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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1525 ratings

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3 stars A good prog metal/post metal album.

It took me a while - and several repeated listens - to start appreciating the music in Lateralus, even to a basic level. This album is widely acclaimed as a progressive metal masterpiece, but I have a hard time agreeing to that.

Tool displays a somewhat unorthodox compositional style, in which the songs start with a certain rhythmic pattern, using repeated guitar/bass lines, which evolves by creating slight variations to that pattern. Then, after building tension, the songs explode at certain points. They completely avoid the verse/bridge/chorus song structure. This kind of music has a lot of potential to satisfy progheads, as the evolving rhythmic variations usually are very stimulating to the brain. But, it also has the potential to create a mesmerising effect, which is, to a good extent, the case with this album.

I'm not really into Tool and I find the music a bit bland, although the atmospheres in Lateralus are dark (which I usually like) and the lyrics are very good. One thing that bothers me (and with other bands too) are Maynard James Keenan's mumble and then scream type vocals. Throughout the mumble parts, the vocals seem dull and almost dead, and the screaming is just that: screaming. I really appreciate aggressive vocals, but usually something with a bit more melody and purpose (Opeth's Mikael Akerfeldt comes to mind).

But I certainly understand why this album could appeal so much to others. Like I said, the lyrics are very good and the drumming fantastic. In fact, drummer Danny Carey's performance is the highlight of the album. He shows excellent technique and delivers very solid, creative grooves. The songs that most stand out to me are The Grudge and Parabola.

All in all, a good album. If you're into bands like Riverside or Porcupine Tree, check this album out. You'll probably like it too.

denisbito | 3/5 |


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