Released: May 15, 2001
Genre: Alternative Metal, Progressive Metal
Label: Volcano Entertainment
Number Of Tracks: 13
This is by far Tool's best work and is a musical and poetic masterpiece from beginning to end.
aenimafist, on july 11, 2007 6 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound of this album is absolutely incredible. That is about all that needs to be said. The way Justin's bass osund really pops out at you in the opening few lines of The Grudge immediately grasp your attention and harness it to their overwhelming musical aura. I like the way that more sound wavers and flangers and phasers are used in this album as opposed to Aenima and such. All of the band members contribute way more than they owe the world to the making of this album. // 10
Lyrics: I could go on forever about how this whole album, Lateralus is connected or correlated with the Qabala (Kabbalah) and the Tree of Sephirot. But I will just put in what I think the song means and what it means to me.
01. The Grudge - a great opening track. I think it's about holding on to society because of the "sinking deeper" and "clutch it like a corner stone" suggesting not leaving. This is a strange way of looking at it but I think Saturn may be what you would call th eregulators or landlords and when Saturn comes back around, you may be destroyed eliminating society. My take on it.
02. Eon Blue Apocalypse - this is a short little song that connect to the Tree of Sephirot because of the way it takes one of the paths on it and at the end it represents just the guitar out of all musical instruments and the seven notes of the standard scale.
03. The Patient - the path this song follows represents the concentrations of the mind and uses terms that mean the same thing that yoga is. So Patience or the state of being Patient is when you controll your mind and concentrate on it as well.
04. Mantra - and odd little thing to put into an album. A mantra is sometimes a, sacrifical or ceremonial song commonly uses in meditating so as to control ones senses and dull ones mind down. This comes before Schism. Maybe they want the listener to concentrate hard on the music so they can hear Schism better I don't know. This specific Mantra is called a Heart Mantra which is supposed to bring healing to all.
05. Schism - perhaps one of the best songs on Lateralus. Schism means separation. The following of this in the Tree is a combination between two paths which symbolize both "dissonance" and "juxtaposition". This song could also be just about separating from the church of jesus christ but somehow I don't think that was the idea. When they mention the pieces fitting together and the temple and such, it very much reminded me of The Grudge.
06. Parabol - see below.
07. Parabola - Parabol and Parabola basically have the same lyrics and in my opinion, PARABOLA is the best song on the album. The path this follows is representing the lovers which is quite obviously what this song is about. It also speaks of a parallax which is change in a direct object to allow a view into something else or far beyond.
08. Disposition - this song represents death and is about a dude just sittin' back while dying and watching the "weather change". I think it is also about someone who is just very upset and distressed at the time and needs to take a breather. Great bassline.
09. Ticks And Leeches - this song is about being heavily pestered and someone just being really upset at someone else and wanting revenge. When he says "suck me dry", it sounds like he want s to die so he can get revenge in a supernatural state. I loved the odd time in this tune and it is nice and heavy.
10. Lateralus - probably my favorite song to listen to on the whole album. The meaning is quite simple. It is only just about appreciating life despite it's curves and turns. On the Tree, it represents the ability to turn things into reality and make what isn't real come alive.
11. Reflection - nice and long just how we like it. This eleven minute piece has a 3+ minute intro before any vocals come in. It is simply about how someone almost died and would have gone to the afterlife and done his work, hence the continuous, "before I pine away". Tree says that this path represents the High Preistess, virginal guardian of the Temple of Mysteries.
12. Triad - this represents the first path which is called Keter. The Infinate. Keter's planet is Pluto. This path is at the top of the tree and it basically represents eternity. Binah and Kochma combine with Keter to make a triad of a life representation. Binah representing spiritual love and awareness, Kochma representing spiritual will and purpose and Keter representing a realized infinate self.
13. Faaip De Oiad - this means "the voice of god". Is this what you expected to hear at the end of an album? You tell yourself what this means. I don't want to put in anything to make you think otherwise. // 10
Overall Impression: I will never let this album be taken from me especially becaus e I got the vinyl edition and that is quite awesome to me. If I could I would make the whole world listen to this amazing piece of art. This is Tool's best album hands down. If I could I would give this album an infinate amount of stars but since you can't do that on Ultimate Guitar, I will give it an easy ten all around. // 10
eclipse675, on december 13, 2004 5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tool has crossed the bridge between heavy metal and trance music creating an amazing mix that I don't even think should be classified as "nu-metal". Their earlier albums were simeler but still not nearly as reliable on progressive themes. They raock hard but you can tell from listening closely that they are true musicians. Maynard James Keenans voice is probably the best of the genre. He is able to keep complex melodies, as long as use his voice as an instrument along with the drums and guitar. His singing and screaming really just fits in. Adam is not the best, but definetly one of the most soulful and musically inclined guitarists of our day and age. His use of alternate tunings and un-pop meledies makes Tool unique along with Maynard. Danny Carey is in a league of his own. I cannot describe in words how insanely and precisely he masters his 30-peice set. His work in "Ticks And Leeches" and "Schism" makes me rank him up their along John Bohnam. The musical aspect makes the lyrics come alive. // 10
Lyrics: In this genre of music you can usually expect to hear rather ill-concieved lyrics that are all about misery and death (as were Tool's lyrics from previous albums). This is not the case in Lateralus. Songs area bout seperation from those who you love, forgiving others, avoiding narcissism, overcoming hard times, and connecting with your inner spirit. Tool urges you to think for yourself and question the authority of those "higher" than you, but just as well, Maynards lyrics are all aobut compassion and inner strength. Truly beautiful. // 10
Overall Impression: This is by far Tool's best work (though I'm anxiously awaiting the new album) and is a musical and poetic masterpiece from beginning to end. listen to it all the way through, including the "Filler" ambience parts to get the full effect! The first time listening to this was like a journey for me. It was an experiance to hear the beautiful poetry set to almost symphonic music. If you are having a hard time at the moment, or just are curious as to this bizzare, but wonderful band. Get this album, you will be surprised. // 10
unregistered, on january 17, 2005 4 of 5 people found this review helpful
Sound: I believe that Tool has the greatest tone and the most unique sound ever recorded. The music makes you think and is also extremely brooding. Adam Jones can at one moment be banging out the hardest music you ever heard and then suddenly switching and playing beautiful melodic solos. The sound is perfect and is beautiful to my ears, especially Maynard James Keenan's melodic voice, which has perfect chemistry with the rest of the band. // 10
Lyrics: My overall impression of this CD after the first song was "wow" there was no need to listen to the rest of the CD because it couldn't get any better but I was wrong. It just got better and more mind blowing after every track. The lyrics and Maynards voice are perfect and fit perfectly with Adams unique and quirky time changes and riffs, also Maynards voice on this CD is perfect and beautiful. // 10
Overall Impression: Comparing this to other CDs this takes it all, it has everything, dark heavy riffs, melodic solos and interwoven bass and guitar harmonies. What I mostly love about this CD is its uniquness. If this CD was ever stolen I would buy it again but then I would then hunt down the person who stole it and then god knows. // 10
RuShRoCkS!, on june 26, 2008 3 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sound: This was the second Tool album I bought and it was all for Schism. But now that I've listend to the whole album, I can't decide! It's either The Patient, Lateralus, or Parabola. The other songs are good too, but these are my favorate!
