OOOH-WAH-AH-AH-AH! We know just as much as you know, that any cover version of Disturbed’s “Down With the Sickness” comes with the immediate need to know what any and all of those iconic intro noises sound like. And that’s why we’ve compiled 13 Very, Very Different Covers of Disturbed’s “Down With the Sickness.”
As intriguing as that vocal bit is, there’s a lot more to be genuinely interested in regarding these covers. Most of them sound nowhere near the original — we’ve got an island version, modern classical, a lullaby and bold acoustic interpretation and more, all in service of Disturbed’s enduring 2000 hit.
Oh, and there’s even one hilarious TikTok clip that we felt compelled to include because… well… you’ll see...
Regarding that introductory part... in some ways it's a distraction because there's so much more to "Down With the Sickness" than that. The song is crafted to be deliberately tense, mirroring the pent up energy behind David Draiman's themes — the bend-don't-break mentality plays out carefully with anthemic moments, but it all coalesces during that pained bridge section which reveals just how deep the personal torment was.
Clearly, it left an impact on generations new and old, as you'll see below.
Slip on your leisure suit, light up a fat cigar, dim the lights to a warm glow and slowly exhale as Richard Cheese takes you far, far away from the pounding distortion of Disturbed with this easy-listening lounge arrangement. And then prepare for hell as this gets pretty rowdy — rowdy enough to leave a crease in your suit pants.
This is immediately heavier than we ever imagined a string quartet could sound. No, really — this has some real thump. The tribal percussion throughout helps maintain that plodding, nervous energy that makes the original such a pit opener and, well, when does a violin ever sound bad replicating a vocal melody? Never. Especially not with the Vitamin String Quartet.
Okay, a bit more back on track now. No violins, no elevator music, just aggression and some silky, gliding vocal passages that are definitely reminiscent of Evanescence’s Amy Lee. The vocal interplay between Violet Orlandi and Ai Mori is well-crafted — their individual personalities perfectly serve the vocal duality of “Down With the Sickness” and they team up in all the right places, turning the dial from 10 to 11.
Spoofing the song title, We’re Wolves open this cover with a brief comedic sketch, coming down with a physical sickness as one member of We’re Wolves heads off to the bathroom to relieve his stomach troubles. This quickly goes from a case of the shits to being ‘the shit.’ This injects some modern metal extremity to the approach and the mix.
The easy-going Melodicka Bros. are quite aware of the sense of elitism that runs in the ranks of heavy music fans and cautioned everyone not to be offended by their “way too happy” version of Disturbed’s anthem for angst. Put on a Hawaiin shirt, order a drink that’s served in a pineapple and chill out. Not everything in your life has to have distorted guitars, ya know?
Within our 13 very, very different covers of “Down With the Sickness,” Anthony Vincent of ‘10 Second Songs’ fame is giving you some bonus action with this song in 20 different styles. He adopts Simon and Garfunkel, Faith No More, Rush, Childish Gambino and a host of captivating others.
In this “Angry White Boy Polka” song by ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic, he tackles a medley of heavy songs, one of them being the very subject of this list you’ve been reading. You know what polka sounds like — there’s not a ton of deviation — and now you know what Disturbed as a polka song sounds like. Anyone else kinda relieved it’s not a full-length version?
Of all the cover versions here, this one is the closest to directly imitating the original. Obviously, none can live up to the original, which yielded multi-platinum success and launched the career of one of rock’s biggest bands. The only real difference here — and it’s a big one — is that Jonathan Young opted against the bridge section with the “no mommy, don’t do it again” part and did something else instead.
Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star
If your precious bundle of joy is seriously down with the sickness, help ease them into a restful slumber with this lullaby version of “Down With the Sickness” from Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star, who have been sending babies to dreamland via reimagined rock and metal hits for years now.
Drewsif Stalin's Musical Endeavors
This one emerged in 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic began to dramatically impact North America. Opening with media clips that show Donald Trump downplaying the severity of the contagion, obviously feeding off the concept of sickness. Drewsif Stalin uses the element of surprise here, switching between hard rock and deathcore-esque passages without warning.
Okay, there’s a lot to unpack here. First, who ever would’ve guessed that the two glasses of wine that are poured in the beginning would later have a critical musical application over that unforgettable Disturbed chorus? This level of reimagining is truly impressive. Despite being led by acoustic guitars and a piano, this is rather forceful.
This One-Take Vocal Cover
Because we all can’t resist watching vocal covers on YouTube, right? So, why this one? Dude is in an argyle sweater vest, how could we not click and see what’s up? He’s got passion, even if the “Ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah” sounds like a squawking bird. Look at those facial expressions! At some points, we’re even convinced he’s been possessed, that the demon in him has indeed awakened. Props.
This TikTok Video Because It's Just Too Funny
It’s just stupid how hard we laughed over this. And how hard we still laugh 50 times later.