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Tool - Undertow CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.18 | 512 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars I was 17 when this album first surfaced on a largely unsuspecting world. The music industry had all but put the breaks on heavy metal with the sudden thrust of Seattle bands into the limelight. However, somehow Tool with their strange poetry and dark sentiments managed to break through the demise of heavy music. The reason this album stood out for so many is because it fits the definition of progressive without fault.

The evidence? Name one other band that ever sounded Tool before Tool. Tool were playing with peculiar rhythms and odd time signatures combined with space rock and guttaral, rusty metal sound. Maynard's voice again was like nobody before him. Much of the emotions and themes are nowhere to be found by any band prior to Tool. Thus, I don't understand why this album isn't recognized as the most progressive of Tool's work. Every album after it was simply adding to what this album started; though the production improved greatly. Not to detract from the later albums because they are excellent in their own right, but Tool has never really strayed from the formula they set down with Undertow...which inherently makes their later albums less progressive than their first.

Intolerance, Swamp Song, 4 Degrees, Flood, and Undertow show the rhythmic creativity of this band quite plainly. The only song rivaling the rhythms set down in these tracks is likely Lateralus with the fibonachi sequence. Disgustipated is an extremely well-executed experiment in avant garde recording. Tool does a brilliant job of recording percussion for this track, no doubt the the genius of Daney Carey at work. This track is more ambient art than prog rock, but again, there's nothing like it. Sober is all out amazing rocker that pretty much sums up everything Tool is about.

The fact that this album alone is likely responsible for the emergence of nu-metal is cause for concern, but where credit is due is a clear fork of diversion for the direction of the music scene.

| 5/5 |


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