01. The Grudge - I'm not even gonna try to guess this time signature!!! It's an exalent opener, but gets really anoying. The end sounds really cool with the claping on beat or whatever it is?
02. Eon Blue Apocalypse - this is a great breather. Adam is really just playing a riff here.
03. The Patient - this song is so cool. I like the bass at the intro. MJK's voice gets really high here (almost as high as the pot, but not quite). Tool really did a good job w/ this song.
04. Mantra - I don't really care much for this song (if you could call it that). I don't like when Tool dose all those tracks with just sounds, there to good to be doing that stuff.
05. Schism - this is also one of my favs! It has a great bass line (best I think). Sounds flippin' sweet, but the lyrics are kind of weak. They are too repetative. I also was hopeing for an epic guitar solo. It's a good song though!
06. Parabol - this is a good "intermission" for Danny and Justin. They needed a break from rockin out on Schism. I like how it leads into Parabola.
07. Parabola - I love the guitar on this song! It has some good bass licks too. I like the lyrics on this song though they can mean meny differant things to meny differant people. The end gets annoying w/the distortion ring though.
08. ticks & Leeches - okay! Danny is a god and MJK can scream his lungs out! The middle sounds good but was too soft for this song. Good song.
09. Lateralus - this has to be my favorate song on this album. It deffinetly diserved the album name! I love the whole song! I play it on bass almost every day! 6/7 days a weak! I can listen to the whole 9 min. over and over again and not get board. It's a marvolus song.
10. Disposition - this is a good fall off from The Epic Lateralus. It has a nice relaxing bass line. Nice break!
11. Reflection - I have only listiened to this song once. All the other times I try to I'm interupted. I'm sure it's pretty good, I just need to listen to it more.
12. Traid - all I have to say is, I don't like this 8:46 of this album. I don't know why? I just don't.
13. Faaip De Oaid - creepy! This has something to do w/ Roseta Stoned from 10, 000 Days. Has some cool drum riffs in it. // 10
Lyrics: MJK is so cool! His voice sounds so much better w/ Tool then that retarted circle band or whatever!.He's cool because his lyrics aren't all about girls and boobs and stuff! They have meaning, even if they are kind of crude(Stinkfist) yeah. He's flippin crazy (but he wears a leotard). The lyrics have a lot more meaning on this album then Aenima though. // 10
Overall Impression: This is the best Tool album I've heard so far (I've only heard a little of Aenima and none of Opiate). Again, coolness strives in Lateralus, Schism, The patient, and Parabola. I hate Mantra and dislike Traid, it's a good song, I just don't like it! If It was stolen I'd cry then I'd go out to dinner to forget about it. Then I'd get home and remember then I'd start crying again. Then I'd suck on my big toe. If it was lost I'd find it. Good Night! // 10
humanlibrary3, on february 18, 2014 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tool. Few bands have defined prog metal like they have, and their sound is like no other. Yet, this album goes beyond even the regular high quality of their music, and ascends to the title of masterpiece. This is their Mona Lisa, their Pulp Fiction, their magnum opus which defines what Tool truly is.
First of all, the vocals. Maynard James Keenan is known across the metal community for his versatile, beautifully aggressive voice, and this album only serves to heighten that reputation. His vocals change constantly, from an angry, crushing performance on "The Grudge," to his melancholy, angelic singing on "Parabol," to the mystic drawl of "Reflection." He is truly one of the greatest rock and metal vocalists I have ever come across.
Next, the guitar. Adam Jones, although he is no virtuoso, proves to be the perfect match for Tool with his complex, melodic, and often beautiful guitar work, all delivered with big, thunderous tone. "Parabola" and "Lateralus" shows his skill on the six stringer.
On the bass, there is Justin Chancellor. Whereas Adam Jones follows a supportive role, Justin defines Tool, in several ways. His tone is miraculously aggressive and bright, and his picked bass lines show no lack of creativity and virtuosity on the instrument ("Schism"). His use of effects is near genius (see "The Patient" or "Disposition"). JC truly brings Tool to the next level.
Finally, we have Danny Carey, arguably the most technically talented member of the group. With a uniquely mystic and complex style, Danny rounds out Tool and adds a whole other layer to their music, with his pounding, primal, yet completely bewildering odd-meter drum lines. See "Ticks and Leeches."
Overall, the album is incredibly revealing and is bound to strike a chord in any listener. This incredible music is delivered with great sound, thanks to an HD-CD format. Great sound, simply put. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album explore themes which reach far beyond the mundane lyrics of regular metal. The themes explored often involve those of prejudice, human relationships, and the many twist and turns of life itself. MJK delivers these vocals beautifully, and caps the creative genius of the Tool juggernaut with his astounding voice. Often, the lyrics follow the mood of the music, leading to an almost 3-dimensional expression of emotion to the listener. For example, "Lateralus" discusses the ever changing ways of life, and the song itself has many parts, major and minor, energetic and thoughtful, to echo these lyrics, and give more power to these themes. Every song showcases this excellent match, and leads to an even greater experience during listening. // 10
Overall Impression: This album, overall, in my humble opinion, is one of the best rock records ever made. Tool simply carries a refinement that is lacking in other rock and metal bands of the same type, an overwhelming complexity which overshadows all doubt in their creative skill. Although bands like Mastodon and Dream Theater are prime example of prog metal, Tool simply carries with them a greater, deeper perspective, and a more overarching creative vision than any other band I have had chance to encounter, save perhaps Pink Floyd or Jethro Tull.
