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TOOL

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Tool biography
TOOL formed in 1990 with Maynard James KEENAN (vocals), Adam JONES (guitar), Paul D'AMOUR (bass) and Danny CAREY (drums). The band is well known for their disturbing lyrics, creative groundbreaking musicianship and imaginative music videos.

Singer Maynard James KEENAN has collaborated with bands such as NINE INCH NAILS, RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE and provides vocals for A PERFECT CIRCLE. The singer is well known for having a supernatural ability to hold long notes with his voice. Adam JONES is a very skilled guitarist who also creates the band's videos and artwork. He was also chosen to be on the effects team for the movie "Terminator 2". The band often spend quite a few years writing and recording their albums in order to make them perfect and there is often a gap of 5 years between each studio album.

The band's first full length album is 1993's "Undertow", which played an important role of sculpturing and pioneering the prog metal scene that exists today. TOOL mastered the lengthy song structures, guitar effects, unique riffs and solo's backed up by KEENAN's amazing voice that can stretch long notes. Three years later the follow up "Aenima" was released, a masterpiece which received excellent reviews and was a clear step up from the previous album. This includes a mixture of anger fueled songs and emotional, tortured songs. The album also settled for a more progressive sound and contained many lengthy pieces.

2001 saw the band's masterpiece, "Lateralus". It was almost impossible to better the last album but they pulled it off. This lengthy album showed off the band's lyrical and musical skills to the maximum. One of the best prog rock albums I've ever heard. The album was succeeded by another five year hiatus where the band members worked on their side projects.

2006 finally saw the band's eagerly awaited new album "10,000 Days" which was initially met with praise from both the fans and critics, making it their second album to top the Billboard 200. Over time, the album began to lose some of its initial praise due to the material's less ambitious content when compared to "Lateralus".

The band is currently on another hiatus where KEENAN is mainly occupied with his latest side project PUSCIFER while JONES and CAREY have began to do the ground work for the band's fifth album. There are not many bands that mimic the unique sound of TOOL, but fans o...
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AenimaAenima
Explicit Lyrics
Sony Legacy 1996
Audio CD$8.26
$5.94 (used)
LateralusLateralus
Sony Legacy 2001
Audio CD$9.83
$6.11 (used)
UndertowUndertow
Explicit Lyrics
Sony Legacy 1993
Audio CD$8.26
$3.98 (used)
10,000 Days10,000 Days
Sony Legacy 2006
Audio CD$8.26
$5.33 (used)
OpiateOpiate
Explicit Lyrics · EP
Sony Legacy 1992
Audio CD$7.47
$2.62 (used)
Tool: VicariousTool: Vicarious
Sony Legacy 2007
DVD$7.61
$3.99 (used)
Tool - SchismTool - Schism
Multiple Formats
Sony Legacy 2005
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$1.26 (used)
Tool - ParabolaTool - Parabola
Multiple Formats
Sony Legacy 2005
DVD$5.82
$0.10 (used)
SalivalSalival
Explicit Lyrics · Limited Edition · CD+DVD
Legacy 2000
Audio CD$159.99
$35.00 (used)
10,000 Days By Tool (2006-05-01)10,000 Days By Tool (2006-05-01)
Volcano
Audio CD$31.20
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TOOL discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TOOL top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.18 | 474 ratings
Undertow
1993
4.09 | 775 ratings
Ænima
1996
4.22 | 1287 ratings
Lateralus
2001
3.84 | 791 ratings
10,000 Days
2006

TOOL Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

TOOL Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

TOOL Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.63 | 107 ratings
Salival
2000

TOOL Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.60 | 5 ratings
72826
1991
2.80 | 187 ratings
Opiate (EP)
1992
3.86 | 26 ratings
Prison Sex
1993
4.34 | 35 ratings
Sober
1993
3.84 | 31 ratings
Stinkfist
1996
3.85 | 29 ratings
Ænema
1996
4.03 | 30 ratings
Forty Six & 2
1997
3.57 | 51 ratings
Parabola
2005
3.89 | 53 ratings
Schism
2005
3.74 | 49 ratings
Vicarious
2007

TOOL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.22 | 1287 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Scorpius

2 stars Before we get into the meat of my review, I would like to explain my 2 star rating. I am very open to listening to new types of music, and for me, progressive metal was a new journey. I figured I would start from what is considered the best in the prog metal genre. After listening to this album with an open mind, I've come to a conclusion: either I'm more biased against metal than I think, or I just don't hear something in this album that most everyone else seems to. Here is my actual review.

