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Tool - Undertow CD (album) cover

UNDERTOW

Tool

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.12 | 390 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

JLocke
Prog Reviewer
3 stars Tool is my favorite band. They have also made my favorite album of all time, but in order to truly enjoy the progressive masterpieces that their last three albums have been, one must admit that UNDERTOW is in no way, shape or form, a prog rock album. It is grunge. While the Tool guys would later produce some of the most original music since Pink Floyd, this era of their career was what got them recognized, nothing more. Maynard James Keenan has always been an amazing vocalist, and he displays some of his rawest, angriest work to date. These were the years when Tool's music was very garage in it's tone and production qualities (Which Dave Bottrill would remedy on the album following this), when the songs were shorter on the average, and the lyrics were very hatefull and bitter in subject matter, often eluding to potential bouts of abuse in Keenan's past, though it hasn't been confirmed.

Most of the songs on UNDERTOW are straightforward. A little too straightforward, quite honestly, as the lyrics have yet to become as intelligent and obscure as they are on the following albums. Yet, this is also a clear transitional period for the band, as we do get a taste of some ''proggy'' tracks on the record (Most notably the title track and the epic ''Disgustipated'', which features nearly seven minutes of nothing but distant cricket chirps), but not enough to really make this a progressive album as a whole.

So, is this album recommended? No, not really. I think any prog fan who wants to get into Tool should definately steer clear of this one, as well as the previous EP ''Opiate'', simply because it may confuse them as to why Tool is even on this website. If you want to experience Tool for the first time, I would suggest either of the following two albums, because what came to pass after UNDERTOW would change the lives of listeners (Including myself) forever. I am so glad that Tool changed their direction after this effort, as they are the reason I am a prog fan today. This album is good, but it isn't really a good prog album, so three stars should suffice.

JLocke | 3/5 |

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