The album is filled to the brim with great songs, but my personal favorites are "Parabol/Parabola," "Schism," "The Grudge," "Lateralus" and "The Patient." I have only two minor complaints of the album; first of all, "Ticks and Leeches," despite being a great and energetic song, seems like more of an "Aenima" song, and really sticks out on the album. Secondly, although I know Tool has filler and that it is a prime part of their sound, the last track "Faiip de Oiad" throws the listener for a bit of a loop at the end of the album, and proves a bit unnecessary, but it is still a terrifying yet good conclusion to this wonderful album. If this album were stolen or lost, I would buy another copy immediately. // 9
T00L, on february 26, 2004 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Like all Tool cds, Lateralus is very compelling and different. But Lateralus has something about that makes it much more full and all-round a better listening expierence. The tracks are definatly more complex and thoughtout than the previous albums. The talent of the band has never been in question, they are extremely talented, but this album seems to capture that talent. The tracks so the wide-based talent of the band. Songs like "The Grudge", "Schism", "Parabola", "Ticks & Leeches", "Lateralus", and "Triad" showcase their raw heavy rock/metal powers, were as songs like "The Patient", "Parabol", "Disposition", and "Reflection" show their ability to slow/calm themselves down and show their ballad side. Finally, songs like "Eon Blue Apocalypse", "Mantra", and "Faaip De Oaid" tie the cd together (if you're listening to it in the order they gave you, I'll explain later if you don't already know). // 10
Lyrics: Lyrics are an area that Tool (Maynard and Adam) have always been solid in. Every CD. The music always compliments the lyrics and visa-versa. In terms of Maynard's vocal talent, I'd say he's falling nicely into himslef so to speak. He knows what he's good at and he uses that well. // 10
Overall Impression: Simply put, best Tool (any band for that matter) album. I have never heard such a solid album. They seem to out do themselves every new album release. Which makes me excited for their next album. As for the track order that I hinted at earlier, the layout (as placed on the CD) is not, in my opinion, the intended way to listen to the CD. Since Lateralus is a spiral, many people have taken it upon themselves to find the actual way to listen to it. They have found that you listened to it in a spiral fashion. Going from the centre outwards then back in. So the order is: 6, 7, 5, 8, 4, 9, 3, 10, 2, 11, 1, 12, 13. It works better if you put it an audio editing program (ie cool edit) and take out the pauses inbetween tracks. // 10
unregistered, on march 17, 2005 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: This is album is the greatest work Tool has yet made. Complex lyrics, overlapping guitar rhythms, thick bass, and octopus-like drums make up the sound for this entire album. Tool is on the line between nu-metal and alternative rock and they will usually sway toward one side or the other on certain songs. Adam Jones' guitar riffs may not be that difficult, but he has a certain style that is not really like anything else that has been heard before. The most instrumental talent in this band comes from drummer Danny Carey with his amazingly difficult drum rhythms that seem impossible to play. Overall their sound kicks ass! // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are like all of Maynard James Keenan's lyrics: very complex and hold some hidden deeper meaning. This can be seen on the first song on the album "The Grudge." At one part it goes "saturn ascends/choose one or 10." This is probably some Zodiac thing or something like that. Also, his message is as usaul: think for yourself; defy religion, etc. Maynard's voice is amazingly unique and makes every song even more interesting to listen to. // 10
Overall Impression: I thought this CD would be like usual Tool: straight forward and heavy. This album seems more, well sober and more thought out than the other albums. There is no band like Tool even though others try to be like them. One song that stands above the rest on this CD is "Schism." There is nothing really like it and its lyrics are as mystifying as the guitar part. I highly recommend this CD in every collection. This is a CD you love or you absolutley hate. // 10
acocksucker, on october 31, 2005 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: First off Tool is my favorite band. I don't know about any of you people but Tool puts me into a trance I cant get out of. Lateralus is by far in my opionion the best Tool album so far. I have also heard that Maynard has a brain tumor and is trying to put as many albums out as possible, thus the new A Perfect Circle album and the new Tool album comeing out soon. This news skares me, well I think this rumor is a bunch of bullshit. // 10
Lyrics: Maynard's voice is ausome for the music its with. It goes perfect with the mood that Tool sets. The lyrics tell a story on an album, you may not see it but listen to lateralus and each song tells a story. It also has a meaning behind each song like the Patient. In the patient Maynard says "Watch the weather change" witch I think the lyrics to the song mean basicly for every action there is an oppisite and equal reaction. So I choose how or why I react to anything that is happening, happened, or could happen. Your choice at that moment is going to change the outcome knowmatter what you say or do. I think by far these are the best lyrics I have ever heared becaus they have a meaning behind them and the also sound great! // 10
Overall Impression: If I am going to compare another artist I would have to go with A Perfect Circle only because both bands are awesome. The only reason why I like Tool more than APC is because only a limited few of APC's songs mean somthing such as imagine, and weak and powerless. The most impressive songs from Lateralus I would have to say are the Grudge, The Patient, Schism, Ticks And Leaches, and Lateralus. I love that I can be in the worst mood and all I have to do I light some incensence and put on Lateralus and everything is a calm. A perfect state of mind. Peace and serenity. It changes the way I act and feel because of what I got out of the empowerment of Tool. It a trance I never want to get out of! If this album was lost or stolen, I don't have to worrie about that because I have at least 5 coppies of it. In my car, downstairs, in my room, at computer, and in my another room. // 10
unregistered, on june 10, 2006 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tool's sound is an evolving thing, hence the "progressive" tag that many people would stick to their name. However, Tool's diverse and otherwordly range makes them hard to "tag" at all. Factoring in Danny Carey's almost superhuman ability to master his 30 piece drum set, Justin Chancellor's serpentine style on the bass, Adam Jones' basic yet dually understated guitar playing, and of course, the both ambient and thunderous barrage of Maynard's vocals, the result is a crisp, epic cascade of bracket bending sound that boasts stellar production and the means to carry metal through yet another door. // 10
Lyrics: In my opinion Maynard James Keenan is a flawless lyricist. While some may shy away from the complex and ecclectic nature of his lyrics, those who dig deeper find that Maynard holds a vast knowledge of eastern proverb and mythological knowledge. Adding to the reverend's admirable ability with words, is his perhaps more storied singing ability. Maynard's range is obsurdly good, as well is his discipline to not over-emote. Few and far between are singer's who can lull you into eupohria with genius rhetoric and a measured croon, then tug you back to earth with thunderous scream that could freeze blood. // 10
Overall Impression: There is no comparing Tool to other bands, not even to A Perfect Circle, which so many people find easy to do. They are their own animal, a breed set apart from the rest. Lateralus is the ultimate ride, and is without question, my favorite album of all time. There is not a song on the album that is worth skipping over, as each is deep and meaningful in some way. "the Grudge" is a reminder that Tool is still in touch with their roots but moving down newer roads, "schism" is a dark and obtuse ode to society, "Parabol/Parabola" are the shimmering couple that celebrate the human spirit, and "Lateralus" may be the greatest of Tool's gems, as no other song has ever sent such chills down my spine and moved me so far and away. Godliness. In all, Lateralus is our 'Dark side of the Moon', it is our era's epic symphony and will remain a timeless example of why Tool are masters of their craft. // 10
unregistered, on august 13, 2012 2 of 3 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tool is one of those bands that either have truly original music, or hide their influences very well. In fact, it's fair to say that the only bands you can compare them to are the ones that claim Tool as an influence to their sound, not the other way around. "Lateralus" has shown that this can translate to music that everyone can enjoy.