The Grudge: 5/10 A decent opener, didn't really peak, but was fun and decent to listen to. Sets the mood for the rest of the album. It does what an opening track is supposed to, nothing more, nothing less. If it had done a little bit more to not be repetitious, I would give it a higher rating.

Eon Blue Apocalypse: 3/10 A fine transition, but why? The album didn't gain anything from it being on the album. It's a decent track, but it just seems like pointless filler to me.

The Patient: 4.3/10 A solid track that should have been an instrumental. Let me get this straight; I absolutely despise the vocals for this album. The auto tune is very strong with this album, and this band in general, it seems. If this track had been an instrumental, I might have actually enjoyed it.

Mantra: 7/10 The only good transition on this album, and a great setup for Schism.

Schism: 9/10 This track (and the title track) are the only reasons I gave this album as high a rating as I did. This is one of the only tracks on the album that, for me, made me want to listen to even more of the album. My brain always feels absolutely numb afterwards. This song is genius (along with title track), but 2 rights compared to 10 wrongs (in my opinion) really doesn't do much for the album.

Parabol(a): 4/10 I'm gonna combine my review for these 2 tracks into one giant review. Which is exactly what the band should have done when they made these tracks. I understand that its cool to have a calm song before a heavy song and that the songs have a name similarity, but its such an overused prog cliche. Not to mention the songs just seem bland and generic.

Ticks and Leeches: 4.7/10 The only reason this song got even a 4.7 is the drumming. The vocals are [&*!#], and the song is repetitious (again). Thats probably my biggest problem with this album: it just seems like pointless repetition to me. Coming from a hardcore King Crimson fan, that should tell you something. 70's hardcore edgy Crimson is my favorite generation of the band, but this prog metal band seems pointless and repetitious. it tries too hard to be hardcore, and again, I despise the vocals.

Lateralus: 9/10 Like I mentioned while I was discussing Schism, this track and that ones are the only reason I gave this album as high a rating I did. its just an enjoyable track. Nothing else to say about it.

Disposition: 4.5/10 A "meh" transition track. Nice bassline, but goes absolutely nowhere.

Reflection: 3/10 A continuation of Disposition, it follows a similar pathway, and takes f*cking forever to climax. I love long songs, (Echoes by Pink Floyd is my favorite song ever), but just because its a long song doesn't mean it has to take forever to climax. I'll compare this to Pigs (Three Different Ones) by Pink Floyd because they have a similar song length. That song has amazing vocals and sends a political message. It also features about 3 guitar solos, one of which uses a talkbox (type of wah pedal). Reflection just seems pointless. Its got a slow (11 minute) build-up, horrid, auto-tuned vocals, and for what? A guitar solo at the end. There are many, many prog songs that follow the same trope and ace it. This track, however, did not.

Triad: 2/10 Another instrumental, (I almost forgot the band did instrumentals, as its been 7 tracks since we've seen one), it features some heavy riffing and then 2:10 minutes of silence. Absolute silence. Absolute. F*cking. Silence. I don't know if this is what some people consider "genius", but I sure don't.

Faaip de Oiad: 0/10 This album has a theme for pointless nonsense. This is exactly that. Just end the goddamn album already.

Thank you for reading my review (or rant, depending on your point of view). I apologize if I angered or offended anyone in my review. Please just remember that you are reading a review that someone you don't know personally wrote about an album he doesn't like. We cool? Cool.

