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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1644 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
1 stars Lateralus: A Tall Ruse or A Real Slut ?

'The Grudge' - Without a shadow of doubt one of the very few traces on this wretched and bloated corpse that betrays a vestige of life with an elusive groove in 'five' plus a semblance of melodic intent from the improbably christened Maynard Keenan. Effective albeit hackneyed use is made of quiet/loud dynamics and the guitar sounds employed do at least have a slight variation on the numbing predictability of most modern metal. However Keenan merely recites most of his bon mots and he sure as hell ain't no Mark E Smith (do your self a favour son, and get your still wet ears round some Mancunian Fall soon) I should mention the drummer Danny Carey who is unfailingly brilliant on all this album: Word to the wise Danny boy, the pipes are calling, so go play with people who write memorable and original music cos you is wasted in this mob me old mate...

'Eon Blue Apocalypse' - Guitarist's warming up exercise masquerading as composition. Is this a royalties scam?

'The Patient' - I can wait lads, for this slow brooding chuggalong to actually GO anywhere. Ah there it went...guess what? the usual 'kerrrang' barre chord climactic device that was even considered old hat by the Osmonds during their 'rebellious' phase. Nice double kick from the unerring Carey and the developmental section does contain a decent vocal hook. ( I really think we ALL need to reappraise Crazy Horses in the light of these developments)

'Mantra' - if you listen REALLY hard, you can almost hear four earnest young men moving their lips silently while counting out the convoluted and contrived meter in this eastern tinged dirge. Those 'countless' hours these disaffected youth spent in detention is reaping it's reward.

'Schism' - Ditto (ain't this the same song as the previous one? someone tell the performing rights society about these shenanigans)

'Parabol' - The sound your dad might make while humming to himself while vacuuming.

'Parabola' - I geddit, you just need to jumble the words up say from 'a lament' into 'lamentable'?

This body holding me reminds me of my own mortality. Embrace this moment. Remember. We are eternal. All this pain is an illusion

(I hope so Maynard, I hope so and gulp, you're gonna stick around for a while then?)

'Ticks and Leeches' - Sprawling epic in the sense that the condensed 'Brer Rabbit' could be considered a sprawling epic. OK there is a visceral power evident here but if only Tool could harness their ahem 'tools' in the creation of something considerably less ambitious and more accomplished. This is tantamount to a very well rehearsed collection of disparate 'bits' that simply do not belong together no matter how hard or furiously the band plane these square pegs into round holes. How did it start? What happened in the middle? How did it end? (I can't remember even after 20 spins)

'Lateralus' - Tool love that solitary 'skeletal' guitar on many of their intros and it certainly is an attractive feature but when overused the device just becomes wearyingly predictable. Yet more forgettable sludgey riffery before a lovely cascading toms pattern via Carey sets up a nice vibe (and carries the melodic interest considerably better than Keenan) Quiet/Loud techniques i.e palm mutes on then off over the same harmonic material cannot completely camouflage a paucity of musical ideas.

'Disposition' - Nice use of tabla percussion on this tune which drifts along quite pleasantly but outstays it's welcome and has a melody with all the subtle twists and turns of a sulking sloth. Is there such a thing as 'monody'?

'Reflection' - Carey contributes another yummy tom driven groove here which is strangely redolent of the Cure circa Pornography and there is WOHWAH! a filtered synth thingy in the background (Keith Emerson run for cover and my cat has just woken up) I could be wrong here but is that a violin lending some oriental inflected accents to this otherwise monotonous American drawling vocabulary ? If this were 6 minutes shorter I might even hazard it would approach the lofty heights of 'samey'.

'Triad' - The arithmetic here probably looks better on manuscript paper than from out of my speakers on this 'up-tempo' bar-line balancing audit. Migraine as art. The complete silence that lasts for over 2 minutes on my version of this album is the best 120 seconds or so I have spent in a real long while. (Thanks lads, my cat has resumed his nap)

'Faaip De Oaid' - Mmm..., an anagram of 'A Deaf Aid I Op' - should be mandatory for the legions of fervent admirers this vacuous band somehow attracts. Fashions itself on the Enochian language translation of Voice of God which is begging of a pardon. Denied.

Despite what you may conclude from the foregoing, I really wanted to like this record as it was recommended to me by a fellow Crimson 'nut' whose opinion I value highly, as being representative of where 'prog' was going in the future.

NOTE TO SELF - emigrate to Neptune

PS - Maynard Keenan is an anagram of 'A Mannered Yank'

PPS - My cat won't even use Lateralus as a scratch mat

ExittheLemming | 1/5 |


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