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Tool - Ænima CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.09 | 891 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars %*!#ing good TOOL album !

How should one start reviewing a TOOL cd? I got their CD "Lateralus" first, mainly because all the great reviews on this site. After that I got Aenima, and now I am even wondering which of them I like best. They're both awesome, but I think I prefer Aenima!

I was kind of reluctant to get into TOOL as I usually prefer the "lighter side" of Prog metal, like Riverside and Opeth. I thought that TOOL would be too harsh for my ears: I was wrong! Having listened to bands like Metallica, Van Halen, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden a lot in the eighties and nineties TOOL is a band I can easily relate to. Maybe this is a weird connection, but I personally feel those band share the same kind of "heaviness" and they surely all have a lot of energy to pass on to the listener.

About the Aenima CD. The CD kicks off with Stinkfist, which also was their first single and their first music video. Because the obscure title of the track, which could refer to fist-%*!#ing, the track is also referred to as "track #1". This TOOL video are directed by the band's guitarist Adam Jones, who had previous experience in art direction and animation. All of TOOL's video's have a very dark theme and reminds me of some of H.R. Giger's work (the Swiss painter, sculptor, designer who also designed Alien) and also of some movies by the movie director David Lynch. The reason why I mention their video's is that I really think you should not only listen to TOOL's music, but also let the music be accompanied by their weird video's. It just makes it more complete.

The second track of the album "Eulogy" is probably my favourite. It starts out with some experimental noises played in a great melody after a while accompanied by floating bass and drums. The song really starts to "kicks ass" around the 2 minute time mark when the guitar riffs are brought into the song and when Maynard James Keenan starts singing through a vocoder, not long after which he starts screaming the chorus. After 05:00 minutes the song slows down again and we are treated by some of Maynard's fine singing. The singing good from gentle to very aggressive. You can hear the aggressiveness build up in the words as well. I especially love this part: Will you? Will you now? Would you die for me? Don't you fuckin' lie. (Don't you step out of line! 3x) Don't you fuckin lie. Awesome!

The third track "H." also has a great vibe to it. Speculation has surrounded the song "H." The "meaning" of this song has not been detailed by the band, as they do not regularly comment on such things, but it has been stated that it is not about heroin. Several of the songs are just interludes that connect to longer songs. These segues are "Useful Idiot", "Message to Harry Manback", "Intermission", "Die Eier Von Satan", "Cesaro Summability", and "(-) Ions".

"Die Eier Von Satan" is quite a disturbing song, because we hear a German speech, accompanied by the sound of some hydraulic press and a cheering crowd that increases in volume, which makes it all sound like a militant German rant or Nazi rally. However, if you listen to the lyrics closely, it actually is the summing up of ingredients of how to make cookies, without eggs. Now I actually see some kind of humor in this song but I really didn't like it at first.

"Message to Harry Manback" is also some kind of weird phone-message about a Latino guy wishing an American guy some of the worst things that could possibly happen to him. Weird!

"Pushit", with its nearly ten minutes running time, another highlight of this album.

Last remarkable song of Aenima is its title track. The lyrics of "Aenima" are about Southern California being all washed beneath the surface of the sea after some kind of disaster. It seems like Maynard James Keenan hates LA and wants to flush it all away. If we look deeper at what's behind those lyrics is seems to me that the band is just outing its disapproval of the "emptiness" we have in our lives today. The more we work, the more we have, the less our lives become worth. We should go "back to basics" some times to really take the most out of our lives and learn how to estimate its true value again.

Aenima - cleansing of the soul - is a great Progressive? Metal album!

evenless | 4/5 |


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