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Tool - Opiate (EP) CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

2.84 | 234 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars Tool, one of the biggest bands in metal/prog/art rock today, with their unmistakable sound. When I'm driving I can always tell when it is Tool on the radio by literally the first few notes. However, "Opiate" was recorded in the bands early days and is a far cry from their later work. This is a straightforward metal album. It is filled with angst and anger, and the lyrics are nothing close to their future works.

Maynard James Keenan does display some of his great vocals, but he is mostly screaming on this EP. The guitar work is pretty very rooted in 90's alternative metal, but if you are a fan of metal you will like how it sounds, pretty heavy. There is some great bass work as well, and Danny Carey plays some great drums. Granted, it is pretty solid metal...but he STILL manages to lay down some great beats/rhythms and not to mention some intense double bass.

Sweat: This song begins a heavy guitar riff and some sweet bass. This song is pretty heavy and sounds like generic metal. However, there is some great drumming and Keenan sings in a less harsh style. The lyrics are some of the best on the album, pretty metaphorical.

Hush: GREAT bass intro, followed by some unique drumming. We soon go into another metal riff and some intense screaming. This is pretty much the song. Personally, I like how it sounds and just LOVE Maynard's vocals, (even if they are angry). While the lyrics may leave much to be desired, (a lot of anger and swearing) there may be more to it then it appears. The song is about censorship, ("I can't say what I want to, even if I'm not serious", "People tell me what to say, what to think, and what to play") and has a very sarcastic tone. Maynard explains how he can't say what he wants, even if he's just kidding like, "...why don;t you go kill yourself!". A very tongue in cheek song, I love it!

Part of Me: This song appears to deal with self-identity. Throughout Keenan says this person is, "just a part of me" and how, "I know you better than I know myself" Personally, my least favorite song on the album.

Cold and Ugly: A live song that begins quite humorously. This song deals with a woman who is scared and James saying he is afraid as well. A short, simple song.

Jerk-Off: Another live song with an...interesting speech by Maynard. This song has a cool sounding guitar riff. This song has my favorite lyrics on the album. They deal with the concept of right and wrong, but it does not seem to apply to some people, "Jerk-Offs". Maynard than angrily, but eloquently in a way, deduces that if their is no right or wrong, and punishment is only for those who get caught..he should take things into his hands and, "shoot you myself!" I love this song and lyrics!

Opiate: After a cool little intro, this song really kicks in. I think musically, this may be the most progressive song. I am not saying it is one, but I think you can hear it coming out. That being said it is another basic metal song and quite angrily criticizes religion. This song contains a hidden track, "The Gaping Lotus Experience". This song is very different from the album. It is a very psychadellic and trippy song dealing with friends and their actions when on drugs. It is hilarious!

Overall, this is an alternative metal release. It is not progressive in the least, however I do think there are traces of tool's later work. You can hear a bit of technicality, ( a bit) and while the lyrics may seem crude they are in their own way pretty intelligent. For me, this is a strong 4, but for the average progger I am going to have to give this a rating of 2 stars.

JJLehto | 2/5 |


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