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Tool are a Californian band who formed at the begininng of the 90's. they have six albums to date, Undertow, Opiate, Aenima, Lateralus, Salival and 10,000 days.
The bands style is progressive rock, using complex riffs and time signatures to create an amazing sound.
The band consists of Maynard James Keenan on vocals who has one of the best voices in the world in my opinon. Danny Carey who is an amazing drummer. Justin Chancellor on the bass and Adam Jones on guitar who are both fantastic.
Adam Jones is also an accomplished visual effects artist who does many of the videos for the band and also he has helped in some major Hollywood films including Jurassic Park and Terminator 2: Judgement day. He also helps to design the album covers and the live stage show effects when the band play live. I have seen this band live and they are unbelievable, a real joy.
Lateralus is a fantastic album with some amazingly well written and produced songs, a must listen for any true music fans.
My favourite album of all time. Lateralus has some incredible haunting vocals and really intense proggy riffs with an experimental edge. Every single track on this album is excellent, particularly the tranistion between 'Parabol' and 'Parabola.' Vocals alternate between being incredibly loud and powerful to light and delicate. I have nothing bad to say about this album. It is best if you just let each track play after the other, paying attention to the subtle nuances of each note, while appreciating the album in its entirety. This remarkable piece of powerful fusion-conscious art transcends the intense anger that fuels it, creating such awesome and unique bitersweet sonic progression, with visceral and minimalistic textures, as well as elements of Far Eastern music. This is the band's Magnum Opus. For fans of A Perfect Circle, Radiohead, Pelican, Red, Nine Inch Nails, Porcupine Tree and even Led Zeppelin.
The album artwork is also excellent, impressive in that it simultaneously combines Christian Iconography, Far Eastern art and medical imagery, giving an all-over alien feel (For an example, see the accompanying image, which can be stripped away piece by piece in the book-sleeve.)
Maynard James Keenan (vocals)
Danny Carey (drums)
Adam Jones (guitar)
Justin Chancellor (bass).
Tool is an American progressive rock/metal band formed around 1990 in California, United States.
They currently have 6 major releases: Opiate, Undertow, Aenima, Salival, Lateralus, 10,000 Days.
Tool's style isn't the easiest thing to explain. They are a band known for combining hard rock with a wide variety of progressive structures, irregular time signatures and amazing lyrics that range from anger to philosophical and social matters.
In a interview, it was said that the band's name stands for how they want their music to be a tool to aid in understanding lachrymology.
"One of the unifying forces in the band is the philosophy/religion known as Lachrymology. Lachrymology translates literally to "the study of crying." The basic tenet, evident in the band's music, is that the greatest road to advancement is through pain--emotional and physical. Hence the band's name."
Early on, Tool toured with Rollins Band, Rage Against The Machine and Fishbone. Eventually, they moved from second stage to main stage where they pretty much blew everyone away.
They have gone on to win Grammy Awards, perform worldwide tours, and produce albums that top the charts in several countries.
So what exactly does the word ''Lateralus' mean?
In an interview Maynard said, "Lateralus itself is actually a muscle and although the title does have something to do with the muscle, it's more about lateral thinking and how the only way to really evolve as an artist -- or as a human, I think -- is to start trying to think outside of the lines and push your boundaries. Kind of take yourself where you haven't been and put yourself in different shoes; all of those cliches."
1. Grudge - My view is that this song is a small portion of what the whole album was meant to represent: living as a human being. The Grudge is an attempt to show the futility in bearing a grudge and intolerance.
"Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity, Calculate what you will or will not tolerate."
2. Eon Blue Apocalypse - Beautiful instrumental. If you close your eyes you can really lose yourself in the music. Eon = A long period of time, Blue = A color often associated with serenity, plainness, bordom or maybe sadness, Apocalypse = The end. (So, "Long boring/sad end".)
3. Patient - I think this song is about the vampires that you come across in your life, who try to get you down. Fantastic melodic song, doesn't stay soft for long!
"But I'm still right here, givin' blood, keepin' faith and I'm still right here."
4. Mantra - Another very strange instrumental. This track is the sound of Maynard squeezing one of his Siamese cats. (Lovely, huh.) The cat made such a weird noise that he immediately recorded this, played it real slow and made a track out of it.