 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.18 | 474 ratings

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Undertow
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Rodrigo Andrade7

4 stars This is not Tool's debut album but its their first studio album and also a big improvement from "Opiate" "Undertow" combines this raw sounding with very strong upbeat and heavy songs. For a first studio album it is superb, you can hear the sounding of the music turning more and more progressive with very progressive guitar riffs, amazing vocals and really strong lyrics. There is no single deviation on this album from the beginning to the end of it, all the songs are reasonably short and fast (except for the last track) but all of them are memorable. I actually consider this album to be Tool's real debut, since "Opiate" wasn't anything special for me, "Undertow" excites me in every way because it has a way bigger approach to progressive music and gives a taste of whats to come in the future for this band, this is the real start of Tool for me. For many fans, this is the only album they like from tool, however for other fans, they only like the other 3 and dislike this one and "Opiate". Can be quite understandable since Tool only started to have a big carreer since "Ænima" having very complex music, but I personally love them all, Tool is my favorite band, but you gotta consider that this album is still the beginning for tool, but don't ever think this is a weak or a less significant album, you'd be really wrong, this is a album I love to listen and Tool is in my opinion the strongest modern progressive band there is. Songs in this album like "Sober" , "Prison sex" , "Undertow" , "Swamp Song" and "Intolerance" are just completly unforgettable and remarkable.
 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.18 | 474 ratings

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Undertow
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I first heard about Tool when I was in high school. I wasn't a fan then. They were very popular, and after listening to Undertow, it's easy to see why. The band is punchy, sonically and lyrically, with a nuanced metal vibe that supercharges the alt-rock approachability that permeated the mid-90's. Mostly though, Tool was popular because Maynard's passionate vocals and very, very angry lyrics. This is probably where the band lost me. I wasn't nearly so jaded back in those days! This album is a like ball of pent up rage, disgust, and spite just waiting to be let out; for most 15 year-olds trapped in high school, it's easy to see the appeal.

Fortunately for prog fans, Tool has a lot of musical appeal, too, even on this early album where the band is still working out their identity and sound. For an alt-rock album, it's amazingly ambitious and effective; for a prog-metal record, it's somewhat light-weight. The song writing isn't as creative or gripping as we'll hear on their later works, though still great when compared to the sort of standard FM fare we still hear on modern rock radio stations. For me the biggest attraction is the band's playing, which is undeniably great. Each member of Tool is like a dark magician, creating evil spells alone in a corner with their instruments. There's no member of the group that steals the spotlight, with solo moments, for example; instead, the band are consummately focused on the effect that each of their evil spells contributes to the experience. The rhythm section is one of the best in modern rock, and Adam Jones' guitar single-handily creates an astounding amount of noise and effects.

Of course, one can't talk about a Tool album without touching on Maynard Keenan. The guy's a master performer. His emotion and phrasing are well above his peers, though in this early album his lyrics are so focused on frustration and anger that they sort of lose me in the end. The songs have messages, but they're usually about how much the narrator wants the listener to die. Being the listener, I sort of have a problem with that! So for this early outing, Maynard's vocals get a pass.

The album as a whole should definitely be picked up by fans of the band, who on Prog Archives are probably coming from the group's more diverse, experimental, and enjoyable later albums. If you enjoy dark, fuzz-heavy, and menacing metal, Undertow could become a go-to release for you; for me, it's an every once and a while enjoyment.

Songwriting: 3 - Instrumental Performances: 4 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 3

 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.22 | 1287 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by RuntimeError

4 stars Tool defined their own sound and made it big.

There's not much to say about this record. Probably every prog rock and/or progressive metal fan has heard something from this record. It features Tool's signature riffing in non-standard time signatures and very pressuring, even claustrophobic atmosphere that finally defined Tool's vision. Keenan's vocals never sounded better and they are very pleasantly in key, even the most demanding screams. There are a lot of highlights in this record and obviously the opener : 'The Grudge' sets the mood very well, while not being the strongest track. 'Eon Blue Apocalypse' is more of an intro the 'The Patient' which is one of Tool's finest songwriting moments but unfortunately here Keenan's vocals are not arranged to their full potential. I think they should have utilized his screams instead of the whiny vocals to emphasize the different emotions going through this song.

