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Tool - Ănima CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.10 | 896 ratings

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Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars

Play it LOUD with a decent stereo set ..!

Two gentlemen whom I consider being responsible for introducing TOOL in to my life. First, as you know it because I always put his name whenever I review any album of the band, is Rick Wakeman. Yes he talked also with me during his concert tour in Jakarta, Indonesia on February 2002. Second, is my i-Rock! colleague, Icann (Adler Siahaan), who persistently promoted this band to me and according to him Ănima is the best album from Tool. Thanks to Rick and Icann for "showing me the hill" (lending this phrase from Fish of Marillion). As for me personally, the music of Tool is attractive and one of my favorite bands, indeed. I started my journey with Tool through their latest album "10,000 Days" which I have already reviewed as well at this site.

Having gone backward from listening to Ten Thousand Days to earlier album, Lateralus and now Ănima I can confirm that the music of Tool has been consistent in terms of style as from the three albums I can identify very close similarities from one album to another. It does not mean that the music is stagnant. I believe there are examples of bands who have stayed consistent with their music direction. Take example of IQ which has been pretty consistent from its debut until the latest album "Dark Matter". You might consider as well Pendragon, Pallas who have been consistent thus far. Tool has successfully blended the elements of energy, drive, enthusiasm, ethnic, passion, sound effects and dynamic instrument playing into an excellent music in cohesive whole. Listen this album in relax way without any prejudgment that they should sound like any group of your favorite - you would find a joy of music delivered by Tool.

The album kicks off wonderfully with a sound effect that remarks the commencement of opening track Stinkfist (5:11). You can hear that bass is tightly played, combined beautifully with drumwork. Vocal enters in a distant voice style followed with screaming style is performed beautifully by Maynard James Keenan. Guitar is played in distortion style while the music create great groove typical of Tool music. The music interlude gives chances to drums and distorted guitar work to enter nicely during this interlude. It's so rockin'! I remember the music of New King Crimson.

Eulogy (8:28) starts with excellent exploration of sounds accompanied with floating bass lines and percussion. Drum enters slowly with guitar riffs and rhythm. The music then blasts in high energy with screaming vocal of Maynard James Keenan. I do enjoy the guitar riffs / rhythm especially when it's inserted with sound effects. Bass guitar demonstrates its role combined with sound effects. Yes, I can find there are repeated chords but the band has brilliantly inserted different textures into the music. This has made listening to eight minute duration of this track is enjoyable thing.

H. (6:07)brings the music into slower part at its opening. The combination of drums, percussion and bass is really nice especially it's covered with chanting voice of Maynard James Keenan. Justice Chancelor also plays excellent bass guitar and I think his playing style is one of keys in determining Tool music characteristic.

Forty Six & 2 (6:04) starts off with floating bass line textured with guitar effects, male chanting, percussion in a style of music that reminds me to Peter Gabriel's "The Rhythm of The Heat" from his fourth album "Security". In fact it's not a male chanting but Maynard is singing like he is doing a narration. What follows is a kind of progressive metal music in the vein of Dream Theater's "The Great Debate" from "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" album. The vocal part projects an image of energy and it might demonstrate anger.

Hooker With a Pxnxs (4:33) sounds like continuing the stream of music of "Forty Six & 2" after a close to two minutes bridge of "Message to Harry Manback". Well, I don't know what the lyrics are talking about, really, but I see from the point of view of the music the band produces here. Those of you who like metal music would enjoy the music interlude with guitar solo on top of the music. It's so noisy but I personally enjoy it. This might be because of last week I was preoccupied with many metal music like Lamb of God, Killswitch Engage and In Flames "Come Clarity". So, I can enjoy the ending part.

Intermission (0:56) is a very nice organ solo that serves as a bridge to Jimmy (5:24) which begins with heavy guitar riffs followed with bass and drums to accompany vocal line in mellow style. This time the music is much ambient with great guitar riffs and melodies at the back of the music. I like the singing style that flows and fits nicely with the music from the slow part to heavier ones. Again, the singing style has characterized the music of Tool. It's so obvious. I like the part at approx 2:51 where the music changes its style for a while and returns back to its original style. Oh man, this track is great!

Die Eier Von Satan (2:17) is sound effect exploration and vocal narration - a nice one with "sim salabim .." - that moves the music forward to a long track Pushit (9:55) with an intro of long sustain guitar work overlaid with distant vocal singing style. The bass guitar and drums enter to give richness of the intro. Vocal flows naturally with repeated music but with different textures as it moves along. The music moves into crescendo at approximately minute 3 with richer texture and heavier music - exploring the guitar distortion. It suddenly moves into a slow part with ambient style. Guitar fills insert nicely, followed with near-to-whispering vocal line. It's a nice arrangement, I would say. The music then blasts into heavier section with dynamic drum work and guitar distortion. Ănema (6:39) brings another style of music while maintaining the original characteristic of Tool music. At a glance this song sounds like straight-forward hard rock music. The interlude part with bass guitar as main rhythm section overlaid with guitar effects and dynamic drums is an interesting part for me.

(-) Ions (4:00) represents just totally a sound effect exploration that only the musicians know what they intend to mean with this effect.

Third Eye (13:47) concludes the album with a combination of progressive metal and classic rock music. The guitar solo in the middle of the track is truly stunning - especially listening to the sounds of drums' tom at the background which help elevate the energy of the music. I think this concluding track is quite expressive in nature especially as it can be identified on their exploration of styles which change from one segment to another. The ending part reminds me to the King Crimson's "21s Century of Schizoid Man" especially on distorted vocal line.


This album is brilliant. The band captures the elements of metal music with heavy riffs and screaming vocal into nice combination of ambient style and hard rock music. Tool music is I think a further creative exploration from New King Crimson music ("Discipline" album onwards) and progressive metal style. This album, altogether with "Lateralus" and "10,000 Days" are highly recommended because all of them are excellent addition of any progressive music collection. Given that you are open mind with heavy side of prog, am pretty sure that you would enjoy this album as it is. Production and sonic quality of the CD are excellent. PLAY IT LOUD with a decent stereo set is my recommendation. Why? You can get the subtleties of this excellent record! A decent stereo set does not necessarily mean an expensive one. Keep on proggin' ..!

Progressively yours, GW

"Do not affraid of growing sl÷wly - be affraid of only standing still."

Gatot | 4/5 |


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