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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1690 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars Where most prog metal relies on the technical ability of the musicians, Lateralus relies entirely on the artistry of the musical soundscapes created within. The most impressive thing about this album is the amount of excellent material lying under the surface of the tracks. While any song on first listen sounds like great hard rock/metal, the intricate musical and lyrical details don't really come out until many listens later. There is simply too much to take in on the first listen, which is why I would encourage all first time listeners to give this album a chance to grow on them.

"The Grudge" This song uses an elegant blend of hard and soft passages to evoke an emotional chasm of sound. The vocals range from mechanical to flowing, lending great support to the overall structure of the song. If one so chooses to look deeply into the lyrics they will find reference to alchemical and astrological terms, as well as the Tree of Life symbol, enhancing the depth with which this song can be heard.

"The Patient" The very clean production of the album is essential on this track which describes colorful images of space through its muted guitar and mutated bass. This sound eventually evolves into a heavy jam that makes great use of overlayed vocal tracks.

"Schism" The fantastic bass lines on this track sound almost like cosmic sawblades, only one small piece of the delicate balance provided here. An excellent song despite being my least favorite on the album.

"Parabol" The holographic depth of the album is at its peak with this slow and dreamy arrangement of instruments and voice accompanied by deep, bassy chanting and the harmonious ribbit of frogs.

"Parabola" Parabol's hard and fast counterpart. Vocalist Maynard seems intent on surpassing the emotional aspect of lyrics and digging right into the spiritual realm, and he exceeds wonderfully.

"Ticks and Leeches" This is the most aggressive track on the album and also drummer Danny Carey's moment to shine as he carries out some impressive polyrhythms. After the agressive intro a quiet passage utilizing subtle wind effects builds up into a beautiful, cathartic release of energy.

"Lateralus" The title track is an inspiring journey into purely spiritual territory. Just one of the subtle nuances here is the use of the Fibonacci sequence in Maynard's vocal pattern. Rest assured, there are many more of these details to be discovered and appreciated throughout the album.

"Disposition" This song is really the first in a three part epic collectively known as "Resolution". Sparse lyrics, echoes, synth, and even some tabla drumming help to create a vivid floating effect, one of the most impressive things ever done in progressive music.

"Reflection" The pinnacle of the album. It sounds like nothing before it, a musical labyrinth that mixes the standard rock instruments with synth and bassoon. I don't want to spoil it, but the lyrics are every bit as emotionally penetrating as the music.

"Triad" Although Maynard provides no vocals on this track, the music speaks volumes. Beneath the chugging guitar riffs exists a soundscape of chanting voices that I can only describe as awe-inspiring. The perfect end to a perfect album.

int_2375 | 5/5 |


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