As the album progresses to 'Schism' through 'Mantra'. The band introduces us one of the most memorable Tool moments. The bass riff is unforgettable and Adam Jones uses his guitar very well to support the bass, instead of the bass supporting the guitar. Parabol ja Parabola are quite weak and I never have quite enjoyed this pair.

The best two songs of this album are up next: 'Ticks and Leeches' and 'Lateralus' are of course every Tool fans favourites. While Ticks and Leeches is a heavy song, utilizing Keenan's voice to it's full potential - Lateralus us in contrast the 'prog epic' offering us multiple climaxes and superb song progression and riffing. Danny Carey gives us his best performance in these two songs as well.

Now the album has peaked and I rarely listen after this point. The rest of the songs seem to drag on, never progressing anywhere. Tool tries to keep up the fantastic atmosphere set up earlier, but most of the material seem rehashed and I think should have been left out. Production here is strange, almost completely devoid of loudness (maybe just my master) and it might be done on purpose to maximize the dynamic range required to perform these songs.

Either way, truly a classic and highly unique experience.

4,2 stars.

 10,000 Days by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.84 | 791 ratings

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10,000 Days
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by KenFrankenstein

5 stars My wife is not too crazy about this album. But then is it her writing this review? No. This album with it's concept as a whole beckons back to the seventies when bands actually cared about art regardless of how high they were on drugs and being manipulated by record executives who were probably ten times more high on freak knows what than the guys in the band were.

What attracted me at first was the elaborate CD concept artwork. I said to myself this I gotta hear so I forked out 21 bucks for it along with the BB King CD that I had gone in to HMV fir that I had on special order. I can only describe the package as psychedelic. The music is heavy, lyrical, angry and encompasses influences from everything from early Black Sabbath, Zeppelin to 90s King Crimson with originality. I couldn't take it out of my CD player.

What a Surprise. Not a big fan of anything beyond 1975 but this one blew me away. I have no choice but to give this work of art 5 stars.

 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.18 | 474 ratings

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Undertow
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars Tool-Undertow

'Undertow' is the debut studio album by progressive/alt metal band Tool. Tool made a great start with their debut EP 'Opiate', it was unique, heavy, and a bit experimental on the last track. A year later they released their debut studio album, and it expanded upon everything the EP had and more.

The album opens up with the strong 'Intolerance', where Keenan gives a great vocal performance as always. Halfway through, Adam Jones plays some awesome riffs. Next comes the catchy groove of 'Prison Sex', with a great bassline played by Paul D'Amour. One of my favorites on the album is the next track 'Sober', which was surprisingly sampled by electronic band Orbital on their song 'Tootled'. All of the instruments compliment each other amazingly, with a great menacing chorus. The bass is very strong in this song, being heard at the perfect times. My favorite on the album is probably 'Crawl Away', which is more reminiscent of 'Opiate' feeling much rawer. The bridge kicks ass, with awesome riffs and double bass coming after Keenan's screams of 'This is my love'.

The experimental side of the title track of the previous EP, is expanded in such songs on this album like 'Bottom' and 'Disgustipated'. 'Bottom' is another favorite of mine, which starts out with awesome guitar hooks and Keenan's raw vocals. However, about two minutes through the songs slows down to steady drum beats. Distorted guitar plays in the background during spoken word. 'Disgustipated' could be debated on weather it's a 'song'. It starts with slowly speeding up percussion. I really like this part with Keenan's powerful 'This is necessary'. After that comes back on and off a few times, the rest of the song is silent other then a continuing sound.

Overall, even though I wouldn't say it's as good as the albums that would come later, I still find it to be near flawless. After all, you can't go wrong with any Tool album.

