Ten Thousand Fists

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Ten Thousand Fists
Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists (Standard).jpg
The cover of Ten Thousand Fists, featuring the mascot of Disturbed, known as The Guy
Studio album by Disturbed
Released September 20, 2005
Recorded January – June 2005[1]
Studio Groovemaster Studios in Chicago, Illinois
Length 56:00
Disturbed chronology
Ten Thousand Fists
Singles from Ten Thousand Fists
  1. "Guarded"
    Released: June 28, 2005
  2. "Stricken"
    Released: July 25, 2005
  3. "Just Stop"
    Released: February 7, 2006
  4. "Land of Confusion"
    Released: October 2, 2006
  5. "Ten Thousand Fists"
    Released: December 28, 2006

Ten Thousand Fists is the third studio album by American heavy metal band Disturbed. It was released on September 20, 2005 and became Disturbed's second consecutive number 1 debut on the Billboard 200 in the United States, shipping around 239,000 copies in its opening week.[2] It has been certified Platinum by the RIAA and was also the band's second number 1 release in New Zealand. It is also the first Disturbed album to not have the Parental Advisory label.

Ten Thousand Fists marks the first album with bassist John Moyer who replaced Steve Kmak following his dismissal in 2003. However, Moyer was considered a session musician during the time of recording, and only became a full-time member during the tour supporting the album.[3] It would be the band's third and final collaboration with mainstay producer Johnny K. He would later appear full-bodied in the music video for "Land of Confusion" song.

Ten Thousand Fists is, as of 2010, Disturbed's second highest selling album in the United States, with sales of around 1.9 million copies. The Sickness, the band's debut CD, has shifted sales of almost 4.2 million copies in the United States.[4] The album was dedicated to Dimebag Darrell, who was murdered the year before the album's release.[5]


On June 16, 2005 the album title was announced via the Disturbed website.[6] Later that month, the album track listing was also revealed.[7] The song "Guarded" was released to radio stations in late June 2005 as a teaser. Vocalist David Draiman said the motive behind releasing the song was to promote the album. He said, "[The song] was put out there to just whet everybody's appetite. It's one of the more aggressive tracks on the record, just to remind everybody where we came from and who we are."[8]

The first single, "Stricken", was released on July 25, 2005.[8] On August 19, 2005 the music video "Stricken", directed by Nathan Cox, was posted on the Warner Bros. Records website.[9] The music video was filmed in an abandoned hospital, in the same location where some scenes from the 1984 horror film A Nightmare on Elm Street were filmed.[10] In early August 2005, viral marketing was used to promote Ten Thousand Fists. A piece of software was sent via e-mail to certain recipients, who passed it along to other recipients. When the software was passed along to at least 250,000 recipients, it unlocked the song "Ten Thousand Fists".[11] In early July 2006, the third single, "Land of Confusion" (originally written by Genesis), was released, alongside an animated music video directed by Todd McFarlane.[12][13]


Vocalist David Draiman said that Ten Thousand Fists "seems to fuse the brutality and darkness of The Sickness with the added melodic nature and complexity of Believe. It's more aggressive than the last record, and at times, more aggressive than the first one."[7] The song "Overburdened" is about soldiers going to Hell.[10] Draiman said that the song "Guarded" is about Draiman guarding himself from other people. He said the song "reflects what choosing this life forces certain people to do in a certain way — you have to remain guarded on a certain level."[8] Draiman said the song "Ten Thousand Fists" is meant to "[signify] strength, unity, conviction, power, and the exhilaration that you feel when you get to see that at one of our shows."[11] Draiman continued to say, "It's one of my favorite moments, and people know that I have an affinity for asking people to put their fists in the air, and it's just, it's exhilaration to be able to see ten thousand raised fists or more."[11]

Political content[edit]

According to band members, while Ten Thousand Fists was not written as a political album, it was their most political record to date.[14] Vocalist David Draiman's lyrics for the title song, "Ten Thousand Fists", were heavily influenced by his feelings towards American president George W. Bush, and several of the songs included war/anti-war themes, including "Deify", for which the intro features audio clips of Bush urging the nation to push forward in war, interlaced with an individual's political commentary, while the video for "Land of Confusion" depicts big business and capitalism as being a corrupting Nazi-like enemy being overthrown by an army of the people led by The Guy, the band's mascot.[14][15]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars[17]
Blender3/5 stars[18]
Rolling Stone2/5 stars[21]
The Village VoicePositive[22]

Ten Thousand Fists earned mixed reviews from critics; it received a score of 59% on the review-aggregating website Metacritic, based on seven reviews.[16] Allmusic reviewer Johnny Loftus gave the album a positive review; however, regarding the album's sound, he stated "Ten Thousand Fists does start to sound the same after a while."[17] The Village Voice's reviewer Phil Freeman also gave the album a positive review, "The guitarist and drummer are an airtight team, and the session bassist capably underpins the guitar solos that are a welcome new addition to the band's sound. Program out the cover of 'Land of Confusion' and you've got the best mainstream metal release since Judas Priest's Angel of Retribution."[22] NME gave it a 1/10 review describing it as "unfocused rage" and "you'll find nothing more despicable this year".[20]

The UK and Tour editions of the album both featured four bonus tracks: "Monster", "Two Worlds", "Hell", and "Sickened", the first of which was also included as an iTunes bonus track. All four songs are also included in the band's b-side compilation, The Lost Children.

In popular culture[edit]


Region Year Publication Accolade Rank
United States 2015 Loudwire 10 Best Rock Albums of 2005[23] 1

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Disturbed, except "Land of Confusion", which was originally written by Genesis.

1."Ten Thousand Fists"3:32
2."Just Stop"3:44
6."I'm Alive"4:42
7."Sons of Plunder"3:48
11."Land of Confusion" (Genesis Cover)4:48
12."Sacred Lie"3:06
13."Pain Redefined"4:07
Total length:56:00




Chart positions[edit]

Album charts
Year Chart Peak position
2005 Australian Albums Chart[24] 11
Austrian Albums Chart[25] 37
Canadian Albums Chart[26] 2
Dutch Album Charts[27] 87
German Albums Chart[28] 21
New Zealand Albums Chart[29] 1
Swedish Album Charts[30] 24
Swiss Albums Chart[31] 62
UK Albums Chart[32] 59
US Billboard 200[26] 1
US Top Internet Albums[33] 1
2008 US Catalog Albums Chart[26] 13
US Hard Rock Albums Chart[26] 17
Singles charts
Year Song Chart Peak position
2005 "Guarded" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[34] 7
Alternative Songs[35] 28
2006 "Just Stop" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[34] 4
Alternative Songs[35] 24
"Land of Confusion" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[34] 1
Alternative Songs[35] 18
UK Singles Chart[32] 79
"Stricken" US Billboard Hot 100[36] 95
Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[34] 2
Alternative Songs[35] 13
Pop 100[34] 89
UK Singles Chart[32] 88
2007 "Ten Thousand Fists" Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks[34] 7
Alternative Songs[35] 37


Country Certification
Australia[37] Platinum
Canada[38] Platinum
New Zealand[39] Gold
United Kingdom[40] Gold
United States[41] 2x Platinum


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