to be haunted by demon-like creatures.  What does this have to do with the song itself?  I don't know but it somehow matches perfectly.  All around, a great song and a great start to Disturbed future singles.


Down with the Sickness

           Now this is a great song.  For me, everything about this song is perfect.  The guitar rifts are perfect, they lyrics are perfect, the bass is perfect, and the drums are perfect.  Then you have that weird noise Draiman makes throughout that song and to this day I still don't know what the hell that was supposed to be but it's still just a great fucking song.  Unlike most of Disturbed's other songs, they don't seem to contain any kind of underlying themes, (or if they do I don't know about them), but it still kicks ass!  Every time I hear this song I want to kick some ass or get my ass kicked!  For such a great song however, it has a really crappy music video, only featuring live performances by the band and I hate music videos that do that.  But that doesn’t change the fact that it's a kickass song.  It's just a good old fashion, head banging, mosh pitting type song and I love every second of it.



           This one is probably my least favorite of The Sickness singles as it just wasn't as intense or as catchy as the others.  It's usually one I tend to skip over on my playlist and just isn't that memorable compared to Down with the Sickness and Stupify.  They lyrics, guitar, bass and drums were all just ok and that's all I really have to say about it.  The song seems to be about the voices that exist in all our heads to do evil things but it just could have been better.  It's not great.  It's not bad.  It's just ok.  And that's all.

The Game

            Another Sickness song that's not great but still good.  The problem with it is that the first thirty seconds of the song have such great lyrics to it that the rest of the song just seems bland in comparison.  I did enjoy it more than Voices but it's still a forgettable compared to Down with The Sickness and Stupify.



           Most of the songs in Believe are spiritual in lyrical nature and Prayer is the best of these.  The instrument work in it is ok but the lyrics are what make the song.  I don't know how to explain why I like them so much other then saying it takes me to another frame of mind.  Essentially the song is about Draiman having a conversation with God, telling Him to bring it on if He is trying to use pain to get a response from Draiman and that's all you can say in that kind of situation.  The music video shows Draiman walking down the street while looking at people in states of desperation while the world seems to crumble around him. In fact, the music video was actually banned by several media outlets, citing the similarities to the images of the September 11th Attacks.  While I personally found this stupid it was still something I had to mention.  All around, Prayer was a great song with a great music video.  It's not their best single, but it is one the best.



           This song always struck me as being a brother song to Prayer; like they were intended to be one song but instead was split into two.  The rifts were good, as was the beat and, like Prayer, puts me in another state of mind, but it just couldn't escape Prayer shadow.  The whole song seems to be about someone remembering a better time and just struck me as being depressing.  It's a good song but just listening to it dampens my mood.



           Now this is a good, fast passed song.  Great rifts, great lyrics, great bass, and great drums.  It manages to capture both the speed and intensity of The Sickness, but at the same time had the spiral lyrics many of Believe’s songs contained.  The lyrics seem to be about liberating yourself from the hatred and darkness that exist within everyone's hearts and not to wait for a modern messiah to do it for you.  For some reason, however, this song is probably the least know of Disturbed's Believe singles and I don't know why.  It's faster passed then Prayer and Remember, yet still has the same type of lyrics.  Does anyone have an answer for me?  Well, anyway it's a great but underrated song and it's tied as my favorite Believe song with Prayer.



           The first single of Ten Thousand Fists, Guarded is a fast passed song with great lyrics and great rifts.  Of all of Disturbed's singles, it's probably the least known but it's just as good as all of the other songs on Ten Thousand Fists.  The lyrics seem to address someone who keeps themselves guarded from others and how doing this leaves them isolated.  The only problem I have with this song is that it tends to repeat itself in its lyrics and rifts in a way no other Disturbed song does.  But still, it's a good song and a great start to the Ten Thousand Fists singles.



