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TOOL

Experimental/Post Metal • United States


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Tool biography
Formed in Los Angeles, California, USA in 1990 - Still active as of 2017

TOOL formed 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. ...
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TOOL Videos (YouTube and more)


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10,000 Days10,000 Days
Sony Legacy 2006
$7.63
$6.47 (used)
LateralusLateralus
Sony Legacy 2001
$9.98
$4.48 (used)
UndertowUndertow
Explicit Lyrics
Sony Legacy 1993
$11.37
$5.79 (used)
OpiateOpiate
Explicit Lyrics · EP
Sony Music Canada Inc. 1999
$8.83
$3.98 (used)
US direct Aenima Explicit Lyrics CDUS direct Aenima Explicit Lyrics CD
Amz_Fullfilled
$10.99
Tool - ParabolaTool - Parabola
Multiple Formats
Sony Legacy 2005
$7.48
$3.48 (used)
Tool - SchismTool - Schism
Multiple Formats
Sony Legacy 2005
$7.48
$1.79 (used)
Tool: VicariousTool: Vicarious
Sony Legacy 2007
$8.98
$2.35 (used)
Aenima [Vinyl]Aenima [Vinyl]
Volcano 1997
$134.99 (used)
10,000 Days By Tool (2006-05-01)10,000 Days By Tool (2006-05-01)
Volcano
$19.69
$35.43 (used)
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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)

3.20 | 525 ratings
Undertow
1993
4.09 | 842 ratings
∆nima
1996
4.22 | 1418 ratings
Lateralus
2001
3.85 | 856 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)

3.65 | 120 ratings
Salival
2000

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

3.80 | 15 ratings
72826
1991
2.83 | 207 ratings
Opiate (EP)
1992
3.82 | 30 ratings
Prison Sex
1993
4.39 | 38 ratings
Sober
1993
3.85 | 35 ratings
Stinkfist
1996
3.89 | 34 ratings
∆nema
1996
4.02 | 35 ratings
Forty Six & 2
1997
3.55 | 53 ratings
Parabola
2005
3.88 | 57 ratings
Schism
2005
3.75 | 53 ratings
Vicarious
2007

TOOL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.20 | 525 ratings

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Undertow
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

4 stars "Undertow", as most proggers know, was Tool's first full length album. Previously, Tool had released "Opiate" which was an EP of short, loud and heavy songs. Now their music had matured and improved quite a bit, and it was time to put a full album out into the public. This first album shows a few lengthier songs, but nothing really surpassing 8 minutes (the last track that shows being over 15 minutes doesn't really count unless you can count crickets singing after the 6:45 mark).

The first album was also less progressive than later albums. The songs are good, heavy rockers, but less complex than what was to follow. However, the album and the band was very influential in taking heavier rock and metal away from the pop metal fad that was blossoming at the time. That is a great thing. The fact that the music only got better in subsequent albums even makes everything sweeter. So, don't discount the importance of this album, even though it is not as complex. There are still some prog elements, and the album is still very enjoyable, just not so much in a progressive vein.

There really isn't anything different to say about the album other than what has already been said in the many reviews of the album. Pretty much everyone knows the trivia surrounding the album, including the picture that was hidden under the black CD tray, the fact that "Disgustapated" feature the use of shotguns and pianos being destroyed by a sledgehammer, that Henry Rollins is a guest vocalist on "Bottom" and that the music is inspired by the comedy of Bill Hicks.

Suffice it to say that this was an influential album and it is also a great album seeing as it was the first by the band. Just know that it isn't as progressive as their music would become, but it is still full of great, heavy and technically sound music. Not their best, but still excellent.

