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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1644 ratings

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4 stars To this day, I still have not heard all of AEnima yet. I've heard the majority of songs on it over the years, but it never really grabbed my attention. When that album came out I was going through my 'classic rock' phase where I discovered prog. Between 1995-1998 I mostly ignored new music coming out. I can't remember exactly why, but when this album first came out I was excited. I guess after hearing albums like Kid A I was thrilled to be living in an era where more experimental rock music was becoming popular again.

I no longer feel so strongly about Lateralus but still consider it a great album. After a long gap between albums, the lyrics here are much more esoteric and mystical than on the first two. The music is also a lot more 'proggy' as well. This went to #1 on the Billboard charts and "Schism" got some radio play. Somehow, ten years later, I could not see that happening today. Danny Carey is almost the star of the show with his great drumming. There are some shorter songs here which are not too great by themselves, but in the context of the album break up the heaviness.

The first half of "The Grudge" is in a similar vein to the songs on AEnima. Over halfway is some great Middle-Eastern style guitar playing. I like the repeated percussion sound before it rocks out at the very end with some awesome drum fills from Carey. Love the guitars at the beginning of "The Patient", especially the wah-wah guitar. Maynard singing "I'm still right here..." is sorta catchy before the song gets heavier. Nice harmonics and talking around 4 1/2 minutes. Almost goes into a groove afterwards. Nice percussion at the end.

"Schism" was the big single from the album, probably Tool's most well known song after "Sober". One of the highlights of the album. The middle part is great with what sounds like a guitar synth. "Parabola" sounds like something from the first two albums. I like the mellower middle section in "Ticks & Leeches" but don't care so much for the rest of the song. Next we have the title track, which is possibly the greatest thing here. Love the part after 7 minutes. I am horrible at math but some of you might be interested in knowing that the syllables of the lyrics in this song form Fibonacci numbers. The timing of the vocals incorporates the "golden ratio". The three Great Pyramids of Egypt incorporate the Fibonacci sequence, as well as other important things in the world. Deep stuff, baby!

Another highlight is "Disposition." I like the echoed/delayed guitars and percussion here. A little bit of acoustic guitar in this song. "Reflection" begins with the tabla-like drumming that ends "Disposition." Love the synth sounds (guitar synth?). A Middle-Eastern style wind instrument can be heard. The singing starts after 4 minutes; sounds backwards and forwards at the same time. Just drums and vocals in the middle for awhile. A guitar solo later. Gets more rockin' near the end. Yet another highlight. That triad of "Lateralus" / "Disposition" / "Reflection" is my favourite part of the whole album.

Speaking of triads, there is an instrumental called "Triad." It's good but maybe drags on a little. The last song is called "Faaip De Oiad." I'm not sure what that means but it sounds Gaelic. Lots of static and some spacey sounds before some jazzy drum rolls. Features a phone call made to the radio show CoastToCoastAM about Area 51. Freaky. These guys toured with King Crimson not long after this came out. KC are an admitted influence and you can hear some hints of Red and Discipline here. I still have Undertow on cassette tape but other than a few songs was never that big on it. I heard 10,000 Days but it sounded to me like the bastard child of this album. So it appears to me that this is their finest hour...and 16 minutes. 4 stars.

zravkapt | 4/5 |


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