If you choose to listen to it, however, be prepared for a long haul. Not counting the in-between-songs intermissions ("Eon Blue Apocalypse", "Mantra", and "Parabol" which technically leads into "Parabola"), or the final track "Faiip De Oiaid", none of the songs are shorter than six minutes in length. Luckily, all of the songs sound extremely unique to each other, making it a sort of journey to listen to the album. // 9
Lyrics: Another thing Tool does differently is that the band does not publish their own lyrics online, nor are they included in the album packaging. It is up to the listener to determine what the lyrics mean, or in some cases, what they even ARE. Even then, you'll probably need to do some research; there are astronomical references in "The Grudge", for one. If you can find meaning, even if it is one you've made up, that might make the listening experience more enjoyable.
It may not even matter if you can't understand the lyrics. A lot of people reviewing this album comment on the vocal prowess on "Lateralus", because good God, is it true! On the aforementioned "The Grudge", he swaps from a sing-scream style of singing to a soft and pleasant tone - in the same verse! And then two minutes later, he unleashes a thirty-second long scream to cue the start of the climatic end, one minute after that. (See, these songs are long!)
Other songs are equally varied, but there's some of everything in each (except for the above-mentioned interlude songs, and "Triad", an instrumental); "The Patient" is sung almost entirely in a peaceful voice, contrasted by "Ticks And Leeches", which consists of not only screamed vocals (reportedly, the singer blew out his vocal cords while recording it), but also the only instance of swearing on the album. There really is something for everyone on this album.
(Oh, and don't think the lyrics will make sense in tandem with the songs' respective music videos, either.) // 9
Overall Impression: All it takes is one listen to any of Tool's albums to change the way you think, and "Lateralus" is no exception. Whether this change involves enlightenment or utter confusion varies from person to person. In the meantime, though, this is an album worth checking out. You won't find it on iTunes - only in CD's at a store (which where you should be getting your music anyway, but that's another story). // 10
Preszombie, on september 09, 2003 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: This album is amazing. The band definitely pulled together to create their best album YET. From the soft melody of "The Patient" to the hardcore rhythmn of "Schism" this album definately screams Metal. The use of a lot of effects (which is something that Tool certaintly uses) is also evident on this album. The guitar work is certaintly amazing for a band with one guitarist. Adam Jones (Guitarist) makes you feel like you are listening to several guitars playing when it is actually only one. The bass also stands out and is definately an important role in the band. Overall this is their best album to date and sets a very high standard for their next album. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics as with all Tool songs actually mean something and take a create deal of "deep-thinking" to understand. Like the title track "Lateralus" is about thinking on a higher level and not so much the actual "muscle" called the Lateralus. The lyrics also suit the music very well as everything is in sync. Maynard James Keenan (Vocals) can definately do a little screaming, but at the same time he can sing very melodic and soothing, something that a lot of bands of today do not have. // 10
Overall Impression: This album definitely compares to the other albums like Aenema and Undertow. Each song is complex and well-planned out. The most impressive songs on the album are "The Patient", "The Grudge" and "Parabola." Definitely worth buying even you are new the musical style of Tool. // 10
unregistered, on july 09, 2004 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The sound on this album is by far the best that Tool have to date. Each riff, bass-line, drum beat and vocal chord is completely clear to the human ear, which is rare on a lot of albums. // 10
Lyrics: Each of Maynard James Keenans words in every song is sung so heart-felt that it really strikes a nerve with the listener, encouraging him/her to sit and listen in a trance for the entire duration of the album. As always, Tool pull this of marvellously. // 10
Overall Impression: This is definitely one of the best albums to have been released in the past decade, Tool are so under-rated it shouldn't be legal! Go out and buy this album now! I would definitely buy it again if I lost it. // 10
unregistered, on july 20, 2005 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: I think Tool's sound is very unique among other alternative rock bands. What I really think is that Tool's music is kind of a collaboration of all types of rock mixed with Danny Carey's complex drumming, Maynard James Keenan's incomparable voice, Justin Chancellor's fierce bass playing, and Adam Jones' synthesia-induced guitar skills. I find it strange but interesting that supposedly the members of Tool use their mathematical knowledge by blending it into their music. // 10
Lyrics: I think when someone asks Maynard, "What do these lyrics mean?" that Maynard tries to explain that his lyrics are a test with which your look at your interpretation of them. I can tell Maynard is a very intelligent person, because he uses words that you would never hear in a rap song, such as "juxtaposed" and song titles such as "Schism," "Parabola," and "Mantra." Maynard's voice is very hypnotizing and mesmerizing. I think Billy Howerdel make a good choice to choose Maynard as the vocalist for A Perfect Circle. // 10
Overall Impression: Lateralus isn't like any other rock album I own. I can't say which song is the most impressive because they are all so meaningful and worth listening to. I like "Parabola" the most because the beginning coming out of "Parabol" is so loud and in-your-face. The thing I like about it is that Tool's music will actually make you listen and think about the songs' meanings. I've never heard such an intelligent reflection of personalities into music before. The only thing I don't like about it is that I can't find the right order in which it is supposed to create a 70-minute-long song. I would definitely buy it again, and I think everyone should. // 10
unregistered, on august 12, 2005 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tool always stood out to me as a modern day Pink Floyd type band. But since music has gotten way heavier over the years Tool is heavy too. But the reason they appear to be a modern day Pink Floyd to me is because they are so epic, creative, and artsy with their music. Their songs are mostly long which is good because you get more out of the whole experience. I mean short and sweet is good, but sometimes if you can make it long and good and still maintain to grab the listeners attention then do it. Tool manages to stay a hard rock band but still be progressive. // 10
