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Tool - Undertow CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.18 | 513 ratings

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Prog Metal Team
2 stars Back in the early 90's on a summer festival, I saw an amazing live show of a then unknown band named Tool. They started their show with the opening riff from Rush's Passage To Bangkok and obviously I've had a soft spot for them ever since.

Not really for this album though. After the festival, I systematically foraged record stores till this debut was finally available. I couldn't be more disappointed. None of the live energy of this band had been captured in the recording of this album. All songs sound like each others clone and the performance is so lifeless that things rarely get off the ground. Apart from the opener, only Sober and Swamp Song rise out above the unremarkable murk that surrounds them. Sober especially manages to build up quite a tension. Other material like Prison Sex may have become a hit but around the time of its release this had been done 100 times before by bands like Soundgarden and especially Mindfunk.

It always amazed me how Tool managed to become so popular. Not that they are not welcome to it, they are sincere musicians who always followed their heart. But I always thought them not really catchy enough for mainstream and not original and innovative enough for prog crowds. But as it turned out I'm very glad they introduced many youngsters to more challenging music and won many over to prog rock. But it would take Tool a few more years till they managed to record an album that sounded really convincing to me.

Bonnek | 2/5 |


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