Tormented (Staind album)

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Studio album by Staind
Released November 29, 1996
Recorded October 1996 in Westfield, Massachusetts
Genre Nu metal,[1][2] alternative metal,[1] heavy metal
Length 73:24
Label Self-released
Yap 'Em Records (re-release)
Producer Jeff Gilmer , Staind
Staind chronology
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[3]
Ultimate Guitar (9.6/10)[4]

Tormented is the debut studio album by American rock band Staind, self-released in 1996. The album was originally only available in limited quantities in New England, United States, with the original release limited to 4,000 copies. There are cassette pressings of the album, but only three are known to exist making it impossible to find a copy. Tormented would later be re-released several times, without modification, in response to overwhelming demand from fans amidst Staind's success in the early 2000s (decade). The album was never sold in stores, and was instead sold at concerts and on their website in several forms. The album is Staind's heaviest album and doesn't feature influences of their post-grunge sound that they would use in their later albums. In addition, Tormented includes guitar solos, which were not featured in the successive albums Dysfunction and Break The Cycle. Another unique aspect of Tormented compared to its successors is that Aaron Lewis uses a raw voice instead of a melodic one. The album contains an early version of "Mudshovel", named "Mudshuvel", the song which would propel Staind into mainstream rock success in 1999.

Music and lyrics[edit]

Many of the songs on Tormented deal with pain, hate and depression, including a gun being loaded and cocked at the start, and fired at the finish, which (along with the hidden track "The Funeral") make it something of a concept album revolving around a depressed individual who eventually commits suicide. Despite being an intense metal record, Staind's 1996 effort includes an alternative rock song entitled "4 Walls". Frontman Aaron Lewis elaborated on the motivation for the musical style heard on Tormented:

"The closest we ever came to being a heavy metal band was on our very first record, Tormented. On that, we were trying to fit into the Boston hardcore scene. That was what we had to work with at the time. We didn't have a record deal. We didn't have anything going on. In order to try to compete in some way in the Boston hardcore music scene, we wrote a really heavy record, and our roots for that heaviness were metal. It's never been that since. Even Dysfunction was a huge step away from Tormented."[5]

In later years, Staind members have emphasized Tormented as an early primitive step in the band's musical evolution. Guitarist Mike Mushok noted in 2008 his lack of appreciation for the album:

"We have a lot of fans who say, 'I love Tormented.' I'm like, 'Have you ever listened to it? Because I can't.' But that's great – that's why they're fans."[6]

Cover art[edit]

The album is known for its controversial cover art, depicting a bloody Barbie doll on a crucifix, a buried person with a rosary protruding from its nose, and a knife impaling a Bible. This grotesque art appalled Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst so greatly that he attempted to remove Staind from a concert bill shortly before their performance. Durst failed, and after hearing the band play, was so impressed that he signed them to Flip/Elektra and co-produced their next album.


"Mudshuvel", renamed "Mudshovel", would be re-recorded and released as Staind's second single. It would become the band's breakout single and the most popular song from their 1999 album, Dysfunction.

The track "Come Again" was released with the 2004 single of "Right Here" and on the band's singles compilation in 2006. It has also since started being played at shows, along with "Break" and "Tolerate."

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Tolerate"   4:38
2. "Come Again"   3:50
3. "Break"   3:58
4. "Painful"   3:30
5. "Nameless"   3:29
6. "Mudshuvel[7]"   4:34
7. "See Thru"   4:27
8. "Question?"   3:30
9. "No One's Kind"   4:46
10. "Self Destruct"   3:36
11. "4 Walls" (includes hidden track, "Funeral", starting at 13:28, after 8:00 minutes of silence) 33:06
Total length:
  • The background talking voice heard multiple times in the album (heard first at the beginning of its first song, "Tolerate") is the voice of guitarist Mike Mushok.
  • As usual with Staind in each of their albums, the music for each song in "Tormented" was written & composed by the entire band, while all lyrics were also written by Aaron Lewis, except for the lyrics to "4 Walls", which were written by guitarist Mike Mushok, making it the only Staind song in their career to feature lyrics written by a different member than Aaron Lewis.
  • "Mudshuvel"[7] was later re-recorded for the album Dysfunction as "Mudshovel".
  • General belief would be that "Funeral" would include a hidden track in it, due to its length of 19:38; however, this is not true, as the track is actually hidden in "4 Walls", which, with hidden tracks added, clocks in at 33:06.
  • "Spleen", from their 1999 album Dysfunction, was supposed to be on Tormented. An original demo recording of the song can be found on the compilation Wonderdrug: Up The Dosage.
  • A re-recorded version of the track "See Through" can be found on the "NASCAR: Crank It Up" compilation album.



  1. ^ a b
  2. ^
  3. ^ "Staind - Tormented (album review)". Sputnikmusic. January 15, 2007. Retrieved July 29, 2013. 
  4. ^ . Ultimate-Guitar Review Review.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Florino, Rick Interview - Staind (Aaron Lewis) (August 25, 2008). Retrieved on 2-24-10.
  6. ^ Grierson, Tim Staind Interview (August 20, 2008). Retrieved on 2-24-10.
  7. ^ a b Tormented - Staind