Lyrics: I love Maynards voice. Period. The drummer and him are alone a good reason to buy this album. I love the lyrics as well. Deep stuff. Its like swinging down a spiral. Mezmerizing and breathtaking. Plain and simple. // 10
Overall Impression: The bottom line is if you want an epic hard rock album that you can also kick back and chill to get this. Because you get both. You get the hard rock (The Grudge, Parabla), you get the epic songs (Schism, Lateralus), and you get the laid back (Disposition, Reflection). And the others are eerie interludes and my personal favorite track-The Patient. Great song. That song itself is worth 10 bucks. If I lost it, not only would I buy it again I would buy all the other Tool albums too. // 10
Brennos_37, on january 16, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: They have a sound that no other band can imitate. Maynard Jame Keenan the best vocalist of our era, period. Adam Jones has becomed one of my favorite guitarrists, if not my favorite, because he has been improving his playing on every album and he can play from melodic tunes to heavy riffs. Justin Chancellor give the band a more english aggresive melodic style to their music and Danny Carey is simply one of the best drummers of this era, with his original style of playing and his experiments with diferent effects. // 10
Lyrics: Maynard has never disapointed me and he will he do it. Tool, A perfect circle an Pucifier (his new project with Danny Lohner) have different styles of playing and nor has dissapointed me. His lyrics are revolutionary. I'm not the kind of guy that thing he is a god or something like that I just think he is not afraid of telling what he thinks. I admire his poetry, but also I admire other lyricists l like Trent Reznor, James Hetfield, Dave Mustain, Mike Portnoy (dream Theater's drummer) or even Bob Dylan. Fans must not try all the time to find the meaning of them all the time, because people must find their own meanings for things. // 10
Overall Impression: This album is the best I have ever heard. I'm from Mexico and heavy metal isn't a style of music that you find everywhere. I met tool when I heard a perfect cirlce on constantine movie, I investigated an found this band that deserves to be heard on this country and kick out of the radio pop punk, rap, Hilary Duff and all that shit that people listen about a thousand times on radio. // 10
seekdestroy83, on january 30, 2006 1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sound: One of the best things about Tool is that every album has a different sound to it. This is their latest (but not for long) and it sounds amazing! Adam and Justin work amazingly well together and they both have a wide range of musical talent. They are masters of their instruments and their effects and they really make the songs sound good. Of course Danny is a beast on his 3 million piece drumset, and Maynard's voice is beautiful beyond description. The best part of this album is the range of tones of the songs. Some (such as The Grudge, Ticks and Leeches, Lateralus, and Triad) are heavier and are pretty fun to headbang to. Others (like Eon Blue Apacolypse, Parabol, and Disposition) are soft and hauntingly beautiful. Everything works. // 10
Lyrics: I know the lyrics are supposed to be sort of transcendent but, they don't work quite as well for me. For example, what does "Clutch it like a cornerstone" mean? The weird lyrics don't bother me too much, and certainly don't take away from the experience of the album, but I just think they could have been a bit more meaningful. Whatever, Maynard still does an amazing job singing them. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall I think this may be their best album, and I can't wait for the next one to come out! // 10
Tallman, on april 01, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Wow. I'm pretty speachless. This sounds like nothing that emerged at the same time as it. I listened to it the whole way through, and then again before it would sink in. Every song is near-perfect (except maybe Mantra), full of Tool's trademark odd-time polyrythms, and an ethereal quality I've never heard before. // 10
Lyrics: I'll just come out and say it, Maynard James Keenan is the best singer and lyric writer of the modern day. The lyrics on this album deal with transcendence and other spiritual things. Keenan's switches effortlessly between a high pitched croon and a bark efforlessly. // 10
Overall Impression: This my favourite album, and it's best songs are The Grudge, Parabola and Lateralus, but all the songs are great, except the ambient track mantra, which only makes sense after taking LSD. Even the sleeve kicks ass. I found the word "God" hidden in the brain of the final page. If I lost this I would definitely buy it again. If it was stolen, I would congratulate the person on making such a fine choice, before tearing their throat off. // 10
JLM, on september 07, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: The best Tool album ever and one the greatest metal albums of all time. Since the very first minute that I've heard, it sounded so personal, yet universal, I mean, each song syntonizes you with yourself, the band and the rest of Lateralus' listeners around the world. It has a unique sound. I think they've never sounded so progressive. Undertow and Aenima, despite the fact that they're also kick-ass, the compass and tempo of their songs are too symmetrical. In this album, Tool gave wings to their imagination. This is no doubtfully a progressive metal album. The album is very good as a whole one, it's very complete. Each song seems to be a piece of a puzzle, and Maynard knew the pieces would fit. Funny. But I think the main thing is in conjuring Maynard's excellent voice with Adam Jones' riffs, Justin's bass lines and Danny's awesome drum work to create this magic. And this album is a magic work.
01. The Grudge - I think it's my favourite song of the album. It has so many riffs ( my favourite is the one that starts at 3:52, absolutely awesome ) that show the greatness of Adam Jones. Amazing drum performance by Danny Carey. Those drum solos in the middle of the song are incredible and fit very good in the mood of the song. Justin Chancellor's main riff guides the song in the first 2 minutes. After that, the guitar, the vocals and the drums take the lead. At 6:58 Maynard presents us with his best scream. Awesome beginning for an album.
02. Eon Blue Apocalypse - cool piece of work from Adam Jones, a good passage from The Grudge to The Patient.
03. The Patient - nice guitar beginning. Amazing vocals, they conduct the song from the first to the last minute. Very good instrumental part at 4:40.
04. Mantra - I like it actually. Cool passage. It reminds me the tranquillity of the sea.
05. Schism - the best bass line of the album, really, really good. The whole song is based on that riff, even the voice and the drums. The 4 elements were harmoniously mixed. Kick-ass ending. Probably the best song of the album.
