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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.21 | 1651 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars I was attracted to this album because of the drumming. The ridiculous drum work by Danny Carey, specifically in Ticks & Leeches, drew me in far more than the hype they receive on prog metal forums. Schism, also, I'd heard before, and thought was pretty cool.

As it turns out, those are the only two tracks I've ever given a listen to out of actual desire to hear them and not a hope that eventually I'll enjoy them.

I almost feel bad giving them such a low rating, as I can see they both have some serious talent and are bringing ideals of progressive music to a new generation of mainstream fans. I can live with that. I appreciate it that people can find other bands like Dream Theater or Opeth or Devin Townsend because of Tool. But when it actually comes to listenability, most of this album falls quite short. The production just sounds terrible to me, very murky, very indistinct, and yet bitingly brittle. If that's what they were going for, then that's an artistic statement, and hooray. But to me that guitar tone and ambient sound just grates like a band playing in a pool of sawdust. Flat. I think that's the thought I'm looking for. The sound is very flat throughout.

And that brings up the vocalist. For some, Maynard James Keenan has a lot of skill and power to his voice. He does have good breath control, I'll give him that. But on this album, his voice ranges from uninspiring to thoroughly obnoxious. The vocal lines, when they exist, are mostly weak. The long passages of soundscapes and ambiance never seem to actually elicit any mood in me at all save boredom.

This really works for some people. I understand that. But to me, everything about it screams underdeveloped, underproduced, and overly pretentious. If my opinion is worth anything (which would surprise me), I'd recommend fans of more developed and creative prog stay away from this album.

LiquidEternity | 2/5 |


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