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Tool - Undertow CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.18 | 510 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars At least they got out of that grumbly metal undertow eventually.

Tool's first album is a far cry from what they would eventually become. It is, in fact, a fairly good metal album, but that's not what we prog heads are after. Here is a collection of fairly straightforward metal tunes, all quite basic and unremarkable. There are a couple longer songs, but apparently they haven't figured out how to master it yet. In the end this is a fairly forgettable album that's at it's best while it's not in your cd player.

While it would be fairly redundant to remark upon every song on this album, there are some high and some (especially) low points.

The album's highest points revolve around the sound that would eventually become the band's main sound. The title track UNDERTOW is a good example of this, but hey, Tool's title tracks are usually the best songs off the albums, as is INTOLERANCE (even if it is a very basic metal song). SOBER is a good example of Keenan's vocals as a leading force in the band, and shows a good range in his voice while proving that there's a lot of emotion to be had there. There's a couple other fairly okay songs, but these are the standouts.

Low points...

DISGUSTIPATED was expected to be the highpoint on this one, showing up at 15 minutes. This is a track which is actually just some chanting followed by minutes of silence. This is especiialy mean to do to prog fans who love to hear long stuff, especially from this band. Those of us who now have the ability of hindsight would look forward to this track with all kinds of anticipation after hearing songs like 10,000 Days and Third Eye. While it's not fair to attack a band for not producing the caliber of work that they would make a decade later this track is still a disappointment to prog fans. PRISON SEX, the single off this album is another song that's not especially great. Metal. Early 90s Metal at that. Nothing good or progressive there.

In the end this is an album that simply does not have much to offer. It's few good points are quite good, however, and that's what saves this album a bit and gives it 2 stars. However, as stated before, if you're not a huge Tool fan, just skip this one. Only recommended for metal-heads and Tool fans. This is definately (thank god) not a sign of things to come.

Queen By-Tor | 2/5 |


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