06. Parabol - again a bridge to the next song, Parabola. It's almost like one song.
07. Parabola - nice beginning and a good chorus. Not the best song of the album, yet quite powerful.
08. Ticks And Leeches - the best drum work of the album. No doubt about it, Danny Carey really surprises us. It's really his best piece of work ever. Apart from that, Maynard presents his powerful vocals, with lots of screaming. Good screaming, though, not that death/satanic metal screaming that seems like someone is vomiting. Long bridge that ends quite abruptly with a powerful final part of the song, again with the gold medal to Danny Carey.
09. Lateralus - very good metal song. The opening riff guides all the song. At 5:37 min there's a very curious thing. The drums aren't synchronized with the guitar riff, and it creates a special atmosphere to the song. It must have been very difficult to Danny Carey to do it. It has a fantastic chorus.
10. Disposition - another bridge. It puts you in the disposition to hear the next song.
11. Reflection - another excellent drum performance, though this time Danny preferred to use a lot of cool percussion sounds instead of those heavy drum beats. It actually invites the listener to a reflection, since it is 11 minutes of the same riff, the whole song.
12. Triad - almost the same beat and riff all over until 6:33, time where all stops and remains silent until the end of the song.
13. Faaid De Oaid - a guy crying, with a noisy sound and a drum solo behind it. Abrupt end of song and album. // 10
Lyrics: I'm just going to say that Maynard is a fantastic lyricist, because I think each one has his own interpretation of the lyrics. The best pieces of work for me are The Grudge, The Patient, Schism and Lateralus. I think, though, that I think, tough, that his lyrics sound like a warning message, and sort of a life guide. // 10
Overall Impression: The best Tool album ever and one the greatest metal albums of all time. Since the very first minute that I've heard, it sounded so personal, yet universal, I mean, each song syntonizes you with yourself, the band and the rest of Lateralus' listeners around the world. It has a unique sound. I think they've never sounded so progressive. Undertow and Aenima, despite the fact that they're also kick-ass, the compass and tempo of their songs are too symmetrical. In this album, Tool gave wings to their imagination. This is no doubtfully a progressive metal album. The album is very good as a whole one, it's very complete. Each song seems to be a piece of a puzzle, and Maynard knew the pieces would fit. Funny. But I think the main thing is in conjuring Maynard's excellent voice with Adam Jones' riffs, Justin's bass lines and Danny's awesome drum work to create this magic. And this album is a magic work. // 10
unregistered, on december 08, 2006 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Before listening to the band Tool I was mostly into the new rock and just heavy metal, never realy thought I changed. When I first heard this CD, right then I knew this was the best album I have ever listened to. From the Grudge to Faaip De Oid it's all amazing. Truely Tool has there own unique sound that cannot be touched by anyone. They are their own brand of music, and people realise this and so they will buy their cd's and learn. Danney Carrey is truely, as said before, in a league of his own. There is no true conventional drumming here. The most irregular beats I have ever heard but yet it sounds so natural and it keeps me listening. Justin Chancelar is one of the more skilled bassists I know. He may not be the best in the world but for what does it fits so perfectly that no one else could do what he does. Adam Jones, again not the best guitarist in the world but his mind let's him make some of the craziesy alternitive prog riffs you will ever hear in your life. A good example in schism, so odd but yet listening to it, it feel so natural and good. Then there is Maynard James Keenan. One of the most emotional singers and songwriters ever. His lyrics, even though hard to understand and vailed in metophores and experiences, will make you think and you will have a journey in yourself. he brings everything to the table and uses his voice as if it were the only thing he knew how to do. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on the album truely make you think. The whole album itself is one big journey, a story rather. Laying on a bed and listening to this CD many times, ever time I get something new from it. For everyone songs comes "perfect" lyrics. Maynard's lyrics go in flawlessly with the music. He can go from his violent screams, his soft melodies, to his melodic verses, it all seems to fit no matter what. There is nothing out of placed when it comes to how he sings and the meaning of the lyrics with the songs. // 10
Overall Impression: Lateralus was the first Tool CD that I had listened to and I must say I am glad for it. To me this is my favorite Tool CD and also my favorite CD of all time in general. I couldn't comapare this CD to antyhing else out there or anything else that was out there. This CD holds it's place in time along with the other Tool CDs. You can't deny this ALbum is purley kick-ass. Songs like The Grudge, Ticks and Leeches, Lateralus are songs that will just make you sit there in aww and wonder to yourself what did I just listen to. This pure evilness to them, but yet such innoscence, it makes you keep listening and learning. I must say I cannot find anything wrong with this Album, everthign on here is perfect. Even the ambient noises are completely tolerable and actually necassary, without them it wouldn't be Lateralus. I would suggest this as a must-have for anyone. If you listen to music then you must have this and listen to it. // 10
talia., on february 21, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tool is one of the most unique bands I have ever heard. Lateralus is their third album, and I think it's their strongest. It has their typical seven-minute long songs, but this album sounds more mature from their last two. Guitar, bass and drums are amazing on this record, expecially on the titles song "Lateralus". The artwork inside this album is insane; it's transparent with a body, and as the pages are turned, the layers of the body are revealed. I've never seen anything like it before. // 10
Lyrics: The lyrics on this album are very deep, and the singing is phenomenal. Maynard James Keenan is a genius with his lyrics, and it shows on this record. One song in particular that is very suttle, but strong both in lyrics and in music is the song "Reflection". His voice is very cohesive with the music, which adds to the greatness of this album. // 10
Overall Impression: I think that Lateralus is probably one of the best records I have ever purchased. My favorite song by Tool is on this record (The Patient). It doesn't sound too much like their older two records, and it has more depth to it. The album starts off striong with the song "The Grudge", and ends off amazingly with "Faaip De Oiad". I would recommend this album to anyone who is interested in listening to something out of the ordinary. // 10
No Spin, on august 02, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Flawless. Perfect beyond comprehension. Extremely complex album from an extremely complex band. Perfection that I, for years, never thought was possible. Most talented singer, guitarist, bassist, and drummer that have ever existed and ever will exist. Each song sounds completely different from the rest. The segue tracks which are, by many people, considered filler are just as amazing as the rest and are critical to creating Tool's Holy Gift. // 10
Lyrics: Amazingly complex lyrics and metaphors which require hours of contemplation and are still difficult to fathom. Maynard has an incredible and unique voice which sings softly on songs like Parabol but screams powerfully on Ticks And Leeches. The more I understand the lyrics and their meaning, the more amazed I become. // 10
Overall Impression: Based on the incredible complexity, Tool is the best band and, along with Tool's other albums, Lateralus is one of the few perfect albums in existence. The album artwork is just as complex as the music and requires just as much analyzation. I would buy this album 100 times if I had to. I've listened to this album 40-50 times and spent hours analyzing it and it gets better every time. // 10
guitarguru1393, on december 17, 2008 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sound: Personally, I love every Tool album, but this is mostly likely my favorite. Everything on this album is basically perfect. From the sometimes vague, but always powerful lyrics of Maynard James Keenan, to the tight, complex, and amazing music of the band (comprised of Adam Jones-Guitar, Justin Chancellor-Bass Guitar, and Danny Carey-Drums). To get the complete scope of this album, I will describe every track individually.