5. Schism - This song has a bunch of meanings, one is peices of a whole breaking apart, and another is a seperation from the church of christ.
"I know the pieces fit 'cause I watched them tumble down."
6. Parabol - This song is pretty much a beginning to Parabola, and it flows beautifully into it. Maynards voice is so haunting on this song, and it is saying that he is looking forward to things that may come, and that "we are eternal" and that "all this pain is an illusion".
"Embracing you, this reality here, This one, this form I hold now, So wide-eyed and hopeful"
7. Parabola - Amazing, beautiful song. One of my favourite Tool songs. The song is about the existence of life. Everybody has a soul which is held by a body. The body and the soul together are life. You feel pain and happiness in the body, if you die in the body, your soul will still be around.
"We barely remember who or what came before this precious moment. We are choosing to be here right now, hold on, stay inside"
8. Ticks And Leeches - Another one of my favorite song on Lateralus. I absolutely love the anger in his voice. I think the meaning is simply about people that constantly beat you down and try to take everything away and hoping it gets back to them one day.
"Suckin' up all you can, suckin' up all you can suck and suck, Workin' up under my patience like a little tick"
9. Lateralus - To me, the song is simply about appreciating life for what it is, and enjoying it. Awesome heavy song, very cryptic.
"Over thinking, over analyzing, separate the body from the mind"
10. Disposition - I feel like in this song, Maynard is trying to say step back, and look at the big picture, how beautiful it is, and watch how it can change. Beautiful melody.
"Mention this to me, Mention something, mention anything"
11. Reflection - This is truly a masterful and beautiful song. The mezmorizing drum beats are almost hypnotic. I think this song is about instead of pulling away from sadness and instead of fighting depression, just letting it all go and fall as deep as one can and by going through the sadness you reach the emptiness where there are nothing that controls you, you are finally free.
"And in my darkest moment, fetal and weepin', The moon tells me a secret, my confidant"
12. Triad - It's an instrumental. No vocals. That leaves the guitar, bass, and drums. A triad.
13. Faaip De Oiad - This is scary. I can't even describe it. Scary and odd. The best meaning I can extract for "Faiip de Oiad" is that it is Enochian for "Voice of God." An interesting (and fitting) ending to an absolute masterpiece of an album.
"I don't have a whole lot of, of time. Um, OK, I'm a former employee of Area 51. I, I was let go on a medical discharge about a week ago and, and . . ."
Amazing lyrics and vocals. Everything about this album and this band is brilliant. How songs start off soft and get heavy, the way the drums can mesmorize you and really pull you into the music. I turn the lights off and lay back and listen to the album. It leaves me in almost a trance-like state. Stunning album.
If you like melodic, thoughtful, powerful hard rock, then quite simply, you need this album in your collection. Musically and lyrically this album is one which will encourage you to think.
There's something strangely haunting in Tool's performance on Lateralus - an organic, yet maticulously calculated feel to the music, that digs underneath your skin and infects your mind with it's unusual rhythms, philosophical and circular lyrics and meditative feel.
The opening track "The Grudge" may sound unstructured to some - with it's extremely unsual 10/8 metre and multiple sections. It really is a masterpiece in itself - an excellent opening track that brims with such power, yet never suffers from the "wall of sound" feel that some metal bands produce. There's so much going on rhythmically, that you can hear something new every time you listen. Drummer, Dan Carey has really outdone himself hear - with his tight, and unique musical approach to drumming.
Oddly, the band have included several atmospheric interludes on this album ("Eon Blue Apocalypse" and "Mantra"). I approach these with mild interest but, of course, would never listen to them as isolated "songs". Think of them more as mood builders - calm, yet weaving something dark inbetween the heavier, rock tracks.
The stars of this albums are surely the twin tracks "Parable" and "Parabola" - the first is like a distant echo of the second - with it's monk-like chanting and gently phasing guitars, it feels like a musical wave is descending upon you. Three minutes and four seconds later, the wave crashes over your head and the song explodes into a blazing rock track. Other notable tracks are the voice-destroying "Ticks and Leeches" (a song which vocalist Maynard James Keenan will rarely sing live) and the hyponotic, deep, mathematical rhythms of "Lateralus". Dan Carey jokingly described the time signature of this song to be 6.5/4 - a metre which is more correctly expressed as 13/8.
