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Customer Reviews: 2
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Helpful Votes: 26

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Price: $12.98
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very well executed, but not returning to Stanley Pain style., October 24, 2000
This review is from: Effector (Audio CD)
Effector is a very solid release for Download, and will prove to be the most accessible material Key and Philth have released yet. However, I can't help but be somewhat disappointed with 'Effector' for the same reasons that I disliked 'III': as it lacked the industrial ambition and raw noise experimentation that "Stanley Pain" had. Reading all of the hype leading up this album, and reading quotes from Key himself, I admit that I was expecting a return to the angry noise aggression style Download had on stanley pain. Just to clarify things for everyone else - Effector follows in the same direction as III and does NOT pick up where stanley pain left off.
This does not make Effector bad though. What Ive come to realize is that Download will never return to the style on Stanley Pain for the simple reason that all those crazy noise samples that made you wonder "how the f@&k did they do that???" were courtesy of the now deceased Dwayne Goettel. Even Key himself claims that Dwayne was capable of things no one else was capable of - so rather than dwell on the fact that Download is going in a different direction, let's admire what Key and Philth have to give us in the present, and give the respect that is due to Effector.
In my opinion, this is just a tad better than III. For one thing, Effector has some really catchy hooks that make the album an entertaining listen rather than just something you have in the background, as was the case with III. (especially the last track "affirmed" which kind of resembles a noise unit track). The dark ambience and evil serene feel is almost exactly the same as that felt on III, only this time it has the melodies to complement it. There's also a great deal of vocal sampling, which makes Effector more interesting as well. But most importantly, Effector presents s sonic structure that is much more complex than the one III, and it consequently paints a stronger vision: the dark samples and ambience contrast very well with catchy melodies that fade in and out, and some really unique hip hop and acid house beats. Be sure to check out "Carrier Tone" for the epitome of this mixture - that's one killer track! The mixture of these elements just combine so much better than they did on III. It also makes Effector a more fluid listen - as I dont feel compelled to skip tracks like I did on III. In other words, Effector is more of a perfection of the style on III, as opposed to a direct growth out of the stanley pain era.
But honestly, I liked it better when Download was about making noises purposely intended not to be melodic whatsoever, and when their beats where hard and pounding. (which is why I cant help but rate this as 4 stars) But now they've evolved into a more mature, laid back and accessible territory sort of along the lines of DJ Spooky or Juno Reactor , and they are now a cut above the rest, whereas I wouldn't ahve said so with III. So rather than yearning for those old hardcore industrial days, appreciate the fine piece of mastery Effector is, and enjoy it for what its worth.

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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Title?, June 6, 2000
This review is from: Aenima (Audio CD)
Aenema is the sonic equivalent of descending into a hellishchaos of nightmare conceived emotion, only to be lifted upwards intoan explosion of enlightenment and spiritual growth. The album's cover set this sentiment perfectly for me ... a white flash of light.. a near death experience that one must pursue while delighting in the audio landscapes that these incredible musicians have pulled off. And while the essence of your soul is englufed by its uncomprimising dark melodies, and anger filled exploding guitar riffs... and when its all done, your mind and soul have spiraled off into countless tangents... (the eyes of which emerge from the flash of white light)
This album defies easy categorization, becuase it is trluy original. This is not the death metal of fear factory / sepultura. Nor is it the subdued, compromised metal of the early 90's grunge era. This is tool. say no more. The music is cerebral and spiritual, and concentrates more on mood and emotion rather than just simply pummeling your brains out of your ears.
But as I mentioned before, "Aenema" is MUCH more. Unlike "Undertow", Aenema is constantly elapsing into new and ethereal territory, as each track rolls right off the other. These tracks arent really "songs" per say, but they set the mood for the power of each upcoming track. For those of you who consider these "space fillers", you are COMPLETELY wrong. Great care was taken with respect to the placement of the tracks, so as they could fluctuate the listener's mood as much as possible. If you can't listen to the album all the way through, then you are missing the essence of the album itself.
Be sure to check out the cut "Forty Six and 2" which has the best bassline of all time. The subsequent feel to it rings of early goth bands like Joy Division. "Hooker with A Penis" is consumed by gigantic metal-punk guitar riffs while elapsing into the semi melodic song structure that Tool executes so very well on this album. The title track is a satirical poke at Hollywood and the pop culture life, as Maynard exclaims in one of the best lyrics of all time : "Here in this hopeless f------ hole we call LA The only way to fix it is to flush it all away. Any f------ time. Any f------ day. Learn to swim, I'll see you down in Arizona bay." And last but not least is the stunning, and lengthy masterpiece that is "Eulogy". "Eulogy" is a symphony for heavy metal. The song structure is highly complex, opening with a soft collage of eerie basslines and soft percussion before being pummeled by loud guitars and maynard's screaming. The song quickly morphs into a defiant, hell ridden piece. In all of its 8 minutes, there is not one minute like an other.
But perhaps the best part of this album is Maynard's lyrics. They represent a spiritual journey through darkened realms... whether he yells, sings softly to us, whispers - he is the most dynamic frontman out there today. He is intelligent, as is Tool's music.
Heavy Metal as Mozart would have wrote it. Its beautfiful in its structure and compostion, yet ominous and seething with dark emotion. One of the best albums of all time... from any genre! A brilliantly executed masterpiece. HIGHLY RECCOMENDED!

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