01.The Grudge: as far as opening tracks go, this is nearly perfect. The musicianship is super tight, with all the members of the band at their best. The song is very heavy, and has some amazing riffs! Plus, Maynard is on top form, producing one of his absolutely best screams.
02.Eon Blue Apocalypse: a very short, yet beautiful, instrumental bridge to the next song. This is mostly a showcase of Adam Jone's guitar skills.
03.The Patient: an amazing song, which begins with a soft guitar line, and a watery wah-bass line. The song lulls the listener into a false sense of security, before bashing it with a powerful riff, and anthemic chorus. The song continues in this fashion, shifting between moods, before finishing off with yet another powerful riff and chorus.
04.Mantra: another fantastic bridge, that is a perfect mood setter for the song that is yet to come. The track contains no lyrics or instrumentation, and is basically just eerie noise and atmosphere.
05.Schism: while the band as a whole is amazing on this track, I would consider this Justin's showcase of skill and style, shifting between tine signatures as if they don't exist. Beginning with a quietly picked bass intro, and then hitting into the infamous bass riff. The song then shifts between the hypnotizing verses, and heavy and exhilarating bridges. The song then shifts into a peaceful bridge, before finishing with the heaviest riff of the song.
06.Parabol: while some consider this just another transition song, I consider this part one of a whole song. This could be considered the calm before the storm. I consider this song the peaceful introduction to the sheer piece of metal that is to follow. The lyrics are very similar, if not identical to it's sister song, but as the songs piece together, it is clear that is basically the only thing they have in common.
07.Parabola: the song is very immediate, kicking in with full force. The riff is heavy, and straight to the point, while still remaining the mood of the first half. Maynard and the band maintain a huge groove through the song, with his singing gaining top position on this piece of music. Overall, a fantastic song.
08.Ticks & Leeches: by far, the heaviest and most brutal song on the whole album. This song reaches back early into Tool's career and echoes Opiate/Undertow era brutality, while marrying that with a new found sense of melody. Kicking in with an amazing drum intro, it is clear from the get go that Danny is going to lead the band all the way. Maynard has rule over this song, with his overpowering screams and wails. His vocals are just as brutal and heavy as the music, and shows that his voice can still kick the sh*t out of any other singer in the music business.
09.Lateralus: - This could possibly be Tool's best song ever, in my opinion. I consider this 9 and a half minutes of pure perfection. The intro starts with a quiet and peaceful guitar riff, but it is clear with the rumbling double bass drum in the background, that keeps slowly getting louder, this peace is not going to last long. When the double bass drum sounds as if it gets an louder the speakers might explode, the first heavy riff kicks in. With the force of a freight train, this riff just beats the listener, before heading into the verse, where Maynard whispers his lyrics in the front of Danny's powerhouse drumming. After Maynard stops singing, Justin and Adam quietly join in, before heading into the chorus. After repeating this one more time, Adam takes center stage with a wah-driven solo, before a bridge, that seems to repeat the intro, only in reverse. Adam then takes another amazing solo, before the outro. The riff that comes after the solo is extremely simple, but unbelievably heavy. Maynard's vocals are just as powerful as the bands intense riffing, yelling out his lyrics with such conviction, it's almost impossible to not get carried away with the intensity. The band then comes crashing down with an outro that is the perfect complement to the masterpiece that just followed.
10.Disposition: the first song in the end cycle of songs that ends the album. The song is based around another of Justin's genius bass riffs, with this one relying on harmonics. Adam and Danny join in, complementing Justin's bass in the perfect manor. Maynard's singing is almost hypnotic, bordering on beautiful.
11.Reflection: the longest song on the album, and the second song in the climatic cycle of the album. The song builds on the song that just preceded it, again relying on a fantastic Justin Bass riff. The song just seems to fall together, with it's mesmerizing rhythms and hypnotizing melodies. The minutes seem to melt away, and by the end, the listener is left in disbelief that they just listened to and 11 minute long song
12.Triad: the final song in the cycle is an extended instrumental/jam, that is just amazing. Every member pulls out all the stops, and almost elevates the song into a competition, while still maintaining an element of teamwork and cooperation, that makes this song fantastic, and almost transcendent. It is clear that Tool new that this was the only right way to end an album of this caliber.
13.Faaip de Oiad: a small outro to the album, that evolves from static and feedback, to a frazzled phone message from a so-called ex-agent from the top-secret Area 51. A great glimpse into the fascination Tool has with the extraterrestrial. // 10
Lyrics: Lyrically, Maynard is sometimes vague with the first listen, but will slowly bloom into meaning upon repeated plays. While older Tool albums relied on anger and angst to push the lyrics forward, but Maynard seems to have gotten inner peace, and some sort of faith, so the lyrics stray from the rage, and tackle much more broad subject matter. While the anger is still relevant in some songs (particularly Ticks & Leeches), but they also tackle faith (Parabol and Parabola), relationships (Schism), and self-insight (Disposition and Reflection). While Maynard is not a pissed off and full of rage, he is still one of, if not the absolute best singer in modern Hard Rock/Heavy Metal. He can scream, wail, yell, shout, whisper, and sing in a variety of ways, full of skill and passion. The spiteful yells of old are gone, replaced with vocals that suit the new style of Tool's music perfectly.
Far more lyrically evolved from it's predecessors, Lateralus is full of a variety of subjects, power and meaning, and incredible vocals. // 10
Overall Impression: While Lateralus does not contain the sheer power of Opiate, rage of Undertow, or the Psychedelic Heavy Metal of nima, it does contain everything that makes Tool, Tool. Melody within chaos, seamless blending of time signatures, entering a song with peaceful riffs and melodies, and then exploding into heavy riffs without ever putting out the impression that they are even trying.
