Tormented (Staind album)

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Staind Tormented.jpg
Studio album by Staind
Released November 29, 1996[1]
Recorded 1995–1996
Length 73:26
Label Self-released[1]
Producer Staind
Staind chronology

Tormented is the debut studio album by the 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. However, only three are known to exist, making it almost impossible to find a copy. Tormented would later be re-released several times, without modification. 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. In addition, Tormented includes guitar solos, which were not featured in the successive albums Dysfunction and Break The Cycle. 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]

The songs on Tormented are about topics such as pain, animosity, suicide and depression. The album features 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. The depressed individual is voiced by guitarist Mike Mushok. The lyrics on Tormented are influenced by Staind member Aaron Lewis' life. Aaron Lewis spoke about it saying "My life, up to a point was shit," begins Lewis. "But I've come a long way. I grew up in a trailer park in Vermont. That was the shit I got out of me in Tormented and Dysfunction, and tailing into Break the Cycle. But the title, Break the Cycle, says it all."[2] AllMusic described Tormented as "grittier and more raw than" Staind's "subsequent releases".[1] Staind's album Tormented has been compared to the band Pantera.[3] Tormented features singing and screaming.[1] Despite being an intense metal record, Staind's Tormented album features a soft song called "Four Walls". Staind's lead vocalist Aaron Lewis elaborated on the motivation for the musical style heard on Tormented saying

In 2008, Staind guitarist Mike Mushok noted 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."[5]

Critical reception[edit]

AllMusic gave the album a very positive review saying

Allmusic also said that Staind's Tormented album "shows a band with its alternative metal heart in the right place."[1]

Cover art[edit]

The album is known for its intense cover art. The cover depicts a bloody Barbie doll on a crucifix with nails hanging from a plastic frame, a buried person with a rosary protruding from the person's nose, and a knife impaling a Bible.[6][7][8] This album cover appalled Limp Bizkit member Fred Durst so much that he attempted to remove Staind from a concert bill shortly before their performance.[7] Fred Durst also thought that Staind were Theistic Satanists.[7][9] Although he tried to remove Staind from a concert bill, Fred Durst allowed Staind to perform.[7] After hearing Staind perform, Fred Durst was so impressed that he signed them to Flip Records.[7][9][10]


"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"   4:40
2. "Come Again"   3:50
3. "Break"   4:00
4. "Painful"   3:30
5. "Nameless"   3:30
6. "Mudshuvel"   4:35
7. "See Thru"   4:30
8. "Question?"   3:30
9. "No One's Kind"   4:45
10. "Self Destruct"   3:35
11. "Four Walls" (includes a hidden track called "Funeral", starting at 13:30, after 8 minutes of silence.) 33:10
Total length:
  • The spoken word parts of the studio album were performed by Staind guitarist Mike Mushok.
  • The lyrics to "Four Walls" were written by guitarist Mike Mushok, making it the only Staind song to feature lyrics written by a member other than Aaron Lewis.
  • "Mudshuvel"[11] was later re-recorded for the album Dysfunction as "Mudshovel".[1]
  • "Spleen", from their 1999 album Dysfunction, was supposed to be on Tormented.
  • A re-recorded version of the track "See Thru" can be found on the "NASCAR: Crank It Up" compilation album.[12]




  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Tormented - Staind". Allmusic. 
  2. ^ "Staind". Starland Ballroom.  Retrieved: September 8th, 2015
  3. ^ Blackie, Andrew. "Staind: The Singles 1996-2006". PopMatters.  (November 16th, 2006). Retrieved on November 2nd, 2015
  4. ^ Florino, Rick Interview - Staind (Aaron Lewis) (August 25th, 2008). Retrieved on February 24th, 2010.
  5. ^ Grierson, Tim Staind Interview (August 20th, 2008). Retrieved on February 24th, 2010.
  6. ^ Guitar World Presents Nu-metal. Guitar World. 2002. p. 14.  Retrieved: September 8th, 2015
  7. ^ a b c d e "Inside the Outside with Stainds Aaron Lewis: Devil not included". Michigan Daily.  April 9th, 2001. Retrieved: September 8th, 2015
  9. ^ a b True, Chris. "Staind | Biography". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation.  Retrieved: September 8th, 2015
  10. ^ Grierson, Tim. "Staind - Career Biography and Discography".  Retrieved: September 8th, 2015
  11. ^ Tormented - Staind
  12. ^ "NASCAR on Fox: Crank It Up - Various Artists". Allmusic.