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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover

LATERALUS

Tool

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.23 | 1032 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Xaxaar
5 stars Lateralus: one of the greatest albums ever created.

Quite the statement, ain't it? But nonetheless, a statement I will definitely whole-heartily defend. Lateralus has been with me since the start of my prog-rock/metal journey, but I can never seem to find an album to surpass it. This is the one album I believe everyone should hear before they die; it's just really that good of an experience.

Now for the synopsis: Lateralus flows like a concept album as there are intro-songs for a good portion of the tracks on the album. It is also quite dark. I can tell you right now that you sure as hell don't listen to this album if you want something up-beat to brighten up your day. It's just a very powerful trip, is all I can say. This album creates the perfect mood.

Maynard's vocals fit perfectly in the album as his voice can certainly convey that dark tone the album has. He's also quite the skillful vocalist as well; hitting a wide range of notes. But along with the vocals come with the lyrics which are also some of my favorite. The only lyrics that I can say impact me as much are the lyrics in Ziltoid, but that's a WHOLE different experience. I can say safely these are my favorites lyrics in a serious piece. The combination of awesome vocals with creative and dark lyrics really make just Maynard's portion of the album a breath taking experience.

Next we move on to Danny's role. Let me just get it over with and say, yes, this is also my favorite album as regards to drumming. Being a drummer myself, I'm not awed by the immense technicality of the drumming, but the creativity. Just the shear imagination of the guy to put poly-rhythms where I never would have thought to in a million years makes this album so much more memorable. You can tell how much effort they put into this. Truly something to be studied by fellow drummers.

And then there's Adam and Justin. The most technical guitars you'll ever here? Not even close, but that's not the point of Lateralus. What they try to do they do perfectly. I will say that I never heard a guitar sing in such a beautiful tone before. They really are just perfect. And I will stress the point that Lateralus is not about technicality, but it's about creativity. I think the guitars perfectly reflect what Lateralus is about.

The Grudge - Just a way of saying, "Welcome to Lateralus!" The majority of the song is in 5/4, but it still flows very smoothly. The odd time signature does not feel forced by any stretch of imagination. The long scream paired with the drum "solo" at the end really sets up you up for the type of journey and you can feel confident that these musicians are the real deal.

Eon Blue Apocalypse/The Patient - It's just beautiful. It's such a dark song with a sense of loneliness and it has such a climatic ending. So beautiful it hurts. Everything is also just so perfect: the lyrics, vocals, drumming, guitars, they just all help create this crushing feel to the song. When I saw Tool live, my favorite song (next to Third Eye) that they played. Dark masterpiece.

Mantra/Schism - Another fantastic piece. All though this song maintains to the dark theme of the album, it's not quite like the previous ones. It's not a crushing dark, but more of an atmospheric dark. This being said, it certainly does have its points of aggression. The stop in the middle of the song is just another moment of beauty. Then when the drums come in, it just drives the song to the end with such force...it's just great. The album definitely does not let you down with this song.

Parabol/Parabola - A fantastic intro that foreshadows the main course. It maintains the dark ambient feel for a while, but then it just hits you again, going back to kinda how The Grudge made you feel. But then it just stops. It goes back into the ambient mood of things and I do really love this part. The drumming is just so very intricate. This album just has so many forms of dark and they all meld together perfectly. Along with the sublime outro to end the song, an awesome experience in itself.

Ticks and Leeches - I know I've been saying "creativity before technicality" for a while, but sometimes you can have both. The drums are just insane on this song. Even with the drums being so good, it's not the hi-light of the song for me, that would be the sucker punch they give right after the acoustic guitar. The first time I heard the album, I thought they were playing the song out. Needless to say I was...surprised. It's such a unique song, and yes, the drumming does stay often through-out.

Lateralus - Ah yes, the song with the Fibonacci Sequence. If that's not enough to show you how creative this album is, I'm not sure what is. Along with just using the Fibonacci Sequence, the lyrics also are very well done to correlate with the song. As you probably know, the Fibonacci Sequence creates a perfect spiral and some of the lyrics are "spiraling out," you can do the rest of the math. This is also one of the songs that have an array of poly-rhythms. And that ending! Oh, it's just a great song. Truly a song worthy of being the self titled track.

Disposition/Reflection - Disposition and Reflection are the calm tracks to begin closing off the album. They're kinda hypnotic as taking some ambient guitar and bass along with tribal drums. Reflection does have a climax and, yes, it is also awesome. I just really enjoy the longing feel the song gives. It's a very good atmosphere and would have been an excellent closer to an album.

Triad - The final song off Lateralus (not counting Faaip De Oaid). This song brings my only complaint to the album. Let me start first by emphasizing this is by no means a bad instrumental; it's actually very good, I'm just questioning why they needed it. For me, it feels like the album should have ended with Reflection as that was the epic to send it off, not some 6 and a half minute instrumental. But in a sense, I am just complaining about getting more music on my CD. I think that's the way Tool intended it to feel. You get the epic ending in Reflection, but then they come back with an encore to finish the job!...but then I can't really forget Faaip De Oaid, can I?

Even with ending on such a sour note there, it is not enough to convince me otherwise that this is the greatest album ever created. It has too many good features within for me to put this down for giving me too much content in one CD. If there is such thing as a musical masterpiece, thy name is Lateralus.

(Originally made for metalmusicarchives.com)

Xaxaar | 5/5 |

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