(Originally written for www.MetalMusicArchives.com)

 Opiate (EP) by TOOL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
2.80 | 187 ratings

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Opiate (EP)
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Pastmaster

5 stars Unlike later albums like 'Lateralus', Tool's debut EP 'Opiate' shows a much rawer and angry sound. 'Undertow', which would come out a year later, still maintains some similar qualities but still enhances and adds to their sound.

Opiate has four studio recordings and two live performances, and one hidden track. The opening track 'Sweat' is my personal favorite on this EP, having both similarities and differences from their later albums. Maynard James Keenan's vocals are already powerful and standing out. Adam Jones gives some great riffing during the bridge. Both 'Hush' and 'Part of Me' are songs perfect for headbanging, with good crunching guitar. The two live tracks are both really good performances, and the final track 'Opiate' is great other then the odd hidden track. The hidden track reminds me of the weirdness of 'Disgustipated' on the next album, except being much shorter.

Overall, 'Opiate' was a great beginning for my second favorite band. Short, but a great addition nonetheless.

 Ænima by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.09 | 775 ratings

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Ænima
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Obsidian Pigeon

4 stars I at first viewed Aenima as a juvenile album. While the music was very nice and the songwriting top-notch, I thought that the lyrics and the angst were fairly over-the-top. Over time, though, I've come to simply appreciate nearly the entire album, despite the lackluster lyrics at parts and the angst that's present throughout the entire album. I've found that Tool is excellent at melding the distorted guitar with the great rhythm section that's present in every track on here.

Songs like Stinkfist, which seem like mainstream hard-rock/grunge radio, are surprisingly really nice to listen to. Other, more progressive tracks such as Eulogy and Pu[&*!#] are also very well- written and even don't seem to take up the entire 8/10 minutes that they respectively consume from the album. I've even come to really enjoy some of the interludes in the context of the album as a whole, with the sole exception of Cesaro Summability, which simply annoys me.

This album is on the cusp of a 4/5 for me, and deservedly so. I am leaning more towards a 4 for now, but that is subject to change. I disliked Tool at first, but over time I grew to really appreciate their music, and I feel like it really only takes patience for many progressive fans to warm up toward their style.

 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.22 | 1287 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by russellk
Prog Reviewer

4 stars An enormous slab of many-faceted metal, 'Lateralus' is considered by many TOOL's masterpiece. For me 'Aenima' is slightly the better album, a little more raw, a little more passion, a little less control. But, make no mistake, 'Lateralus' is the real deal, a showcase of progressive rock cast in an metal context. Even if you don't like such things - especially if you don't - you should have a listen.

The rage is a little more constrained by the complexities of this album's construction, but it is still there. KEENAN's voice flays you just as it did on 'Aenima'; the guitars grind into your skull and the rhythm cracks and punches you into numb submission. There are half a dozen genuine classic tracks here: 'The Grudge', the Grammy Award-winning 'Schism', 'Parabol/Parabola', 'Ticks and Leeches' and the title track are the heart of this album. A bit like 'Aenima', this album disintegrates into madness, induced partly by the effort of getting there (an opaque 80 minutes) and partly by design. The musicianship is peerless, the lyrics challenging, the music never anything but commanding. The only fault is that it asks too much of us.

 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.18 | 474 ratings

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Undertow
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by aglasshouse

4 stars "Undertow" is the debut album by the American progressive/alternative metal band, Tool.

The full - length debut album is said to have kept the life of all heavy metal in the mainstream media due to it's success. "Undertow" is also the cause of Tool's undeniable later success, being that their debut EP, "Opiate" was not as highly regarded, and did not get them critical reception. Although Tool's later albums, including "Ænima" and "Lateralus", Undertow still remains one of the most highly regarded progressive metal albums of all time.