           Now, this is probably Disturbed's most overrated song but still is a great one.  It had great rifts, a good guitar solo, great lyrics to tie it all in together and contained the first guitar solo to be featured on a Disturbed song.  As a whole, the song seems to be about someone who can't get over a lost lover.  But what drove this song to its current state of popularity?  Guitar Hero III.    It blew the song way out of proportions and people who hadn't even heard of Disturbed thought of that song when Disturbed was mentioned.  The truth of the matter is that the song, while good, is not any better or worse than the other songs of Ten Thousand Fist.  It's a good song but very overrated.


Just Stop

           Yet another of underrated song from Ten Thousand Fists, Just Stop is the slowest passed of the Ten Thousand Fists singles.  While good, it was slow and just didn't have the same feel as the others.  In fact the lyrics actually seem to be about someone asking for people to stop being so critical and judgmental and I don't entirely know what to make of this.  It is the lesser of the Ten Thousand Fists singles but still a good song all the same.


Land of Confusion

           Disturbed's best known cover, Land of Confusion was a covered from the band Genesis and is the most known cover of this song.  According to Draiman, the idea was to take a song that was nothing like them and make it their own and to their credit, they did this.  The rifts were heavier; the lyrics felt darker, replaced a few and added in the animal like sounds Draiman makes.  As if it wasn't good enough, the song's music video was an animated music video done by Todd McFarlane, famous as creator of the Spider-Man villain Venom and for his work with the Spawn series and this video has to be seen to be believe as my words can't do it justice.  All around, a great cover of a great song and my second favorite of the Ten Thousand Fists singles


Ten Thousand Fists

           Another great, yet underrated, single from the Ten Thousand Fists album, this song had everything.  It had great lyrics, great guitar riffs, great bass, great drums and gets me pumped in a way no other song other the Down with the Sickness can.  The meaning of the song is simple; stand up for what you believe in and signifies strength, unity, conviction and power.  Simple, but still a great was of conveying it.  Unfortunately, it was a song that I always felt got swept under the rug but it's still one of my favorite of Disturbed's singles.


Inside the Fire

           As a whole, Indestructible was Disturbed's worst album, but damn, did it have some great singles and one of the best is Inside the Fire.  Inspired by an incident from Draima's teen years, the song is basically about the devil or some other demonic creature telling someone to kill themselves after a loved one commits suicide so they may join her in hell.  It's a very sensitive subject as most people probably know at least one person who has, or tried, to commit suicide and I think only Disturbed could have pulled off a song dealing with it.  And it's a great song.  A bit of a downer but still a great one with great lyrics, great rifts, great bass and great drums and it's probably my second favorite song by Disturbed.  The music video is likewise very touchy and the first time I saw it I couldn't believe what I was seeing and like the Land of Confusion video, words can't do it justice.  The song and music video were actually edited for mainstream play, editing out all the dark content, (as I said, it's a touchy matter), and the video just had the band performing.  Last to mention is that it was Disturbed's first single to be nominated for a Grammy and, once again, I make no apologies when I say Wax Simulacra was a terrible song and should not have received the award.  A great song and one of Disturbed's best.


Perfect Insanity

           Perfect Insanity was actually a demo song Disturbed had recorded back in the late 90s before recording The Sickness and the band opted to re-recorded it with Indestructible as a way to get back to their state of mind when they were first starting out.  The instrument work is good and work perfectly with the lyrics, but it's the lyrics that make this song worth wile.  Essentially, the song is about a guy who is insane and is warning people around him about his psychotic tendencies and it puts me in a demented mood every time I hear it.  A great song with great lyrics that brings out the inner psycho in me.



           What a title for a song.  Like most of Disturbed's singles it was great all around with its own meanings.  This one, however, actually has two themes, the first being an anthem to solders.  While the band has stated that they are not pro-war by any means, they will still support our troops anyway they can and this song is meant to be something that will make the troops who listen to it to feel indestructible and inspire them in battle.  It's other meaning has to do with the band itself as by this point they had been together for about ten years by this point and symbolizes the fact that Disturbed is still here and won't be going anywhere.  Regardless of how you want to interpret it, it's a great song with great themes.


