There are many covers of the folk-rock classic The Sound of Silence. Peyton Parrish’s cover distinguishes itself by being a take on Disturbed’s make-over of the song rather than the Simon and Garfunkel original. Given the popularity of the Disturbed version (892M YouTube views) and the loyalty of Disturbed fans, Parrish is clearly a confident man.
From the outset, it is clear that Parrish is not simply copying Disturbed. Whereas Disturbed’s David Draiman starts singing against a melodic piano backdrop, Peyton Parrish’s take soon incorporates a drone that sets up his throaty low-bass take on the opening lines, which contrasts with Draiman’s less growly, more operatic baritone.
Another difference is that Disturbed builds to an overblown orchestrated climax whereas Peyton Parrish achieves a similar effect with greater reliance on traditional rock instruments. Stephyjay captures the tenor of the comments: “If people look at this as an evolution of the track rather than a cover they should appreciate it so much more! Simon & Garfunkle created a masterpiece, Disturbed gave it a raw haunting vibe, you built on it and made it more intense! Each version is epic and unique.”
Peyton Parrish’s most recent album, The Most Magical Album On Earth, was released on 24 February 2023. The album is a collection of Disney covers from the last 30 odd years including tracks from Mulan, Pocahontas, Frozen, The Lion King, Hercules, Aladdin, and Tarzan. Here is Hoist The Colours from Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End. The song is an exciting mix of sea shanty and Parrish’s Viking rock. Posted the day before the album’s release, the song already has 1.1M Youtube views.
Born in Washington DC in November 1996. Parrish’s family moved to LA when he was young. After high school, Parrish returned to Washington to attend college. In 2016 he started releasing music on social media. Initially, his sound was pop-country, but his music became heavier and more rock-influenced. This trend became more pronounced when Parrish started exploring his interest in Viking mythology and Nordic metal while exploring the more throaty low end of his vocal range.
Parrish’s breakthrough came when he released a cover of My Mother Told Me from the Assassin’s Creed Valhalla video game in 2020. The song not only went viral but it was included in the TV show Vikings. In the same year, Peyton Parrish released his debut album Cowboy Man, which included 29 songs! The Viking-chant influenced song Ragnarök went viral. With 9.9M views it remains Parrish’s third most popular Youtube video.
In August 2022, Parrish released the Viking-themed album Rise of the Vikingr. The album incorporates chants with heavy metal and includes themes of what Ikedichim Chibundu describes as Viking life, love, family war, and the pursuit of victory.
The Viking angle has worked well for Peyton Parrish. His top four videos on Youtube are all Viking themed. His most popular video is a collaboration with Miracle of Sound. Miracle of Sound is the name Gavin Dunne, an Irishman, uses for his one-man music productions and occasional collaborations. The collaboration between Miracle of Sound and Parrish is Valhalla Calling from Assassin’s Creed. It has 25M views on YouTube.
Interestingly, Parrish’s fourth most popular video is I’ll Make A Man Out Of You from Mulan, which was posted a year before he released his recent Disney record (and further videos of his covers of Disney songs). Perhaps, in time, Peyton Parrish will be better known for his Disney covers than for his Viking forrays. If you would like to see more from Peyton Parrish, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or follow him on Instagram.
Below is Disturbed’s version of “Sound of Silence” so you can listen and compare the two for your own tastes. Both have been recognized as worthy covers of this classic song.