- • A NARM/Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Definitive 200 Albums title.
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Few bands have a collegiality that matches that of Tool. With the exception of drummer Danny Carey, this is not a band of virtuoso musicians. What separates them from the rest is their united, progressive artistic vision and originality. Danny Carey's drumming is octopus-like, modulating every passage with rhythms I can't begin to understand. Put together with rest of the crew, the opaque instrumentation creates music of endless shades and layers, with time signature changes a supercomputer couldn't crack. There is magic here. Powerful, crunching riffs are foiled often by placid, narcotic passages, generating an album that only rarely "rocks." Instead, it's heavily cerebral, dark, beautiful...and ultimately indefinable. For a band that's selling millions of albums and getting mainstream recognition, they still carry an uncompromising progressive aesthetic.
Ignore those who make the asinine comment that "Tool sold out." All other factors being equal, this is Tool's _least_ commercially viable album. Frankly, I think it's fairly remarkable that they passed off a 7-minute music video ("Schism") onto MTV. (Credit the amusingly surreal video, I guess.) I guess when a band like this becomes popular, the so-called fans dismiss quality for the sake of remaining "hardcore.Read more ›
If you are still reading, I have not yet been dismissed as a sycophantic Tool freak. This album is a uniquely spiritual experience for me. It can be heavy and dark and brooding, but ultimately _Lateralus_ is cathartic for the soul. Even "Ticks & Leeches", the angriest song on the album, is a purifying release. The culmination of the record's power, found in the "Discipline/Reflection/Triad" trilogy, is like the musical embodiment of a spiritual sojourn -- the soulful cry of Adam Jones' guitar, the crippling rumble of Justin Chancellor's bass, the elephant stampede of Danny Carey's drums, the winding croon of Maynard James Keenan's vocal. Individually, they are interesting but it is their magical synergy that makes Tool unique (among other things). No band creates the aural panorama Tool does -- no one comes anywhere close. They are utterly beyond compare. I would trace back some influence to King Crimson, obviously, but I believe influences are also rooted in abstract mathematics and the ancient musical vernacular of Africa, and who knows what else.
Now I'm probably just sounding capricious and fanciful. I thought I was coming to a point with the review, but I don't really think there was one. Hmm. Well, I used to like this album a lot. I grew to love it. Now I am so overwhelmed by its greatness that I can only stand paralyzed during its full 79 minutes. Only then can I devote my full attention to the music, and truthfully, I don't think I have a choice -- _Lateralus_ obliges the entirety of my brain. No album has the effect on me that this does. I'm almost scared of what Tool will do next.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got this for my husband since he's a tool fan--he loves the cd but it won't play on his iPhone 😅 Other than that he's happy with itPublished 2 days ago by MidgetDemon
Had to return this item, it was warped beyond being playable. Very disappointedPublished 26 days ago by David Jacobson
Tool is the best wish you had the other album THE TOOL. it has all the best songs on itPublished 1 month ago by rereisme