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Tool - Undertow CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.18 | 512 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Oh come on this is great!!! This is a bit of a retrospective. It's all there. What is there not to like about this album if you are into the genre? For the uninitiated we're in a Soundgarden ballpark (but way out on left field)

Intolerance introduces the listener to a sound which will become characteristic of this impressive outfit. The lyrics are still a bit unrefined and unsubtle but then we're hardly expecting Seamus Heaney here are we? After all Seamus

Prison Sex. A big one to captivate the audience. GROAN (sorry couldn't resist that one)

Sober: measured, forceful, liberally sprinkled with expletives. For me this is where Tool leave the oppo in their wake. Top notch music and thoughtful non-patronising lyrics:(I am just a worthless liar/I am just an imbecile/I will only complicate you/Trust in me and fall as well/I will find a centre in you/I will chew it up and leave/I will work to elevate you/just enough to bring you down)

Unfortunately Bottom is not quite in the same league (My piss and moans are fuel/I set my head on fire/And smell my soul is burning). And, to be honest musically it is a little bit more

I really like Crawl Away. Difficult break up? Get bit messed up, angry and p****d off. understandable, and a lot easier and cathartic than listening to Steve Wilson whining on for 5 albums.

Oh baby, for the bass players out there (and I don't mean the Hadrien Feraud types) the intro to Swamp Song is sweet. Simple, easy to play but it just oozes and drips sex. Nothing to do with the lyrics or the song but all you bass players will know exactly what I'm talking about. This line just has IT. Can't remember anything about the rest of the song except the rest of the band have to do some stops and a wee middle 8 type thing (turns into a bit of a middle 48) to prove they're still there, but we all know that everyone is just waiting for the line to come back. And like all good things it comes to those who wait. Gorgeous.

Undertow itself is a great Rollin track. Guitar more to the fore. Slightly edgier sound and vocal attack. Percussion is in there rolling crescendos. There's the obligatory chugging grunge guitar although amusingly there's a little play with timing that takes it out of the cliché.

4 degrees interesting nice rhythm. there's just that tad more going on here than the standard grunge to set it apart.

Flood ... sorry nah disappointingly heavy end to an otherwise excellent debut.

not quite the end because of the very weird Disgutipated. Yes, well pity the carrots I say. there's a several minute cricket song with a spoken vocal at the end: sort of the hidden track type thing. I can't really be bothered with that.

obiter | 4/5 |


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