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Tool - Ænima CD (album) cover

ÆNIMA

Tool

 

Experimental/Post Metal

4.10 | 898 ratings

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int_2375
5 stars Tool's second major studio album finds the band perfecting their songwriting, although the album as a whole doesn't flow as well thematically as the 2001 followup Lateralus.

"Stinkfist" 9/10 - A great track about desensitization. Maynard's voice sounds very honest and emotional (but not whiny), something rare in the prog rock world. Vocal effects actually play into the meaning of the song, something I only recently noticed after years of listening to this album, showing what lasting appeal it has.

"Eulogy" 9/10 - One good thing about Tool is that their 8+ minute songs are always good. This one falls short of Pushit and Third Eye, but is hardly a disappointment. The soft passages are good and help to accentuate and provide build up to the exceptional hard passages.

"H." 10/10 - The first five minutes are a soft, increasingly tense build up to the last very powerful minute. I cannot help but love the bass in that last minute, which has a bouncy, electric sound to it.

"Forty Six & 2" 8/10 - A very guitar driven track. It starts to feel a little tiresome towards the end, and thankfully it ends there.

"Hooker With a Penis" 9/10 - A great hard track, mostly devoid of anything progressive, however. The vocals are great and Maynard really pours his energy into the last minute or so of the song, which is really great to hear.

"jimmy" 7/10 - My least favorite song on the album, but a good one nonetheless.

"Pushit" 10/10 - This is where Tool stands out as progressive in nature. The whole ten minutes are filled out very well with hard passages as well as soft ambient ones. The ambient passages especially sound good, providing a mix of light instrumentals and background effects. I am tempted to say the lyrics are a bit vague for my tastes, however.

"AEnema" 9/10 - One of the best tracks on the album, but along with most of the songs on this album besides "Pushit" and "Third Eye", it has slowly lost my interest over time.

"Third Eye" 10/10 - Here we go... This track is an absolute masterpiece, arguably Tool's finest work. More happens in the space of 14 minutes than in most 20 minute prog epics. It literally takes the listener on an acid trip through the desert. The heavily distorted guitar is perfect.

As good as those tracks are, the album is not flawless. The short segue tracks are full of meaning and interesting for one or two listens, but once you get past that they are just annoying filler. I'm talking about "Useful Idiot", "Message to Harry Manback", "Intermission", "Die Eier Von Satan", "Cesaro Summability", and "(-) Ions". Its hard to knock the album too hard for that when there is still 70 minutes of great material. I'd definitely reccomend this album to anyone who has listened to the masterpiece "Lateralus" and is looking for more Tool.

int_2375 | 5/5 |

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