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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1645 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Tool's masterpiece is a very long album, with cyclopic compositions, all arranged with drums (Danny Carey), bass (Justin Chancellor), electric guitar (Adam Jones) and vocals (Maynard James Keenan), and therefore extremely homogeneous as sound. Only occasionally we can feel electronics effects (Eric "Statik" Anesat) at some junit.

"The Grudge (8:36)": Tool begin with an explosive song: great rhythm, sound close to heavy metal, then rhythmic progression, instrumental and sung, rabmy, and towards the ending the piece becomes verbose: back the sound of the guitar with high volume for apocalyptic end. Powerful, bombastic piece. Rating 8+

After a short intro (Eon Blue Apocalypse, 1:04), starts "The Patient" (7:14), more percussive than the previous one, but evan more repetetive. Rating 7,5/8.

After the short intro (Mantra, 1:12), starts "Schism" (6:47): guitar lap too repeated, part in progression not exceptional. You start to see a repetitive pattern of the songs: start at bland pace, slow or mid-tempo, then growing with rhythmic progression and singing, finally ending with saturated sound, apocalyptic effect, very impressive. In this case, however, the whole thing does not have the quality of the previous songs. Rated 7 +.

"Parabol (3:04)" is an interlude, suspended, meditative, with semi-acoustic guitar and vocals, without beating on the snare drum. Dreaming: atmospheric piece, it lasts three minutes and then is mixed with the next song, which will deflagrates with power. Rating 7.

"Parabola" (6:03): song that starts with a frantic rhythm, powerful, very raby but successful. Long acoustic ending. Rating 7,5/8.

"Ticks & Leeches (8:10)" is a very aggressive song, with scream singing, almost death metal, but with a long central pause, excessively verbose and repetitive. I don't discuss the technical skill of the musicians and their performance, but in my opinion this track is too self-indulgent and uninspired. Rating 6.

"Lateralus" (9:24) is a long song with the typical characteristics of the album: beginning with slow semiacoustic guitar, then great work on the drums and bass, good rhythmic progression, heavy metal noise. Acoustic break around 5 minutes, and grand finale with distorted guitar. It's still a little bit forced. Rating 7.5/8.

"Disposition" (4:46): semiacoustic interlude, with beautiful guitar sound, as always dominated by rhythm and not by melody. Excellent sound and arrangement. Piece that relaxes, after so much pumping noise. Good, but not great (too much monotonous). Rating 7,5.

"Reflection" (11:07). This piece is exemplary of the art of Tools. Everything is based on the rhythm section, the percussions creates the sound and the musical writing. The guitar also contributes to creating a tribal atmosphere. The voice of Keenan arrives only after 3 minutes and 40 seconds and the vocal part goes in progression creating a sound saturation effect very suggestive, hypnotic, where the rhythm is always the same but it arrives at levels of pathos and atmosphere noticeable. At about 7 minutes comes the guitar solo and then comes the grand finale, cacophonic, this time not apocalyptic but mesmeric. Rating 8,5.

"Triad (8:46) is an instrumental song, very pumped, dominated by a distorted guitar in feedback. It ends after about 6 and a half minutes, and then there are two abundant minutes of silence before the last piece starts. Rating 7.

Last song: "Faaip De Oiad" (2:05). Song electronically treated to create a distorted, noisy effect: Spoken voice that you hear far away, like interference to the radio. Rating 6.

Tools compared to other titans that have brought heavy metal to progressive, see Dream Theater, are based on rhythm and progression, not on the melody and change of the theme music. The timings of the songs are dilated, the rhythm, on the whole, is medium-slow, not fast, although there are vehement progressions that reach a certain speed and a great sound impact. There are no large solos, the musical writing is reduced to the bone, but the percussive clout can lead to very intense tribal and hypnotic moments. The main flaw of this music is the excessive homogeneity of the compositions and arrangements that, associated with a prolissity (and sometimes repetitive prolissity) that often exceeds the line, makes it tiring to listen to the entire album.

Medium quality of the songs: 7,32 (but the shortest pieces have the worst score). Rating album: 8. Three and a half stars.

jamesbaldwin | 3/5 |


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