I am told there is a great significance behind the timings in this album - the grouping of tracks, the structure of the words in the verses. Some of them I can identify - others are far to complex for me to comprehend. I am reliably informed they all point towards a singular spiralling pattern. Interestingly, their most recent album "10,000 Days" features a Fibonacci spiral of eyes on the disc... perpetuated these themes of circularity and spiralling.
This album, like 10,000 Days, requires some work to fully appreciate. It is deeply atmospheric and very "heavy" in a non-traditional sense. There is little of what I would call "guitar chugging". The beastliness of this music is built up through the careful construction of rhythms, use of silence, repeating themes and lyrics which are very open to interpretation. This is truly artistic music.
Easily one of the best albums i have ever heard - Advantages: The Grudge - superb song, Mixing Heavy rock with more melodic tinkerings - brilliant, The Saga of Parabol + Parabola. - Disadvantages: it hasnt been heard by enough people.
TOOL are not the kind of band I would normally listen to. Opiate is OK, I?ve only ever heard Undertow once and can?t remember much about it. Aenima starts well but gets bombastic and rather repetitive ? though never generic. Lateralus is something entirely different and new. I was given the album to listen to by a friend at work. All well and good. He seemed to have a canny knack for knowing what I?d like, which is odd as I usually dislike anything my friends listen to, and vice versa. So I slipped the CD into the drive and put on my headphones. I can?t quite describe what I felt the first time around. I think I was somewhat in shock. I had expected to feel a bit, well, under whelmed, disinterested, even dismissive. What I felt ? what I feel now ? is the complete reverse. Lateralus is a fantastic album. Different people seem to put it into a different musical genre. To me this is superfluous, you can call it soul metal, heavy rock, progressive metal, whatever, it?s all pretty meaningless compared to the actual results: to the music. Lateralus to my mind is a huge musical leap for TOOL from anything they had done previously. It is a more mature work; it is not as bombastic as some of their earlier albums. I realise most TOOL fans probably won?t agree with this assertion but the album feels to me to be something greater than the sum of its parts. Something fresher, newer and altogether original. It is as if TOOL are finding their own place away from either the mainstream or the sidelines. They have created their own sonic space in Lateralus, and have populated it with their own unique sound. It is difficult to pin down what that sound is. There is a definite soulfulness to the music ? though not in the sense of ?soul music?. Many have said that Maynard James Keenan?s voice hints at an emotion sensitivity. Personally I think his voice is amazing. He has the talent to use his voice like an instrument, a sk
ill few vocalists genuinely possess. There is sensitivity, also vulnerability. He is also expressive and I believe quite eloquent, even when angry or screeching his lyrics. When he screams Keenan?s voice seems to tear your ears apart. When he whispers as on Disposition you find yourself straining to hear the sounds and they seem to emanate from the centre of his soul. It is quite staggering. The music though has energy to it. It?s not just loud ? and some of it is very loud. Even when the music is so soft as to be barely audible it has the same tension that I associate with baroque music. Witness tracks like Parabol and Parabola which run into one another. The former track starts off quietly, almost ponderously (and is beautiful), then CRASH, suddenly Parabola hits you, the guitar smashing you right in the face. It?s brilliant. There is a sense of continuity like a 70s progressive concept album but without any pointless noddling or pretentiousness. Disposition, Reflection and Triad (almost the last three tracks on the album) can be listened to separately but run on together to make a whole ? 20 minutes of music excellence that just seems to flow. I think the album is epitomised by two tracks: Lateralus and The Grudge, both of which travel between tense, soulful vulnerability to loud, rocking guitars and Keenan?s screaming voice. Though I have forgotten the drumming. For there is some absolutely stunning drumming on this album. A friend of mine cannot even listen to Lateralus at work for the time signatures mess with her head and she can?t concentrate on her work. For me that?s the mark of a great album. I do have one gripe though. Ticks and Leeches. This track starts off fantastically, with some genuinely great drumming. Guitar kicks in, still excellent? then Keenan?s screeches and? I just find it get?s too much, it sounds a little like it should have come from an earlier album. I find it unsubtle c
ompared to the erudition of the rest of the album. But don?t let it spoil it for me. I find this album wonderfully relaxing. When I?m tense I don?t want a chillout CD, I want something that?s tense and emotive. Lateralus is that, and more! All I can suggest is try it. Look at me, I thought, gawd, please, no ? I don?t want to listen to this. The only reason I consented was that TOOL had toured with King Crimson, who I love. So? And, like the man said (though does anyone know who that man was?): the rest is history
