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Tool - Ænima CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.08 | 983 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars 4.4 stars

Close to Masterpiece status. This band has introduced dark metal to Prog rock and succeeded greatly (the next album melds the two genres together, sounding like a heavier King Crimson). The guitarist style is post-grunge/metal, but it is the other 3 members that captivate me so much. The singer can hold long notes and his voice is very emotional and has a wide range. The bass player has impressive and dark/hypnotic bass lines, and the drummer is one of the most interesting drummers I have ever heard. I am happy this album won a grammy, because instrumentally, lyrically, emotionally, and melodically ... it is a masterful album. Why 4 stars then? Well, this is like Fragile of the 90s : great songs with filler between them. The problem is that the filler is very annoying, pointless, and even cringe-worthy at times. I give this one a thumbs up just because of the unusual song titles.

I will go to the songs first : "StinkFist" is a very heavy opener that succeeds in bringing great melodies while it keeps being heavy. The guitar dominates it, but the bass has its moments to shine too."Eulogy" is one of Tool's best songs. It begins with a catchy percussive start, and heads into a short epic full of anger (attack on religion/priests). The melodies and riffs in this track are the band at their absolute best. "H" is mellower than the previous two tracks. The melodies are of course memorable, especially in the chorus. 46 & 2 has a nice chorus and a great instrumental break with a strong bassline. "Hooker with a Penis" has no prog elements. It is a straightforward angst metal song with witty lyrics and a great singalong chorus. "Jimmy" is a rather simple song that builds up into a intense climax. "Push it" is a long prog track. The first 4 minutes are normal heavy music. After the music explodes in minute 4, an dark section commences. Is this King Crimson or Tool?? Anyways, this is a very impressive dark atmospheric section with AMAZING bass playing. The song ends in a very heavy moment full of powerful guitar soloing. "Aenima" is a favourite of many. This is the perfect 'anger' song in my opinion and I am glad to hear it in the radio. "Third Eye" is the last song and it is the most experimental of all. This is a highly virtuosic, proggy, psycheledic, and strange track that gives an image of what the next album (lateralus) would sound like. The guitar solos are very unusual and creative, and there are moments full of creativity (I wonder if they used hallucinogens here, or they came up with this highly difficult, yet rewarding piece). Of course, the big climax and most enjoyable part of the album is when Maynard screams his lungs out "'Prying open my third eye!!'" over and over again.

What about the rest? Well .. Useful Idiot is the sound of a footstep I think in a loop : pointless. Message to Harry Manback is better, it has a melodic soft piano and a message full of insults (in Italian). Intermission is the best of fillers : it is really fun to hear a cheap sounding keyboard playing the melodies of 'Jimmy'. 'Die Eier Von Satan' is a Hitler'like figure saying something in German about a recipe (huh?). 'Cesaro' is a disturbing moment that brings the quality of the album down (I hate hearing that baby). Ions (-) is probably not pointless, unless you are not using headphones. It feels like electricity going all around your head and preparing you for the trippy last epic.

1. Stinkfist (8.5/10) 2. Eulogy (9.5/10) 3. H. (8/10) 4. Useful Idiot (0/10) 5. Forty Six & 2 (8/10) 6. Message to Harry Manback (5/10) 7. Hooker With a Penis (7/10) 8. Intermission (6.5/10) 9. Jimmy (7.5/10) 10. Die Eier Von Satan (0/10) 11. Pu[&*!#] (9/10) 12. Cesaro Summability (-5/10) 13. Ænema (8.5/10) 14. (-) Ions (6/10) 15. Third Eye (9.5/10)

My Grade : B+

Zitro | 4/5 |


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