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Tool - Opiate (EP) CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.83 | 262 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars The only thing even remotely 'progressive' about this release is the amazing cover, featuring a psychedelic sculpture by guitarist/art director Adam Jones, Everything else falls short.

OPIATE was Tool's debut release, and while not long enough (or good enough, frankly) to be a full album, this EP houses some of the most favorite songs amoungst the band's first fans, which are mainly grunge-metal-heads. For sure, everything on this album fits the mold: Nonsensical and pointless use of explicit lyrics every opprotunity? Check. Uninspired down-tuned guitar riffage? Roger. A bass player who has no aspiration to play anything original? You bet. In fact the only band member who is doing anything worth noting is Danny Carey, who has always been a virtuoso nomatter what era Tool's music was in.

Okay, maybe I'm being a little too harsh, and possibly you are wondering right now why I stated earlier that Tool is my favorite band if I dislike their first two releases so much. Well, the thing is, I know Tool can do better, and they did do better. ALOT better, only a few years after this EP saw release. So I don't think I should beat around the bush when it comes to this release. It isn't very good. Tool went on to create the greatest prog album of all time as far as I am concerned, and that album alone has made them my favorite band, so why not look back at their early years and laugh at the simplicity? It doesn't mean that they aren't great now, but the honest truth is that in the early days of their career, they weren't doing anything that memorable. It has no bearing on how fantastic they would grow to be, and the power and genious of their later works give me all the more cinfidence to just say how I feel about this EP.

Adam Jones has little to no creativity in his playing style yet; simply barring the top three strings and sliding his hand up and down the guitar neck to make chords. Paul D'Amour was never a good bass player as far as I am concerned, and his departure during the production of their second studio effort was all-too-welcome. Keenan, while still great in his vocal perfomance, has rather lackluster lyrical journeys here, with one of the tracks on the EP, ''Hush'', starting out with an overly-used profane word combination that does nothing to the song's benefit, and leads me to think that this must have simply been a way for Keenen to vent his anger, and not really write any lyrics that were heartfelt or intruiging. Fortunately, he got it all out of his system before their second studio album, and I have no doubt that it helped that album considerably.

So, in the long run, as far as prog rock goes, this is as far away from it as one could get, and I don't recommend it to anyone unless they simply want to own all of Tool's releases. I myself am one of those people, and do get some enjoyment out of it, but not as a prog fan, because this EP simply isn't. The one song on here that has any psychedelic influence at all is the hidden track, ''The Gaping Lotus Experience'', which is a tongue-in-cheek song that is actually quite humorous. One track, though, is hardly a reason to buy an entire CD.

JLocke | 2/5 |


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