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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1673 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

1 stars 1.5 Stars.

I have quite a bit of history with Tool which I have to go though before my viewpoint of this band and album becomes clear. I came to discover Prog music about 11 years ago (2004, I was about 14 at the time) though classic Prog bands such as Genesis and Yes. I spent a long time embracing that genre and loving almost all of it. Eventually I decided to look at modern Prog to see how the genre had progressed. So I randomly started with Tool and The Mars Volta given the praise they were getting at the time.

When I heard both bands back then I was horrified by what I was listening. It was brutal, relentless, over the top and I quickly developed a extreme hatred for both bands. I was so put off that I refused to listen to any form of modern Heavy Prog/Prog Metal for 5 years, assuming they would all sound just as horrible. This I now regret significantly as I ignored what would be some of my favorite bands (PT, Anathema, Opeth etc) at that time.

10 years on my musical tastes have changed and I am now much more at home with heavy music including Death and Black metal, but until last week I still refused to Give Tool or TMV a second chance. I figured now is a good time to give both bands a listen again using all the musical insight I have gained since my teenage years. <3>

OK that's enough personal history from me, lets focus on the review. Tool are a band that spend most of the time focusing on negative and aggressive emotions with the music being very heavy and in your face. Most of the songs a very gritty and rough unlike many modern prog bands which are usually very polished in their production and songwriting. Unlike their side project A Perfect Circle (a band I do actually enjoy a lot) there is a much lessor focus on strong melodies and hooks and instead the music tends to be driven by emotional momentum. What I mean by this is that there is often a buildup in their tracks which is in parallel with the increasing anger in the singer. Like a erupting volcano the songs spit out bursts of energy and power which only grows and becomes more frequent.

The problem with this method is that the songs themselves are messy and quite difficult to follow. The longer tracks have strong and interesting moments, but there are plenty of moments where nothing interesting is happening at all. The lack of melodies means the quieter points are very unattractive to listen to and quickly leave me bored or cringing. The shorter and quieter tracks are just painful to listen to. There is nothing to remember them apart from some very unpolished songwriting and cringe-worthy moaning vocals.

There are a few songs which are for the most part successful, the title track and "The Patient" in particular have some interesting ideas that are well executed. However other longer tracks such as "The Grudge" and "Ticks & Leeches" are just ugly and angry metal tracks, with limited amounts of Prog.

I would go into more detail with this album, but the problem is that it has a habit of merging all the songs together into a angry mess. At nearly 80 minutes long it wears out its welcome after 50 minutes with there not being enough ideas to fill the running time. I don't hate this album or band like I did 10 years ago, but I still am not impressed by them. I also don't like the hatred streaming from these tracks and they are very off putting for me personally. So as a full album it is simply impossible for me to get any real enjoyment from it. 1 star from me, I doubt I will ever listen to this band again.

LakeGlade12 | 1/5 |


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