1. Intolerance

Opening up the album is the first track, 'Intolerance'. The song starts with quiet swooshing synth noises, until the heavy guitar riffs come in to take the stage. The vocal value takes a slight decline in the beggining, ranging from too weak to way too over the top, but the chords and riffs remain excellent throughout. The track gets faster in the middle of the song, and a great heavy bridge leads to the end of the song. A More weak track from the album, but still great. (8/10)

2. Prison Sex

'Prison Sex' is the 2nd single from the album. Starting out with metallic noises, the song amps up with some fast and heavy guitar chords. The bass is getting more and more noticable as the album progresses, however the drums are getting less noticable. The vocals are slightly too loud over the other instruments, but are still great. The song is noticably more heavy, and gets more instrumental time. And the vocals are also in a good key. A nice track from the album. (9/10)

3. Sober

'Sober' is the first single from the album, and also the most highly regarded. The song starts out with an extremely heavy bass chords, and an amazing drum riff leads into the main song. As the song progresses, the drums, bass, and guitar all seem to work as one instrument, and shift into separate ones during the choruses until inevitably joining up again. The vocals are absolutely spectacular in this song, and very nice to the ears. Unlike other songs from the album, 'Sober' is able to be listened to at any time, in any mood, and in any place. Amazing song, and my favorite from the album. (10/10)

4. Bottom

A more subtle and heavy track then it's former songs, 'Bottom' takes the third track on the album. There is no slow moments in the song- in fact, every part of the song is nice and constant. Changes are done when they are needed, and the riffs remain heavy. The drumming is nice and catchy, however the bass is less noticable. A nice, catchy song. (9/10)

5. Crawl Away

Starting with the faint sound of a band playing, 'Crawl Away''s guitar quickly comes in at a fast pace. As the guitar continues, we are suddenly blasted with heavier riffs then we are used to. The guitar remains in the lead, until the bass ultimately takes over. The song is an awesome battle between bass and guitar, while the vocals and drums are taking over the backround noise. An amazing song, and definitely one of my favorites. (10/10)

6. Swamp Song

'Swamp Song' brings us an almost completely instrument ruled song. The lyrics seem to just blend in with the instruments so much it doesn't seem to be there, just adding to the noise. However, this does not make the song un-enjoyable. In fact, it makes the song have a certain flow, giving it a nice, catchy feel. Another great song from the album. (10/10)

7. Undertow

Unlike the other heavy songs on the album, 'Undertow' seems to just have a more dulled down version of the chords. In fact, the production they used seems to be the same they used in 'Sober'. Except in 'Sober', it fit in well. In this song it seems oddly misplaced. Besides that, the vocals are nice and vivid, the drumming and guitar are great also. The lack here is the base, it just seems to be alongside the drums and not playing it's own part. (8.5/10)

8. 4 Degrees

'4 Degrees' is another vocal dominated song, just like 'Undertow', and the other instruments seem to be backround sounds in some places. Unlike 'Undertow', the bridge is absolutely excellent, however the song starts to get quite repetitive. Not much else to say about it. Great, but not the best. (9/10)

9. Flood

A slower track, with more drum and guitar domination, 'Flood' comes in with nice echoey vocals, and nice heavy chords. Where the song has it's errors is that the bridge drags on too long. The bass is the only upside to keep you interested during it. The vocals are basic and sort of bland, until the chorus, which is an excellent piece of Tool vocal work. A nice, but slightly weak song. (8/10)

10. Disgustipated

I don't even know what to say about this finale. Should it even be considered music? I think it is a great work in experimenting with different sounds, but definitely not something to close out nice heavy album like "Undertow". It is an absolutely useless symphony of weird echoey sounds, sheep, radio voices, whistles, and hammers. Not to mention- this song drags on for (15:47). That is just to long for a song that is mostly dominated by annoying mind bending whistles. Other than the whistling, the song has less than a minute of nonsensical lyrics and random sound beats. An awful droning, repetitive ending to the album. In fact, it got so annoying that I couldn't even listen to it anymore. Definitely not worth listening to. (2/10)

Overall, Tool's debut album was definitely the cause of Tool's undeniable rise in popularity. And we can all agree, "Undertow" saved metal's asses when it was starting to fall in numbers of listeners. All later and greater albums have to give credit to "Undertow", for making it possible for Tool to continue on what they do best-make metal music. (Originally written for the Metal Music Archives on August 4th, 2014)

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