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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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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)

3.14 | 414 ratings
Undertow
1993
4.07 | 686 ratings
Ænima
1996
4.21 | 1117 ratings
Lateralus
2001
3.83 | 713 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)

3.61 | 93 ratings
Salival
2000

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
72826
1991
2.77 | 169 ratings
Opiate (EP)
1992
3.82 | 25 ratings
Prison Sex
1993
4.35 | 31 ratings
Sober
1993
3.79 | 28 ratings
Stinkfist
1996
3.83 | 27 ratings
Ænema
1996
4.00 | 28 ratings
Forty Six & 2
1997
3.54 | 48 ratings
Parabola
2005
3.86 | 49 ratings
Schism
2005
3.70 | 44 ratings
Vicarious
2007

TOOL Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.14 | 414 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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 Opiate (EP) by TOOL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
2.77 | 169 ratings

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Opiate (EP)
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Pastmaster

4 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.

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 Ænima by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.07 | 686 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.

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 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.21 | 1117 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.

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 Undertow by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1993
3.14 | 414 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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 Opiate (EP) by TOOL album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1992
2.77 | 169 ratings

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Opiate (EP)
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars After releasing the demo "72826" we get TOOL's first official release OPIATE in the form of a 26 minutes plus EP. TOOL has had the same exact lineup from the beginning with Maynard James Keenan on vocals, Adam Jones on guitar and Danny Carey on drums. The sole exception is that Paul D'Amour handles bass duties on OPIATE and the follow-up first full length album "Undertow."

The template of TOOL's unique sound has already fully blossomed here. Although this is more straight on hard groove rock, it is nonetheless the basic sound which would unfold itself into their more popular progressive albums that would begin with "Aenima." Unfortunately despite being a fairly consistent and pretty good album, it seems a little generic compared to the much more ambitious efforts that came later. However, I really like having this album in my collection just because it delivers that raw energy of an early ambitious band greasing its wheels for the big time.

Despite being a short EP there is a hidden 7th track which begins 6 minutes and 6 seconds after the final title track called "The Gaping Lotus Experience." A very good but not outstanding first effort for TOOL. Of course, everyone knows the best of this band was a few years away.

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 10,000 Days by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.83 | 713 ratings

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10,000 Days
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by infinityisgone

5 stars I can not write a really long review for this 10,000 Days album or any other. But I can say that this is my favorite TOOL album, I love it and I have listened to it at least 10,000 times or more. This is Tool's most Progressive Rock/Metal album to date. Rosetta Stoned is my favorite track from this album closely followed by The Pot, Vicarious, and Right in Two. And like every other TOOL fan around the world, I can not wait to see what TOOL has in store for their next album. I hope they keep moving forward and pushing the boundaries.

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 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.21 | 1117 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by Glimmung

1 stars STAGNANT! For most of you on here writing reviews for TOOL albums I can only assume you've all heard Aenima. I once back in the late 90s's was a huge Tool fan and could'nt praise them enough for this new sound that they brought into my life starting with undertow and evolving into Aenima. So you would think that after some 5 years that the band would have had plenty of time to evolve even further for their next release. They did not. Tool took to recreating Aenima pretty much for the rest of their career so far. In my opinion not only is that a slap in the face to fans but also down right lazy songwriting. For a band to break so much ground for a few albums and then to come to a complete stand still is an obvious sign that TOOL is afraid to grow any further in fear that they might lose that fan base and all important pay check. Is there any integrity in that? TOOl became horribly predictable ( In several spots on any post Aenima TOOL album you have DANNY CAREY subdividing the beat to end a song and ADAM JONES dragging his pick up and down some strings with a light delay on it). In the end it's a sad day when a band that is regarded as progressive stands still and refuses to move their sound forward in any real way. If you are new to TOOL check out Aenima and Undertow you really don't have to go any further in their discography because everything they do as a band is done on those 2 albums in a genuine way.

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 Ænima by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 1996
4.07 | 686 ratings

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Ænima
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by jammun
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Relax. I feel something. Something deep inside.

I feel Tool's absolute high point. I feel a crystal CD case that no longer holds together, all the nubbins holding it together having shattered. Dig the Cracker Jack cover. Someone's ripped it apart, or maybe it just hit the floor one too many times during...

Get with the dynamics, the percussion, the beat, the ever-present incessant wandering beat and the bottom end. Get with the sonic explosions, Crank it up you [%*!#]ing ass, crank it up on the headphones...your hearing is shot anyway. Get wit the rhythm of of Eulogy.

We've got through Stinkfist and Eulogy and it's already pert much one of the best albums you'll ever hear. Listen how they dial it up and dial it down. Listen how Maynard can slither through dangerous savannah grasses like a snake on H.

The band is a rhythm machine. It's the rhythmic soundtrack of SoCal ending up somewhere around Catalina, near the Nixon Library, post-Aenima.

This band never disappoints. Never. Not on this one. I listen to this; I feel like some kind of voyeur. I'm there when it all happens. I'm there when it sounds like Blue Cheer. I'm there when it sounds like ZZ Top. I'm there when the pulse starts. I'm there when it sounds like we're all falling off the edge, towards that shining city on the hill just in sight.

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 Lateralus by TOOL album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.21 | 1117 ratings

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Lateralus
Tool Experimental/Post Metal

Review by thebig_E

4 stars 4.5 stars. The best Tool album. Tightly constructed and with great production. Songs like "The Grudge" and "Parabola" are among the best the band has created. Since I don't actually have a lot to talk about, I'll comment on each track.

1. The Grudge - Best opening track to a Tool album. Featuring a long scream by Maynard, it is always exciting to listen to. *****

2. Eon Blue Apocalypse - A brief guitar interlude leading into the next song. ***

3. The Patient - Very human sounding lyrics and a good intro. ****

4. Mantra - Short noise experiment. Nothing more. *

5. Schism - The song from the album that gets the most radio airplay. Some complex rhythms and great drumming. ****

6. Parabol - Slow introduction to the next song. Very relaxing. ****

7. Parabola - Immediately starts with a great guitar lead and continues to progress. *****

8. Ticks & Leeches - A bit longer than it needs to be, but still a good track. ****

9. Lateralus - An interesting song that uses the Fibonacci Sequence in its verses and comes to a grand conclusion. One of the standout tracks of the album. *****

10. Disposition - Another interlude but this time with bongos. ***

11. Reflection - The epic of the entire album. *****

12. Triad - Good instrumental that could have been the ending to the album. ****

13. Faaip De Oaid - Creepy ending that features a panicked caller talking about possible alien invasions behind a loud drum track. Not the best ending. **

If you only buy one Tool album, make it this one.

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