Its taken 5 long years for the boys at tool, who not only match their last album on par, but blow metal music apart and create their own genre inside the world of metal, its been 5 years....but this has been worth every minute. If you haven't heard of tool yet chances are you wouldn't have even seen their album in the shops, the album it self, has no writing on it whatsoever, not even an indication of the band name, only tool fans can recognise the style, the cover actually made up of many different layers to show a 3D effect and already, you can see how different tool have aimed to be. And thats even before you have played the music, tool although will not be everyones taste. If you aren't patient with your music and you want to get straight into the song, tool is not for you, most songs are around 7 or 8 minutes long on average, and many songs take a long time to get into, although for many that is the beauty of tools work, the music builds up and waiting with the music is very rewarding, although many could become impatient, this is the sort of music you can relax to, play it before you sleep, i warn you, this is NOT party album, it is best appreciated alone so you can hang onto every noise tool make. Songs such as "The patient" and "schism" show Tools talent, and that their music dares to be different so much, they are trying to re-invent music. They bring tunes together with tracks such as "Mantra" and "faaip de Oaid" link the album together, and reflect the mood of the music perfectly although neither are songs really, just little add ons helping you appreciate the mood of the album, "mantra" actually sounding like whales calling, very atmosphetic. Altogether the album stands out from anything in the metal scene or any other genre of music for that matter. Some may tire of the tracks being too long, or taking too long to start, but tool want to build you up and smash you down aga
in, ready to rebuild again. Lateralus is a revoulution itself for music everywhere, and once listening to it you can't help feeling you've just witnessed something special....the truth is...you have.
I can only begin to imagine the pressure put on Tool's shoulders over the past few years; Aenima accomplished and embodied what few albums can. It was complete, alarmingly deep, meticulous, and more importantly, it's own being. It was created as if in a musical void, absent of influence and resemblence. In fact, I can confidently proclaim that Aenima is among the ten best albums of the 90's. So how do you even begin to top an epic such as Aenima, or even match the scale of Aenima for that matter? While I can't tell you how, I can clue you into something that most Tool fans shouldn't find surprising: Tool have found the way, and have followed the path. That's right, I believe that Lateralus has topped Aenima. Now, I'm not saying this after having heard the album only several times. I have listened through the entire album over a dozen times already, trying to digest every bit of the album and make as much sense of it as I can. In the months to come I will no doubt discover new subtleties, new perspectives, etc... Aenima continues to grow on me to this day, even after having owned the album for 2 years. Lateralus is ferociously true to Tool's sound, musicianship, and style. At times the music drifts in a quiet daze with soft, resonant guitars accompanying Maynard's soothing voice, while at other times the pounding tom-toms and double bass drums tears through the musical landscape, fueled by Maynard's thick, rough wails. As a vocalist, Maynard has grown far beyond his capabilities showcased on Aenima. He now tries for more daring melodies with a thicker, more firm voice. The vocal effects are few on Lateralus, as they should be. Maynard's voice has approached the threshold of perfection, and there is no reason to tamper with perfection. The percussion is also a standout on Lateralus. Quiet bongos, chirps, clicks and more underline each song's progression adding an edge to the music
unlike any other. The percussion is far more prevalent on Lateralus than on Aenima; this is only a testament to Tool's meticulous nature and maturity. On a whole, Lateralus is definitely a more angered Tool. "Parabola" and "Ticks & Leeches" feature some of Tool's most vicious material since their earlier material. The last few riffs and tempos on "Ticks & Leeches" are about as "metal" as Tool have ever sounded. This is not to say that the entire album is marred by overly ferocious overtones...the soothing, introspective moments remain, and are in great abundance across the album, even in the heavier songs. Above all else, however, Lateralus demonstrates maturity. I'd say that in general maturity is the album's motif; song structures are more intricate, the guitar work is more daring, and the vocals are near perfection. Lateralus is the product of a more wise, venerable Tool. Highlights of the album include "The Grudge," a strong, high-impact opening track, "Schism", the album's shining, beautiful single with incredible melodies, and "Reflection", an 11-minute long voyage through percussion solos and vocal magic by Maynard. What more can I say? This album will undoubtedly take several months to grow on me...ideally I would review the album in several months time, however it's only fitting to write a review now. Honestly, give Lateralus a listen. Give it several listens. When it starts to make sense you'll be dumbfounded and hopelessly addicted. And if any of you were privileged enough to get tickets to any of their shows, I envy you. It will undoubtedly be one of the year's best performances. Visit Tool's website at: www.toolband.com
