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Tool - Lateralus CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

4.22 | 1645 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Not too bad. Not too bad at all. Ask me six months ago what I thought of Tool and I would have said, "...alright." Why? I never had really heard an entire album by then. Schism, Lateralis, Parabola, that was about it. Later I would appreciate these songs more, especially Lateralis, but at the time, Tool seemed like some pretty cool soft metal. Now, after listening to their whole discography, my opinion has drastically changed. They excellent band. MJK is a great vocalist, Danny Carey is one of my favorite drummers, the guitarist is decent and the bassist is no slouch either.

The album itself is solid, but as another reviewer said, sometimes music is all about perspective. Aenima exists. And compared to Aenima, this album is way too mechanical, too precise, too much like the certain sound Tool defined for themselves. Sure, there are good songs...they're all good actually, but none of them really excel. Ticks and Leeches is a great exception, a high energy ferocious metal attack with great vocals and some of the best drumwork ever. It might be my favorite song. D/ R/T is a great trio of songs, but they don't quit have the substance you may want. Sure they are a great trip through different soundscapes of rocking out or mellow edgy rock, but they leave me feeling unsatisfied, hungry for some conclusion. It doesn't have to be loud, but something. The whole trio seems to repetitive.

The Grudge is a solid opener. Too typical, though. The Patient is lovely, but also very mechanical. Schism is more mechanical precision like clockwork, lacking any of the feel Aenima had. Parabola is fun to listen to, and doesn't feel too typical. Ticks and Leeches is the best track on here, and the (nearly) title track is excellent although pretty mechanical as well. D/R/T I spoke of already. The songs I didn't speak of are transitions and really nothing to talk of. The album could do without them.

So I seem to be finding a common trend here. Two, actually. 1) The album is WAY too mechanical and precise. The song structures aren't quite varied up enough and don't have enough of different feels and emotions in them. Ticks and Leeches does, and it rocks. The big trio does, but they suffer from an unfinished feeling. Maybe if they were put together like they were originally intended to be, it would be better. I don't know. 2) It lacks the crazy edge, nasty tones and overall feel Aenima had. Aenima was just crazy, and very original sounding. Lateralus would have been much better if Aenima hadn't been released, because compared with Aenima, Lateralus feels like a going-through-the-motions album. It clearly isn't, but that's the impression I get.

Despite all this, the mechanical and generic and repetitive style Tool plays is luckily very good, with shifting dynamics and great vocals and fun to listen songwriting all around. It just repeats itself too much, with no real kick to it.

FishyMonkey | 4/5 |


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