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Tool - Ænima CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.10 | 900 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars Not quite the sharpest in the shed. A fine alternative metal album in its own right, AENIMA has some of the aesthetics to bill it as a prog metal album, and I can only agree. It's one of the better prog metal albums I've heard so far.

Tool are much more reliant on jams and atmospheres than other prog metal contemporaries like Dream Theater. Songs are generally one to four riff ideas that alternate between quiet and heavy at various points. Take the second song ''Eulogy'' for example; it has this quiet, experimental buildup for about 2.5 minutes before exploding into a heavy chorus, and basically is heavy metal the rest of the way. That buildup and change factor is what makes AENIMA so appealing. ''Forty-Six and 2'' works in a similar manner and ''Push it'' relies on the jamming I mentioned earlier.

Fans of metal will appreciate the title track, ''Hooker'' and ''Stinkfist'' as all of those are more straightforward, gut-busting, in-your-face, scare-grandma metal songs. Not that they add much to the prog factor, but they add to the enjoyability. Unfortunately, I find ''H'' to be a terribly weak song and ''Third Eye'' isn't that great due to it being placed at the very end of the album and it's a little too long. I was also disappointed in that no unusual metres were here except for ''Jimmy'' and bits of ''Forty-Six and 2''. ''Die Eier von Satan'' doesn't count as a song.

Speaking, that's the sticking point of AENIMA; why all of the filler? I'm okay with FRAGILE- esque (refering to Yes here) filler because THOSE songs were musical. ''Ions'' is four minutes of static noise; fun, no? Especially when a piercing migraine follows. ''Intermission'' is cute at best, but we really never needed ''Jimmy'' on Wurlitzer or a minute of baby cries (''Caesaro Summability'') or spoken threats (''Message to Harry Manback'').

If trimming would have been done and all filler had been removed, AENIMA might have been a prog metal masterpiece in my eyes, but I'll have to settle with, ''It's very good for metal, and I understand the prog behind it, but there needs to be more to prove to me that we have prog greatness.'' A good entry point, though.

Sinusoid | 3/5 |


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