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Tool - Ćnima CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.09 | 892 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars The Root of All Evil?Rock n' Roll is not Dead

While grunge had severed the bloating head of hair metal in the early nineties, it failed completely in making rock and roll dangerous again. The inward looking Seattle boys gave us a new combination of sounds that opened up the realm of possibility, but there wasn't a lot of new music that would really scare the pants off your parents. Until Tool. The band had a few minor hits, most notably the two chord "Sober" with it's refrain of "Jesus blows his fking whistle," which set the stage. But it was AENIMA that made Tool what they are now, probably the most influential band in modern heavy music.

The band had evolved quite a bit musically, with the signature circular bass riff taking center stage, and drummer Danny Carey starting to shine more and more. The songwriting had gotten quite a bit better, and with songs like "Stinkfist" and "Hooker with a PP," Tool firmly made a claim for being the most dangerous band out there. Maynard James Keenan's simultaneously tortured, twisted, and intelligent lyrics appealed to a wide array of young audience members. His voice would develop quite a bit over future projects but the emotional delivery was at full force from the beginning.

The songs on AENIMA are very riff based, played in straight time, and sometimes repetitive. Tool had not yet embraced prog sensibilities as full as they would on the subsequent album, and probably wouldn't still be around if they had. AENIMA was just the right degree of weird for the time. As is typical for Tool, there are a number of strange transition tracks. Some are complete throwaways but it added to the vibe. It must also be noted that some of the riffs on this album are among Tool's best, most memorable.

AENIMA was extremely progressive but when it came out no one would have thought "prog." Maybe "art metal" but not yet the genre defining work that would come on LATERALUS, and album I actually find more uneven. This album is an essential part of the history of modern rock in general, but that distinction will have to wait an album when were in the prog arena.

Negoba | 3/5 |


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