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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1644 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The masterpiece. This is as close to perfection as you could ever imagine. Tool managed to create a winning formula with their 1996 album "aenima" and they continued with this for their follow up in 2001. The band have perfected every little detail for "Lateralus" and was well worth the wait.

Lateralus flows like a concept album and is helped to do this by its linking songs. These are short instrumentals that help link together the main songs. These linking songs include "Eon Blue Apocalypse", "Mantra", "Parabol" and "Disposition".This technique was also used on Aenima but it ended up dragging the album down. Here tool have perfected that technique and it does wonders for the album and adds to the progressive feel.

Maynard James Keenan's vocals and lyrics here are at their best ever and the production and musicianship here is unbelievable. The album kicks off with the simplistic yet ever changing guitar intro to "The Grudge", a daring opening track as it is 9 minutes long but the band pull it off well. The guitars and drums start to build up and progress continuosly to keep the listener satisfied throughout. This song includes one of the albums highlights where the guitars start to slow down in tempo and decrease in volume to make way for Maynard's epic scream which lasts 30 seconds long! Although this may not sound very impressive, it is near impossible to hold one note whilst screaming for such a long time. Of course this is what makes Maynard such a great singer as he can do it easily and get his moment in the spotlight.

"The Patient" is one of the most beautiful songs the band have ever done. It build ups brilliantly with an overall mellow scale to it, again showing the different sides of tools vocals, guitar skills and drumming techniques. "Schism" is one of the bands best songs and is probably the easiest to listen to as pretty short (for a tool song). It is nice to see a blend of acoustic and tortured vocals progress into an agressive outro. The middle section here is brilliant with it's fiddley guitar effects.

"Parabol" and "Parabola" are almost opposites of each other, using similar lyrics and guitar pieces. The sheer volume of Parabola is absolutely incredible and will leave the listener in a sort of euphoria for the whole of the track. This could not have been achieved without the quiet introduction to the song. Danny Carey steps into the spotlight next with his ferocious drumming on "Ticks and Leeches". This alongside with Maynards angry vocals and adams heavy riffage creates the perfect kick in the balls song, giving the album an everlasting sense of balance. The middle section mellows out and leaves the listener wondering what the band are building up to, when it finally explodes it is well worth the wait and will be hard not to enjoy.

"Reflection" and "Lateralus" keep the perfect concept flowing through the latter half of the album and are beautiful pieces (for tool anyway). The album closes with a montage instrumental, "Triad", that experiments with pieces of music from previous songs, including "Third Eye" from aenima. The last track is confusing and often scary to the listener but it serves as a good closing track and leaves you wondering if the 75 minutes of heaven you just listened to really happened or just a strange dream.

Lateralus is a mysterious album and a masterpiece. It puzzles the mind to think how perfect this album is and how a band can play THAT well together! Unfortunately, Tool will probably never be able to better this album but they have already proved themselves to be one of the best bands in the world.

frenchie | 5/5 |


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