I have been a great Tool fan for about a year now, after I was recommended their Aenima album by a close friend. Needless to say, I was very excited to discover that they were releasing another album, their fourth, and I made sure that I bought it as soon as was possible. Lateralus is a true musical master piece, it is filled with tiny portraits made of highly complicated sound riffs, and in other places, it will baffle you with a massive array of sound, all meshed together as a battering wall of sound. Even the cover art is made of intricate layers, but this time they are layers of pictures on transparent sheets of plastic, so when the cover is completely closed, it gives the idea of a not quite human figure in a spiritual situation, which when you turn the pages of the leaflet will uncover another layer, until you are left with the bones alone. The songs are all very different, they range from some being very heavy and dark to others which can be very slow and harmonic. Maynard James Keenan’s voice is exquisite in its capacity to ululate from the highest tones, to the lowest of gravel scraping moans. He is one of the true musical geniuses of our modern day, and he has musical talent to outrun any of these modern manufactured bands that are chosen for their fresh P.C. faces instead of any skills which they do not posses. Maynard and the rest of Tool are a veritable undiscovered master piece who have almost been overlooked because of the metal genre which they are a part of. Unlike many other metal bands though, Tool is multi purpose music to which you can either sit back and just enjoy the sound of Maynard’s voice, or you can go deeper and surround yourself with the complicated vocal patterns. I highly recommend this CD to anyone who has even the vaguest interest in music, because not only has it brought me many hours of meditative listening pleasure, but also because it got higher in the chars than Madonna.
In my opinion, this album is narrowly better than the masterpiece 'Aenima'. Okay, so it doesn't have as good an ending or beginning as Aenima but overall this is the Tool album which is consistently best throughout. 1.The grudge - solid 8 minute opener. It is a good start to the album and is heavyish in places. I particularly like the 20 second scream Maynard emits 6 minutes in. 2. Eon blue apocalypse - a 40 second filler which is quite good. I was pleased to see that tool have discarded the artsy fillers that appeared on Aenima in favour of these musical interludes. 3. The patient - my favourite track. I love the intro. Maynard's voice is sublime. 4. Mantra -filler. Although not strictly musical, this fits in well and adds to the great atmosphere of the record. 5. Schism - the most accessible track on the album. This is very original and is one of the best songs. 6. Parabol -this song can be read as the intro to Parabola or as a song in its own right. I like it. It's quite emotional. 7. Parabola - for once no long intro, straight in there! This is a great rock song. 8. Ticks and leeches - the heaviest song on the album. This is another great song. It starts with a great drum intro and has a mellow part in the middle. 9. Lateralus - yet another great song! Begins quietly before building up into a loudish chorus. The instrumental part is great and the bass is fantastic. 10. Disposition - the mellowest song. I like this. It's nice and contemplative. 11. Reflection - my least favourite song. Its okay but it does get a little bit monotonous. This is also the longest song on the record (11 mins). 12. Triad - instrumental closer. This is okay but not as good as some of the other songs. 13. The last song is a creepy and suitable ending to a classic record.
combining heavy rock riffs and soft mellow tunes is not an easy task to pull off. but once again they have shown brilliance in this album. nearly every song (not including short interludes) last about 7-9 minutes. you might say (how boring) but in reality it is quite different. with a talent such as tool a song that lasts nine minutes you just want it to go on longer. it is hard to describe tools unique style but its as if the instruments aren't played in sync. which normally i would feel is not a good thing however tools sound is great and everyone should definately get a listen to this album. if you heard the single (schism) and you wanted more like that then you are in for a treat because although the songs are all quite different they follow the same pattern. if there is one album to get this year its this.
