Sound — 10
As most Tool fans know, the band has always had a unique sound to it. And this album certainly delivers just that. You can hear in Maynard's vocals that he has definitely matured as an artist. Now I know some people have said that it sounds like A Perfect Circle. But that is completely wrong. But not to totally condemn those people it is obvious that APC had an effect on his singing but the overall music is true Tool. The most evident song has to be 10,000 Days (Wings Part 2) this is one of those 11 minute Tool songs that just sucks you into the experience of the album as a whole. I truly enjoyed listening to Adam's guitar throughout the whole album (especially the last part of Vicarious). It seemed to me his playing was a lot more prevalent in this album, but that is not a bad thing. Any fan of the group will truely enjoy this album from start to finish.
Lyrics — 10
Ah Tool lyrics. To me half the fun of listening to Tool is figuring out what exactly Maynard is trying to express through his voice. This keeps you coming back to listen to album more and more and eventually you get an idea of what the overall album is about, but a complete understanding. Whether this approach is intentional or not it keeps you coming back for more. You just sucked into Maynard's haunting yet soothing voice. Most of the songs lyrically are just that, even in faster paced songs such as Vicarious. The one song that impressed me lyrically was The Pot. I heared some of his "new voice" in this song but you also get a taste of what Maynard's voice was back in the days of Undertow, kind of raw and having meaning. Was very impressed with some of the high notes Maynard hit on this song.
Overall Impression — 10
Now this album I'm listening to is of course one of the many leaked copies. But being a huge fan of Tool as I am, I'm going to make sure to buy the CD the day it comes out. Now this album I can't say isn't their best ever. Lateralus and Aenima are definitely much better. But that doesn't mean this album isn't great. When in fact it is. As I listened to this CD I felt sort of relaxed and calm, I let the music take me to where the band wanted the listener to be. Now I don't know if that will be true for everyone or anyone else for that matter. But that is the great thing about Tool and music in general. We all have different feelings while listening to Tool because of our different perspectives on things. I truely love this album and would instantly replace it if it were lost or stolen.