Archive for October, 2005

Disturbed – Ten Thousand Fists

Monday, October 17th, 2005

Just today, I got my hands on the Disturbed Ten Thousand Fists album and I am loving every second of it. I have been a Disturbed fan ever since The Sickness. I feel in love with the raw and gritty sound and it has come to refine my listening tastes even today. Believe was later announced and I scrambled to order the Limited Special Edition, bonus DVD and all. My opinion was that it was a little weak but still a great album and a wonderful emotional exploration for the band. Now comes Ten Thousand Fists bangin’ on my drums. This is by far their best album yet. It’s hard. It drives. And it’s beautiful.

The CD opens up with the title track Ten Thousand Fists to set the tenor for what is to come. This songs plays like a battle cry foretelling the coming of an unstoppable force. I feel like adding my own fist to this massive chant.

Just Stop is second up with a nice blending of styles form The Sickness and Believe. It’s a slower piece but with plenty of that “demonic lyric” stuff that Disturbed fans fell in love with to begin with.

Guarded follows giving a brief reprieve of the aural assault with periodic breaks into melodic ballads. But don’t be fooled, the soul of this song is hard, like a thump on the head.

Deify is an angry political retort aimed directly at George W. Something I’ve never been able to comprehend is why the music industry became such a huge political platform in the elections last year. And why was it so biased towards John Kerry? Neither one of these men really give me much confidence, but Kerry flat scares me. My own personal politics aside, this song rips at those who hold our president in such high esteem that they deify him.

Next up is Stricken, the emotional piece in the album (though I think everyone of their songs carries deep emotional context). It seeks a self-mourning with its dire lyrics and long, heavy chords. Not my favorite but still quite good.

I’m Alive and Sons of Plunder are tracks I can really relate with. It’s rolling rhymes call out to those who force others into conformity. Then with one fell swoop denies them the pleasure over taking this one into their grips. “Be your own person” would be a good theme for these songs.

Overburdened starts of very not like Disturbed. A clear guitar strumming awakens a voice a memory while waiting in hell’s line. But it doesn’t take long for the distortion to kick in and bring down the angst driven lyrics I have come to love.

Decadence is one of those non-creative songs that you still love because of its sound. Lyrically, there isn’t much here but a lot of repeated phrases. But set to a sound that will get your head bobbin’ in no time flat. There is a nice guitar solo at the end which is something that has been lacking in other Disturbed albums.

Up comes Forgiven with more throw backs to their older style. I could envision this being one of those great driving songs. Not particularly pumped with energy but it has a rhythm which is unrelenting that just gets into your skull.

Next is Land of Confusion, a cover of a Phil Collins song by the same name. I have never heard the original but if it’s anything like Disturbed’s other cover songs (Shout2000 & Fade to Black) then I have no doubt it is a faithful remake brought to bear with the bold style that Disturbed has come to embody. I can certainly hear Phil Collins-esque elements which make me love this song even more.

Sacred Lie is another political salvo aimed at the war in Iraq. In a more general context however, it speaks about not fighting futile battles in life, personal or otherwise. Constant battles for peace ride any such from ones life. Pretty powerful statement.

The sturm und drang lyrics of Pain Redefined combined with a bit of electronica make for a nice mix.

Avarice ends out the set in fast and furious tirade against the evils of greed and those that trample for the almighty dollar.

Truly an excellent album that should new and old Disturbed fans alike.

Information Overload

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

It is an interesting phenomenon which poses a catch-22 situation. Lemme ‘splain.

We are told that “Knowledge is Power.” If you know something about anything, it shows a level of education, even more so if that particular bit of knowledge is not common. In a world with ~6.5 billion people in it, events take place every second. Someone dies. Someone lives. He was arrested. They discovered that. It’s shinny. You name it, it’s happening right now. I mean now! So with all these little things happening on this sphere in space, how are we to keep up with it all?

Enter the media. Instead of me going to ‘X’ country to learn about ‘Y’ event, I watch someone else tell me about it. And it’s not just me watching, it’s thousands, even millions of my fellow sphere inhabitants watching that same event. Now we all know about it, except of course those who did not watch it. But what if I missed said news report? I am behind my fellow neighbor who does know. What does it matter to me if this event didn’t affect me in the slightest? Only that John & Jane Doe know something I don’t.

Enter the pride machine. Not wanting to be one-upped, I seek to discover this new information. And not only that but I seek out other events so that I may have the upper hand. Take that John & Jane. Naturally I will have a tendency towards information that is of interest to me. In so doing I make definitions in my social circle. I talk to her cause she knows the same things I know. Don’t talk to him. Before I know it, I have a set of friends and acquaintances with their own events in their lives that I must keep up with. Email is a quick and easy way to do this, so I do. Social network, set.

How do I contribute to my social network? By letting them in on information that I discover, and they likewise do the same for me. I get my information for a variety of sources: TV, newspapers, online news sites, RSS feeds, word of mouth, scrawling on napkins, etc. I got information coming at me from every direction. Have I got a prayer of keeping track of all this? No. Glorious.

So hundreds-of-emails-a-day and ad-infinitum-news-sources later I am confronted with Information Overload. The pandemic sweeping this sphere for which there is no nice cure. I say “no nice cure” because the only solution is for everyone to stop, just stop, driving their fellow sphere dwellers to the brink of madness in attempts to learn everything there is to learn. Don’t look to the information outlets to change, they aren’t going anywhere.

So what is my point? For you to make your own decision on who you view information. How do you view those less influxed with information? Here’s a novel idea, accept them. Accept them for where they are at, not how much they know. I say “Acceptance is Power.” We are compelled to learn and become knowledgeable, as such knowledge becomes a crutch, a weakness. But we shall always have the power to accept someone regardless of their privileges in life. Think on that one for a bit.

Netvibes – My New Favorite Homepage

Wednesday, October 5th, 2005

I recently found out about a nifty homepage service at Everything about the page can be customized, including the title of the page. Add the headlines you want to know about, rearrange them in the order you like, check your Gmail account and search the web all from one spot. All this from a service that was just released two and a half weeks ago (Sept 15th). New features are added constantly, even faster than I can discover them. For instance, only today did I discover that I could listen to Podcasts with out leaving the page. Not that I’ve listened to many podcasts my self, but now that it is so easy, I think I will do more of it.