OK, so Tool have not long since release their fourth album, but is it any good ? Are they still the same? Is it worth investing in? . Well the answer to all of these is quite simply, YES. For those who are unfamiliar with Tool, They are a band who formed in Los Angeles in the early 90s, and went through various styles and stages while developing into the powerful band they are today. The line-up consists of:- Maynard James Keenan.....vocals Adam Jones.....guitar Justin Chancellor.....bass ( ex-Peach) Danny Carey.....drums. I bought Lateralus after only hearing their third album Aenima which blew me away. On my first listen to Lateralus it sounded very loud, as if the sound engineers have left the treble up to high or something, but it turned out to be my new headphone that were dodgy! After really listening to the album though (3 full runs) I would have to say that Tool still remain Tool, their sound is of the same type (not the new rap/metal rubbish that every new band seem to adopt), and keeping in tune with earlier albums they have one or two experimental tracks too. One of the more unusual tracks is called ‘ Reflection ‘ and its a kind of trance track that pulls you in, and you feel yourself drifting away. Ticks and Leeches is another favourite of mine with it's splendid guitar and drums. The tracks are:- 1. The Grudge 2. Eon Blue Apocalypse (no lyrics) 3. The Patient 4. Mantra (no lyrics) 5. Schism 6. Parabol (an intro to Parabola) 7. Parabola 8. Ticks and Leeches 9. Lateralus 10. Disposition 11. Reflection 12. Triad 13. Faaip de Oiad Away from the Album, I think I should mention that only a few weeks after I bought the Album, I went to see them at Glasgow Barrowlands, and I can honestly say it was a concert of a lifetime. So after all
that, yes it’s a great album and I have yet to hear a fan criticize it, so if purchasing this Lateralus is something you have been thinking about, and you enjoyed their older stuff, then get it quick before the shops run out. It can be quite difficult getting hold of their stuff, so be warned.
Tool are finally back to save the world from the rise of mediocre Nu-metal bands, or so the music press would have you believe. One thing is for certain Tool do stand head and shoulders clear of the majority of the pack of rabid rock bands breaking through into the mainstream. Tool are not a band happy in following the latest trends in rock music, there’s no concessions to hip hop beats and white boy rap to be found in Tools sounds. Instead Tool plough a musical route uniquely their own, adding a degree more intelligent and innovation to a genre to happy to dum itself down to appeal to the lowest common denominator. On Lateralus, Tool resume their musical journey which began with the average Undertow (1993) to the sprawling experiment of Aenima (1996). As you may have noticed there is a gap of five years between the release of Aenima and Lateralus. Normally such a gap in time is a worrying sign; for most bands such a period of inactivity normally spells disastrous results. Tool have however managed to use this span of time to regroup and strengthen their music. Leader sing Maynard James Keenan presence in A Perfect Circle and Tapeworm (Trent Reznor’s on hold side project) may have caused rumours of Tool’s demise, but Lateralus proves that Tool are back stronger than ever. Lateralus begins with ‘The Grudge’. A track grounded in low end rhythmic funk and subdued electronic pulses and swirls. The song slowly builds with layer upon layer of structure being added, firstly the drums added a tribal weight to the track, then the cut off guitar riffs cut in , bringing with them Maynard’s unique voice. The song then chains itself to an ever evolving dynamic (a typical Tool ploy) moving almost mathematically from slow to fast and back again. The song then explodes into a controlled violent collapse towards the end. Even though the song clocks in around the eight minute mark it still maintains itself for the duration.