It is almost impossible to choose the best songs on the album, since every song seems to be a piece to a much larger, much more powerful piece of music. This album seems to be almost a puzzle of sorts, that only can be unlocked if the songs are played in order, and completely. While the songs are almost perfect when listened to individually or in pairs, there is something almost transcendent about the whole album when listed to in it's complete form. This album is as close as Progressive Metal can get to sheer perfection. // 10
patbuck2, on august 23, 2010 1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Sound: My impression of Tool's sound and music on this album is that I think all four of them are at their absolute best on this album. This is their best album in my opinion and they sound so tight and have the perfect melding of influences on it.
A story I can attach to the album's creation is that, if I recall correctly, there was some confusion for the band members about whether or not they were going to get back together to make this album because everyone in the band was off doing their own thing for a while and seemed too occupied with those activities. There was especially some confusion about Maynard doing his thing with A Perfect Circle. I get that information from reading the book of Tool that Revolver Magazine put out. I haven't read it in a while, but I'm pretty sure about that.
The styling of this album is a more progressive rock turn as opposed to the more metal influenced sound of Opiate and Undertow. The band is definitely very heavily influenced by King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Rush, and other old school progressive bands on this album and that shows in their sound. As far as some interesting musical innovations on it, this album has a lot of progressive time signature changes going on, Justin's bass playing got more experimental and prominent in the mix of the songs, and Danny's drumming took an even more jazzy turn.
Only thing I feel like sharing about this album is that this was my first Tool album I bought or listened to and I got it only because Schism was on it. I am so glad that I bought it because it changed my outlook on music forever. // 10
Lyrics: My overall impression of the lyrics is that I think Maynard did a fantastic job on this album with them. This album deals a lot with religion, the relations between human beings, philosophy, and change, among other topics. This album has some of their most profound lyrics, in my opinion.
The lyrics compliment the music perfectly. Maynard makes it his job to try to make the vocals presented like another instrument in the music and I think he delivers that well.
Maynard's singing skills are top notch on this album. He perfectly delivers that "loud-quiet" dynamic in the songs on this album. // 10
Overall Impression: As far as comparing Lateralus to other albums, it definitely is more stylistically in-sync with 10, 000 Days and some aspects of Aenima. I believe this album to be better than those two, though.
The most impressive songs on this album, for me, are Schism, Parabola, The Grudge, and Lateralus. What I love about this album is that I like all of the songs for their own reasons. I think that every band member was playing together so tight on this album. They really pull of the odd song structures well. I don't really have any complaints with the album. Faaip de Oiad was a weak way to end, I thought. But that's about it.
If my copy were stolen or lost, I would definitely buy it again because I love Tool and their music that much. Especially this fantastic album, my favorite album of all time. // 10
unregistered, on july 27, 2004 0 of 7 people found this review helpful
Sound: its tool what more can I say. As usual the albums extremly creative and versatile. The grudge has some amazing guitar riffs as Jones lets his metal genius take cotrol of the track. Schism sees one of the best bass riffs I've personally ever heard while disposistion shows a softer side of the bands musical ability. Ticks and leeches enters with share drumming bliss followed by crashing metal guitars. The only let down on this album is reflections which to be honest bored the crap out of me. // 10
Lyrics: first of I have to coment on Maynards ability to sound like an angel with serious anger management problems. Maynards voice is simply proven once again on this album and maybe its just me but he just sounds better and better each time. The lyrics. Now heres where every Tool Brain dead hick will want to kill me. The lyrics on this album are not brilliant. As a poet Maynard is a master as for finding something wort writting about he might as well write a song about this review as his intellegnece would surely make up for the lack of direction or relevence to the world.
Maynard has done a decent job on this album but as I am an extremly opinionated shit brained, wanker, mother f--r or what ever else you can think of I'm goin to be honest and say the lyrical content is a disapointment, where's the message? Where's the real I'm going to put my balls on the line and show people exactly whats wrong with them? Instead Maynard gave us another adolescent goody bag of worries cross dressed in a philosiphers skirt. // 6
Overall Impression: Still in saying what I just said about the lyrics it's still the best music has to offer at the moment and if your another I don't wanna be in the mainstream so I'll wear these old clothes I found under the dumpster act shady write one poetic line in the song (this formula will always make you look deep) you wont mid and you will love this albulm. If you listen for noise alone did I say noise sorry I meant music you're in for metal at it's must creative and quite simply it's best. // 8
unregistered, on august 16, 2004 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sound: Tool has never been about formulaic music writing really. On this album, even more so than the previous, it shows, as does the polishing of their sound. "The Grudge" is a perfect example. It contains the quirky time changes, Maynard Jame Keenan lyrics, etc.
Danny Carey seems to get better and better with the drums. Anyone who argues that this guy isn't one of the leading figures of drumming probably hasn't heard him, because the depth of his work on this album is pretty astounding. TOOL is worth listening to for this guy alone.
The bass seems to show a little more, primarily on "Schism", which sports one of the best modern basslines outside of Primus. The guitar seems less murky than on Aenima, while still not as clean/polished as the sound on Undertow. It takes you through each song fine enough. However, and I know the guitarist has his own style of playing, there could've been more guitar solos. // 8
Lyrics: This is where most Tool haters become lost. Tool's lyrics are more of a tool (no pun intended) to use for expression rather than something meant to showcase intelligence. On this album, I'd say they're at their best personally - true, there's hardly any cynical wordplay like on previous albums, but its clean feel just adds to the polished effect of this album's sound.
Maynard James Keenan will always be a major figure as far as singing goes, and this helps prove it. Tool is progressive, so naturally Maynard wrote some little vocal bits that just kick amazing ass - just listen to the last part of "Schism" or "Lateralus". He can deliver lines in very specific ways, from angelic to rough, to slurred to clearly pronounced. He seems to add a texture, or a way of delivering lyrics, that no other singer can. As far as how the lyrics go with the actual music, I'd say perfectly. Tool tends to write the music first, send it to Keenan so he can write matching lyrics, and then they throw it all together. Seems to work by my book. // 10
Overall Impression: "Lateralus" is to me more art than just music. Tool made a very fine record with this release, and they should be proud as it kicks the bejesus out of most other albums out today. One thing I don't like is the filler tracks they insist on including, but with songs like "Lateralus" and "Schism" and "Parabola", I'm not going to complain anytime soon. // 10