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Fifty-one months after Lateralus' original release in CD format, Tool is ready to release a double vinyl four-picture disc edition of Lateralus. Each side contains a different picture and is packaged in a plastic gatefold with a holographic foil. Sony. 2005.
The materials used to create picture discs and color vinyl are not the same as traditional vinyl. Picture discs will have an inherent surface noise in playback. Picture discs will generally not have the same sound quality as black vinyl. Also LPs require cleaning prior to each play due to the mid 20th century mechanical technology that LPs are.
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Music aside (yes we know its Tool and if you enjoy Tool you're going to enjoy the music itself)
The actual records are BEAUTIFUL display pieces. They have stereotypical "Tool" imagery. The album is BEAUTIFUL with metallic artwork all over.
The actual implementation is HORRENDOUS. The audio quality is TERRIBLE and I'd rather listen to broken cassett tape or a scratched up CD. The album is a HARD CARDSTOCK. It is a pain in the butt to get the records in and out without cramming them in there and messing up the sleeves.
Since I put the record on, tons of pops and cracks all over. This is BRAND NEW. There should be no issues like every other new record I get.
Great display piece, let down of a record. Can't recommend. 2 stars because I enjoy the album, just can't stand to listen to it on this record.
I hate that I can't get a decent copy because this is a fantastic album. I heard that they were going to re-release their catalog on vinyl... I hope they do and they don't suffer the same quality issues. I don't know if it has anything to do with the images they put on the vinyl but black 180g vinyl shipped in properly lined sleeves is all I need.
The record itself is epic. It sounds amazing. Listening to The Grudge with a new sense of depth gave me chills.
However, people weren’t joking about the quality of the vinyl. It’s awful. I had both an initial order AND a replacement sent to me, and both would always skip at certain parts.
I heard Tool is going to reissue all their stuff on vinyl, so I think I’m going to have to wait for that. It really sucks, again, because this album is phenomenal :(
I thought for an obviously digitally sourced master, on my somewhat modest but sensitive system, it sounded REALLY great! A nice balance tonally; a surprisingly decent soundstage (compare with Mastodon's recent 'Emperor of Sand' - it was bloody AWFUL. Sounded like compressed MUSH!) But, all 4 sides sounded really good, and all were amazingly quiet for a picture disc.
So, if you DO like the album and you have an interest in having it on vinyl, by all means I HIGHLY recommend it! : )
It was difficult to fit into an outer jacket sleeve, until I turned it 90 degrees. It would seem that this album is actually a top opening (like Axis: Bold as Love by Jimi Hendrix) as I compare its to dimension to that of other records. Which means it’s diplayed incorrectly on the Amazon site. The record sides aren’t displayed as “A/B/C/D” or “1/2/3/4”, but by the depth of section in the figure pictured on each side of the record discs. One song as been placed sooner in the track list on the vinyl LP than when it appears on the compact disc version of the album. “Disposition” is track 10 on the CD and is track 8 (LP:1, side:2, track:3) on the picture disc version.
Top international reviews
My main reason for writing this review is not to review the album, I have owned it since it's original release on CD back in the day, but to give my view on the vinyl version which seems to be getting a bit of a battering amongst these reviews.
My copy which I ordered in August 2017 is superb. As people have previously mentioned, the packaging is beautiful - 2 lovely picture discs housed in a holographic gatefold sleeve. It's the actual vinyl discs I wanted to know about - there are a lot of comments about scratches and jumping in certain places. So I went ahead with my purchase with some trepidation, but needn't of worried, everything is fine.
The fact that they are picture discs normally flags up issues of sound quality straight away, but these are fine and I certainly haven't come across any jumps or scratches affecting playback.
I guess this may be a more recent production run, whereas the initial batch had these issues, I don't know - but my copy plays fine.
I just wanted to have one of my fave albums on LP, and I'm glad I took the risk!
So I had my birthday recently, and decided to take the plunge. Well I certainly wasn't disappointed! The artwork, and quality finish on this beauty of a gatefold alone, was enough to justify the purchase, but what surpassed all my expectations, was the artwork on the picture discs! For those who own the CD, it's the same artwork of human biology, inside the inlay card. What surprised me most of all, is that it doesn't hinder the sound quality of the record, in any shape or form.
This album on vinyl, just oozes quality. It is literally a vinyl collector/Tool fan's wet dream. Buy it, you will not be disappointed!!!
If you haven't heard this album or the band before, I recommend looking up the title track of the record. A real journey of an album, this record will take you plays that you never dreamt of, and will happily wish to return.
The visual display of this album is beautiful - great alternative cover, and works well with the inlay image, the discs and their sleeves. I'm very impressed by the quality of the albums visual and aesthetic feel, as well as its sound quality. If you have even a semi-decent player, and are a fan of music or vinyl in general, this is a must for you! Incredible album, and I'm sure it would sound much better on a better player, which I plan to do soon :D
Unfortunately the B-side of this is totally unplayable on my fairly high spec record player, as soon as the needle hits the picture it skips, even with a heavier weight on the tonearm it still skates and slips.
Picture discs have always been on the lower end of quality but I was unfortunate to receive a bit of a dud.
The issue here is with the vinyl itself. It seems it wasn’t cut properly, so the edges are very rough and thick, not smoothed out like a vinyl record should be.
The records are uneven at parts as well. You can see the needle going up and down when it’s being played. It’s not warped, it just that it’s thicker in some parts.
Overall, it’s clear there wasn’t any quality control with these, that’s for sure. What a shame.
Note to record companies - this is your big chance to make some decent money - don't blow it. My son - aged 25 - said, that's why vinyl died!