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Tool - 10,000 Days CD (album) cover

10,000 DAYS



Experimental/Post Metal

3.87 | 943 ratings

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3 stars After 5 years of waiting since their last release, the illustrious "Lateralus" regarded by so many as the pinnacle of modern music, "10,000 Days" was finally released. Tool fans everywhere raved about it from the start, I remember my writing professor, (a hard core fan) talking about it endlessly and had 3 copies, (to listen at home, in the car, and at school). This is no surprise, as Tool, (just like System of a Down) is a "different" band in today's world of mainstream, pop radio and lack of...well any good bands. That being said, what did I think of "10,000 Days"? Well, I usually struggle to think of one word to describe a Tool album, but I have one word for this release: Disappointment.

I was just getting into Tool when this album was released, so I was able to let them grow on me without the fanfare. When I finally did really sit down and listen to this album, I was disappointed. As mentioned earlier, I am a Tool "outsider" so I had no extreme hype for this album, am not disappointed in comparison to "Lateralus" the fact is, a lot of this album is boring. Just flat out boring. Even after a lot of deep listening, the album has not grown on me.

The album actually starts out strong. Vicarious is a great song. The next song, Jambi, is my favorite on the album. Mostly in 9/8 time the song begins with a heavy little guitar riff and some cool drumming, and of course some sweet bass. A really cool song, I love listening to it and the solo blows my mind. It takes me to another place when I hear it.

After such a strong start this albums then comes to a screeching halt. This is not just a metaphor but how it feels. The next 17 minutes of songs felt like 17 hours. Some parts in 10,000 Days were good, but overall I can not make it through those 2 songs.

The Pot is not a bad song. Not one of my favorites, but good. Also, in classic Tool fashion we have some multiple meaning lyrics. To many, the song is probably literal...but we know better.

Now, onto the reason to love/hate Tool. Lipan Conjuring is one of their famous transition pieces. While these can be great, they can also be god awful. This one is not bad, although it is really "filler" and not a transition. There is no "music" it is mostly droning chants and tribal sounds. It is kind of cool sounding.

While the prior song was more a "filler" Lost Keys (Blame Hoffman) is actually a transition piece. It is entirely composed of a really long, kind of anxious, sound with some gentle guitar in the background. It is very chill. Near the end we hear a conversation between a nurse and a doctor. This guy has walked into a hospital, real messed up, and no one has any idea what is wrong with him. Judging by the title, (referencing Albert Hofmann presumably) we can deduce the patient is on acid and stumbled in here. Hence....blame Hofmann. The piece ends with the beginning of the next song Rosetta Stoned, (another indicator of a drug reference?)

At first I did not like it at all. However, it did grow on me. The music is pretty minimal, and the lyrics are said through some heavy effects, and in a very chaotic manner and describe a guy totally tripping on DMT. There is some humor in here, and I like how it ends, (don't want to give it away though of course!). Despite everything I thought about Tool, I am starting to wonder if some songs are not so much about humor but have an "anti-drug" sentiment. But that's Tool for you, except for those 4 who really knows what they mean.

OH! Random side note, I just realized this moment that it all makes sense if you think about Rosetta Stoned first, THEN Lost Keys.....anywho.

Intension is another song that goes on way too long. It sounds cool at first, very nice and mellow and there is some really great drumming. However, it is a bit slow feeling after a while. I CAN make it through the song, so it could be worse, but it could be better.

Right in Two deals with God. Why did God give us free will? After all, we just use it to fight over everything, and EVERYTHING. Why would God give us thumbs just so we can make clubs to beat people? All our intelligence bestowed by God, just so we can fight over pieces of land. Why can't we just cut the whole f*cking thing in two? If only....

At first I found the song boring, until I really listened to it. The lyrics really did make it worth it. The music is not bad, and again there are some really chill parts with some cool drumming.

The album ends with Viginti Tres. This piece is nothing but noise. Literally. What a strange way to end the album! It was then I thought, this sounds just like Tool filler, but why have filler at the end of and album? Then it really hit me. "DAMN! This is another album where we have to listen to the song not in order!" I am almost positive that listening to Viginti Tres before, or after some other song will make it a transition piece, and will blend nicely...but I do not care to figure it out.

In fact, SUPPOSEDLY the pictures of the band members can be used as pieces in a puzzle of some kind. I know, this is Tool and part of what they do but I am getting a little tired of it.

Back on track. What to say a bout this album? It is alright. Vicarious and Jambi are great. The Pot and Right in Two are good. Rosetta Stone is......decent enough but too drawn out. There is too much "filler" although this is nothing new, and sections of there songs are boring. Not to mention the 2 Wings for Marie pieces which are just entirely boring.

I will admit, the art work is amazing. Although it does add to the pretentiousness of Tool, I really like it. However, as I have said before my ratings are based on the music solely, nothing else.

In conclusion, disappointment. Some good stuff, but a lot of slow and boring. The album, overall, is very minimal which is not quite my thing. Maybe Tool went for atmosphere over musical talent? I hope so, because talent they have and it is not really heard here, especially in the Carey's drumming, which is again disappointing. A lot of the vocals are through effects or just difficult. Again I am sure this is part of it all, but it really is getting a bit old. Maybe that's the overall problem. Maybe Tool is reaching that sad, but usually inevitable, point where they need to hang it up.

Either that or, (and this is what many of us fear most) they do not really care anymore. Just like Metallica, System of a Down, Dream Theater (to name a few) this album WAS going to sell. Period. So are they experimenting? Challenging the fans? Just putting out whatever and cashing in on the money? Are they really artsy or just pretentious? All that is side talk I suppose. Overall this album is meh. Some good songs, some good parts, a lot of slow and boring. It feels 10,000 days long.

Three Stars

JJLehto | 3/5 |


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