16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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!