Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Tool - Undertow CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.24 | 684 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars "Undertow", as most proggers know, was Tool's first full length album. Previously, Tool had released "Opiate" which was an EP of short, loud and heavy songs. Now their music had matured and improved quite a bit, and it was time to put a full album out into the public. This first album shows a few lengthier songs, but nothing really surpassing 8 minutes (the last track that shows being over 15 minutes doesn't really count unless you can count crickets singing after the 6:45 mark).

The first album was also less progressive than later albums. The songs are good, heavy rockers, but less complex than what was to follow. However, the album and the band was very influential in taking heavier rock and metal away from the pop metal fad that was blossoming at the time. That is a great thing. The fact that the music only got better in subsequent albums even makes everything sweeter. So, don't discount the importance of this album, even though it is not as complex. There are still some prog elements, and the album is still very enjoyable, just not so much in a progressive vein.

There really isn't anything different to say about the album other than what has already been said in the many reviews of the album. Pretty much everyone knows the trivia surrounding the album, including the picture that was hidden under the black CD tray, the fact that "Disgustapated" feature the use of shotguns and pianos being destroyed by a sledgehammer, that Henry Rollins is a guest vocalist on "Bottom" and that the music is inspired by the comedy of Bill Hicks.

Suffice it to say that this was an influential album and it is also a great album seeing as it was the first by the band. Just know that it isn't as progressive as their music would become, but it is still full of great, heavy and technically sound music. Not their best, but still excellent.

TCat | 4/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this TOOL review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.