The Night

           Now this is another song that, for me, was just perfect.  The guitar riffs, lyrics, bass, and drums were all in perfect harmony.  It's a song that is difficult to describe other then saying it takes me to another frame of mind, similar to the singles of Believe, but had perfect guitar riffs to accompany the perfect lyrics.  It's all at once catchy and comforting and I love every second of it.  I will warn anyone who hasn't seen the music video, however, to stay away from it, as it's just a weird video and nearly ruined this song for me.  And that all I have to say on it.


Another Way to Die

           The first of the Asylum singles, it happens to be the first of Disturbed's singles to feature lyrics that dealt with the environment.  Instrumentally, it starts off a bit slow but then picks up with great guitar riffs, great drum beats with great lyrics to complete it.  The main issue discussed within the song is that our constant and irresponsible consumption of the world's resources is going is to destroy us in the end and while everyone may not agree with the global warming issue this is something that is very much a problem and will sooner or later catch up with us.  The music video furthers this by showing the world deprived of resources, of people struggling to survive, and stock footage of huge amounts of garbage and pollution relating to the song.  As a whole, this song isn't the albums best single but is a great song with a great message.  It's more than ok, but is by no means perfect.



           Now this is an interesting song.  My second favorite of the Asylum singles, the lyrics, rifts, bass and drums all matched perfectly to install a sense of rush and panic within the listener as if something is after said listener.  The song seems to be about someone who is insane, has been locked up in an asylum and is trying to survive in his state of insanity.  The music video was one of the best I've ever seen as it depicts a man within an asylum who is constantly being killed by the asylum workers or killing himself to escape them but finds himself constantly coming back to life and having to relive the horror of it the asylum over and over again.  As a whole, it was dark, edgy, catchy and great.


The Animal

           Very much like The Night, the lyrics, bass, rifts and drums of The Animal all match perfectly to make a song that takes me to another frame of mind.  It's also a catchy song that, unlike The Night, makes me think about fighting to the death every time I hear it.  My own personal interpretation of this song is that it's about the animal tendencies people go through when in a fight but I've also heard it's simply about someone who turns into a werewolf under the full moon, (though personally I like my version better).  Regardless of what it's supposed to mean, it's still a great song and probably Asylum's best single.



           So far this is the last of Disturbed's singles and to be fair, this one is probably the worst of the Asylum four.  While it is catchy and fast passed, it just wasn't as good as the other three.  It didn't seem as intense or deep as the other songs and it actually surprised me that it was released as a single.  The song seems to be about an arrogant warrior crushing his enemies without mercy in hopes that it will bring him fame and glory.  A good concept for a song and well executed but it's not their best.  Don't get me wrong.  It was a good song but there were other songs on Asylum that I felt deserved to be singles more than this one.


           And those are my thoughts on Disturbed's singles.  On the whole, their albums are hit or miss but their singles are always, (with only one or two exceptions), great and those are the songs that really got me into this band.  Pop, rap, and country stars come and go, rise and fall in popularity, but Disturbed's has always remained great and, to me, will always be the best.  What I really love about these songs and this band, however, is that unlike other bands, these songs were meant to be empowering; meant to help people set down their burdens for a while and make them feel powerful and invincible; to make them believe in something as opposed to believe in nothing and this is why I look always forward to Disturbed's next album.  Other musicians, on the other hand, seem content with just whining about their own short comings and are intent on dragging us down with them or praising their own success and making their fans feel inadequate.  So to them, I say Fuck You!  Fuck all those other genres!  Fuck all those other whiny, emo bands!  And Fuck anyone who disagrees with me!  Disturbed forever!
            And that is why I don't do too much on music.  I tend to get way to into it and am way to prejudice when it comes to certain bands.  As this is my first real attempt to go in depth with a band's songs as well as their albums, I'm curious to know what others think of these posts so please give me your opinions.   Until next time, this is The Illusive One saying, Spread the Sickness.  Infect the world.

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