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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1375 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars This album is the definition of creativity. Tool has created a masterpiece, doing things that musicians have never done. Their creativity is astounding, and even though people don't consider Tool progressive, I'm sure that if they took a minute too look into the depth and meaning of this album, they would definetely see why they are considered prog.

First off, this album is filled with some very angry and loud music. At the same time, there are very meditative atmospheres here. There have been bands that have a large dynamic contrast, but few with such soothing atmosphere as Tool. I could really compare the heavy/atmospheric sound to Pink Floyd at times, though definetely much darker.

The Grudge is a great rocking song, and its quick 10/8 is metered very creatively. It kicks off loud and builds up until it drops out into some great atmospherics. The end has a fantastic drum part and after that a great polymeter of the band playing in 10/8 while Maynard James Keenan says, Let go! in a crescendo in 3/8. A good way to kick off the album.

I have never gotten why there's so much hate for Tool's filler tracks. They are part of the concept of their albums. Eon Blue Apocalypse is a great example. It's a very short atmospheric track segueing into the Patient quite nicely.

The Patient is a beautifully haunting piece of music. It's slow, and it's probably the most Ænima sounding track on this album. It gets a bit of distortion later on in the song, but it's a quite lovely track.

Mantra is another filler. It sounds like a pointless minute of just ambient noise, but if you research into this track and the album's alternate track listing, you'll find that this track has just as much depth as the other ones on the album.

Schism is absolutely one of the most dark and beautiful pieces of music ever created. There is so much atmosphere, especially after all the electric instruments drop out and Maynard sings, between supposed lovers/brothers. The bass riff in an alternating 5/8 and 7/8 is quite unique, and the drums are just as creative. The lyrics match the music perfectly as well, as the alternating meters match the lyrical themes of division and the lack of communication.

Parabol/Parabola is one of the single tracks, but that doesn't mean it's bad. The parabol section is haunting and dark and very slow. One could fall asleep happily to this track. After a couple minutes, it explodes into Parabola, which is a rather alternative rock type song, dealing with the topic of separating the body from the mind.

Ticks & Leeches is a great track. The quick tempo and the 7/8 time remind me immediately of 46 &2 from Ænima. There is a great drum intro by Danny Carey. This is definetely the angriest song on the album. Maynard James Keenan screams almost entirely through the song. Even this song drops off in the middle into a beautiful atmosphere. It finally picks up the tempo again and bombards the listener with all the loudness Tool can achieve.

The title track, Lateralus, is absolutely fantastic. It builds into a great guitar riff alternating 9/8, 4/4, and 7/8. Then stacatto drums in 5/8 pick up while Maynard sings quietly in a strange rhythmic pattern. If you'll notice that the syllables in each of the songs lines correspond with a few numbers from the Fibonacci sequence. The song uses the sequence as a metaphor to open your mind, a lyrical subject often touched upon by Tool. How anyone could think to blend lyrics and music together so well like this is beyond me. This is one of the reasons Tool is such a creative band.

Disposition/Reflection/Triad were initially concieved as one song, but later split up. They all have a very soft, slow, meditative atmosphere, except for Triad, but one could still find meditation very easy in that part as well. They have a very dark atmosphere, and are heavily reliant on the percussion in them. Even though Reflection goes on for 11 minutes with about the same sound all the way through, one rarely gets bored of it because of the atmosphere it puts one in. Triad is also great. It's instrumental and focuses on rhythm, experimenting with the triplet meter it is in. It is great.

Faaip de Oiad is 2 minutes of eerie drums and static behind the voice of a frantic man. This track is not to be listened to in the dark. There is a good chance you will be frightened when you listen to this track alone in the darkness. This may seem out of place at the end of the album, especially after the minute and a half of silence after Triad. This is because the album is actually supposed to be listened in an alternate track order to make it flow better. Tool did this to make the fans think, and again show another brilliant example of pushing the envelope of what we think of music.

Overall, this is a masterpiece album. The creativity is beyond what many can concieve, and Tool definetely shows that they are more than just a few guys with instruments. Giving this album anything less than five stars would be terribly innacurate.

topofsm | 5/5 |


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