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Tool - Undertow CD (album) cover

UNDERTOW

Tool

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.12 | 393 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Crow
Prog Reviewer
3 stars The first real Tool album, after the good Opiate EP... And this is an excellent metal album! But a prog one? Let's see...

The style is similar than this previous EP, but of course with a better production and sound... And with more memorable songs, of course. The tracks are short, and far from the experimentation of later albums. The music is very riff oriented, and the style of the riffs reminds me to some nu-metal band of the beginning of the 90's, like Rage Against the Machine. Of course, Maynard James Keenan's personal voice is not rap... But the style of Undertow, in my opinion, is closer than nu-metal than progressive or experimental metal.

This special way of making music Tool has, was not really developed in Undertow... Except from some parts of songs like 4 Degrees, Bottom and the beginning of Flood, there are not too many experimental moments, just this amount of heavy riffing mixed with the wonderful Keenan's voice. This personal way of playing Adam Jones has, the experimentation, the crazy sounds... Are almost imposible to hear in Undertow. Just his typical riffing and thick sound. All these imaginative facts would come later, in Aenima and of course in the great Lateralus. The Danny Carey drums are also not so spectacular like in these albums...

But Undertow is an excellent metal album anyway... All the songs are good, and every one of them has something special. The great riffing of Intolerance, the whole Prison Sex track, the brilliant chorus of Sober, the extreme metal influenced Crawl Away, the carchy lyrics of Swamp Song... A bunch of really enjoyable metal tracks. But maybe not too interesting from the progressive point of view.

Best tracks: really, except the weird Disgustipated, I find good all the songs included in Undertow!

Conclusion: if you like the nu-metal style, but without the typical rap singing, and with bit more experimentation... Then Undertow is your album. But this is not the genuine Tool's style yet. The true original and innovative ideas would come later. But Undertow is a great metal album anyway... But if you are searching for something truly progressive or experimental, you'll hardly find it here.

ProgArchives rating:***1/2

The Crow | 3/5 |

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