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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1725 ratings

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4 stars Tool took a whole new direction from their grungier sounding 90's material with "Lateralus", 2001's "Intelli-Prog" album by the band. The album does sound more intelligent while still keeping the metal fans happy with their hard hitting riffs and shouts.



The CD opens with one of the heaviest songs on the album. It has a large build-up before bursting into a metal frenzy. There's a lot of highlights in this song from a guitarist's standpoint, and Maynard James Keenan's vocals are shouty, a lot like what was heard on the previous album "AEnema".


This merely acts as a bridge between "The Grudge" and "The Patient" and it works pretty well.


This is probably the best example of the prog side of Tool. A soft repeated guitar part plays along with Maynard's softer vocal range. Two minutes in, the guitar crashes into an epic and powerful sounding riff, and you can really hear by the drumming that Danny Carey is something special here. The song continues after relaxing a little, before returning to the softer side of things before ending.


More of an intro to "Schism", as it is included in the music video.


Another proggier track, it begins with the bass and guitar repeating a simple part. The drums softly come in along with Maynard's soft vocals, repeating lyrics almost like an android. The song is played in a very strange time signature, like many of Tool's songs. Probably one of the songs you must hear yourself to understand. The drumming is spectacular on this track.


The soft part leading into "Parabola". We hear some echoes and some strange chanting vocals from Maynard.

"PARABOLA" Straight away, the song kicks in at full force, and sounds like some strange Science Fiction song asking for purpose or reason of being. Another song which explores Tool's newer sound. The guitar solos pulled off almost weave through the sound of the vocals, which is something that sounds pretty special. A variety of vocal ranges are used here.


Sounds a little out of place from the rest of the album. Some bongo-style drumming is heard at the start, along with one of the strangest vocal performances I've ever heard. Apparently this song puts so much strain on Maynard James Keenan's voice that the band almost never play it live. And you can almost feel how much strain is put on his voice.


A very special sounding song, which, like many songs on the album, begins softly and then explodes into a killer headbanging riff. Some of the science-fiction style noises evident in "Schism" or "Parabola" make a return.


These three songs are in a trilogy clocking in at about 23 minutes. "Disposition" is a very soft relaxing style song which is the softest heard on this record. The song then moves into "Reflection" which has more bongo-style drumming. It adapts the first movement into something heavier, then moves into "Triad", which is an explosive and tense guitar riff combined with huge drum clatters and echoing vocals in the distance. We are given two minutes of "breathing space" at the end, which provides the space for the secret track.


This is rather pointless, and it contains the prank sample of the Art Bell Area 51 phone- call combined with static which almost hurts your ears.

- - - [4/5]

Overall, this album is definetely an excellent addition to any prog music collection. Even if you just like metal music, then there's something for every rock fan to find something good in here. Though it's not too heavy to put too many people off. There are a couple of main flaws in this album, mainly that the amazing sounding parts are only a few seconds long and just don't go on for long enough. I often find myself skipping forwards just to get to the good part of a song. Also, there are tracks that aren't actually real songs. At the front end of the album, there's a song, then a filler "intro" track and then another song, and this leads right up to "Parabola". Apart from that, this is an amazing album, and if you listen to it you'll soon see that the positive drowns out the negative. It's an aqquired taste.

ProgStage | 4/5 |


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