216;The Grudge’ sets a precedence for the whole of Lateralus and that is of the epic song, the majority of the songs of the album weight in over six minutes. Some could claim this was verging on prog rock style indulgence, sure this would be a fair enough claim if Tool’s music was over elaborate but instead it stripped down to the bare essentials, no fat just pure muscle. The next two tracks ‘Eon Blue Apocalypse’ and ‘The Patient’ blend into each other so smoothly that I was unaware they were two separate tracks until I checked the CD counter and found out I was mysteriously on track four. ‘Eon Blue Apocalypse’ acts as an atmospheric intro to ‘The Patient’ all fragile guitar lines, subtle bass and drifting electronic sounds. ’The Patient’ then erupts from this gentle stillness with heavy riffing and a low end bass drawl. The song then builds and falls like waves slamming into a beach as small guitar breaks spiral in and out like flotsam carried within. What follows is like the uneasy silence after the storm, the track ’Mantra’ is full of electronic drones and cut up eldritch voices that act like sutures joining ’The Patient” to the next epic track ’Schism’. ’Schism’ is another mammoth song, marked by clever use of rhythm and counter rhythms. The song seems to tumble through a library of different beats as guitars are reduced to soaring repetive chords, which suddenly attack with immense power only to disappear within the blinking of an eye. Tool manage to keep pulling off the trick of sucking the listener in an undulating vortex of sound. Following the pattern set by the rest of the album, the next two tracks ‘Parabol’ and “Parabola” are part of the same beast. ‘Parabol’ is another slow atmospheric track, all echoing cymbal crashes and twanging guitar lines which creates a mystical fe
eling. Then ‘Parabola’ begins with weighty guitars that sound like they are tearing apart the sky. Tool couple this to more dynamic twists and turns and Maynard’s soaring vocals creating a listening experience that sounds like a modern take upon the best of Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. Just as your think you’ve sussed the song it ends by transforming itself back into the quiet moments of ‘Parabol’ One thing to say about Lateralus is that it doesn’t contain many (if any) potential singles. The nearest we get is ‘Ticks and Leeches’ which could be a release if it wasn’t for it’s length. The track begins with more tribal rhythms, this time laced with feedback laden guitars. Maynard’s vocals move from a scream to a sigh in the length of a verse. The lyrics seem to be an attack on the parasites in the world and in particular the music industry, especially the people who want to shape Tool in their own image. I could be wrong but the line “I hope your choking, I hope you choke on this” is delivered with such venom, you don’t want to be at the receiving end of it. As seems common place at the moment, the album moves onto the title track. ‘Lateralus’ itself stretches well past the ten minute mark. It also follows the now (un)familiar Tool formula of building on rhythm and dynamics. Again it’s a good track but it’s hard to separate it from all the other epics that appear on the album. The next two tracks ‘Dislocation’ and ‘Reflection’ see Tool slip on their experimenting heads again. Both tracks see the use of Middle Eastern melodies and percussion. ‘Dislocation’ is a quieter number, all trippy beats and eastern string sounds. I strong psychedelic number that sees Tool experimenting in a highly successful way. The lyrics “Watch the weather change” fit perfectly the metamorphosis of Tool&
#8217;s direction. ‘Reflection’ starts with a liquid drum sound, phased electronics and stuttering guitar riffs. Middle Eastern strings are then added to the brew adding another layer of complexity. Maynard’s vocals are also placed through a variety of effects and at one point sound like they are being sucked backwards. ‘Reflection’ sits perfectly with ’Dislocation’ as stunning pieces of psychedelic influenced metal for the new millennium. ‘Triad’ then brings the album to it’s logical conclusion combining the best moments of the previous two tracks with the rhythmic assaults of the earlier tracks. A perfect ending to the album, which can not be spoilt by the strange alien conspiracy sampling noise experiment of ‘Fraaip De Oiad’ that closes the album. Lateralus is probably going to be one of the benchmark rock albums of the year. It also provides that metal doesn’t have to be about down tuned guitars and adolescent rage. Tool prove that ideas and ambition are far more important than the size of your trousers or how down with the kids you are. If you want to be impressed by the power and innovation of rock music look no further than Lateralus.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 The Grudge
2 Eon Blue Apocalypse
3 The Patient
8 Ticks & Leeches
13 Faaip De Oiad