 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.22 | 1418 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Egyptianprog-Fahmy

5 stars 5/5 Exceptional Song writing, exceptional instrumental techniques and amazing riffs and drums. This is an album no prog fan should miss. From start to finish, it is one of the best grungy metal albums I have heard. From the song "The grudge" with its punch off bass riffs, to Schism with its iconic bass and guitar lines, to Parabol and Parabola with the amazing vocals from Maynard James, to Ticks and leeches with the drum intro and finally to the amazing song writing with the self titled album song. Truly an album that will deeply enlighten you to a higher vision.

Do not miss this.

 10,000 Days by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.85 | 856 ratings

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10,000 Days
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

4 stars With 10.000 Days Tool failed to deliver another masterpiece like Lateralus, but they managed to create an excellent album with some of the band's best moments, among other mediocre parts.

The production of the album is really good , with more balance progagonism of every instrument compared to Lateralus, where the guitars are god. I find the obsession of Maynard to distort his voice in some songs a bit annoying, but otherwise nothing to complain about the sound of the record.

Vicarious is just a perfect song, with outstanding lyrics and a perfect balance between commerciality, technicity and obscurity. But Jambi is even better, presenting the best Adam Jones guitar work to date. Just amazing start for this album!

But sadly, Wings for Marie is too slow and boring, despite the solid lyrics. 10.000 Days is better, thanks to the powerful second half, but inevitably the sensation of quality descent is there. But suddenly comes The Pot, another great song with one of the best Maynard James Keenan works on vocals. A classic!

But Tool does it again... Lipan Conjuring is absurd and pointless again, while Lost Keys (Blame Hoffmann) is a superficial introduction for Rosetta Stoned with nice guitar layers, but nothing more. Since Aenima this band is obsessed in introducing this little silly tracks wich are normally just pretentious, dull and unnecessary. And 10.000 Days is no exception.

Nevertheless, Rosetta Stoned is another thrashing track, with funny lyrics, very rhythmic and complex. Very good!

But then comes Intension... Once again too slow, but with mysterious and cryptic lyrics, very well written and a song wich leads to Right in Two, another highlight on this albums with top lyrical work. Similar to 10.000 Days in intensity and structure, but better.

And Viginti Tres? A vain reference to Nostradamus and the Antichrist, really boring.

Conclusion: 10.000 Days contains five great and three nice songs. The rest is rubbish. But the problem is that the good parts are so incredible, that I must give this album four stars. Is by far not so good as Lateralus, and it's also clearly under Aenima in my opinion, but it's another strong release from one of the most interesting and unique bands un progressive metal. And it contains the best lyrics of the band's history in my opinion! And that's is not a little thing.

Let's hope the best for the album that Tool are composing right now! I think It will not be their best, but I hope that surpasses this not so great 10.000 Days.

Best Tracks: Vicarious, Jambi, The Pot, Rosetta Stoned, Right in Two.

My rating: ****

 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.22 | 1418 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by The Crow
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Lateralus is without a doubt the Tool's most outstanding masterpiece, a milestone of progressive and alternative metal and an album wich influence is still notable today. A dark trip to human heart inspired by its rythm.

One of the most incredible facts of Lateralus is how good the album aged. Hearing this great work today is still impressive! Tool managed to create a timeless sound with a perfect production rich on details. The guitar and drums sound are astounding, and Maynard James Keenan never sung better.

Lateralus is also always fun to listen, thanks to the complex, surprising and deep structure of this wonderful bunch of songs. Here are also a pair of silly tracks (Eon Blue Apocalypse, Mantra), but they are not so abundant and not so annoying as they were in Aenima. The rest of the tracks are just flawless.

Best tracks: The Grudge, Schism, Parabola and Lateralus. But all the songs are really good!

Conclusion: Lateralus is the best Tool album, containing the finest work of every member of the band and also the best balanced production if the whole band's career. Variated, challenging, dark but also really enternaining music, with unforgettable songs that have reached the status of modern classics among the years.

My rating: ****1/2

 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.22 | 1418 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
3.20 | 525 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 "∆nima" 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
3.20 | 525 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 | 1418 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
3.85 | 856 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
3.20 | 525 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)

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