Sound — 8
After a long five year wait, Tool released their album 10, 000 Days, the follow up to 2001's Lateralus. After the huge hit Lateralus, fans had tremendous expectations for the new CD. However, 10,000 Days is a different Tool. Many fans despise the new album, and many love it. 10,000 Days indeed gives a different sound for Tool. Nevertheless, you still know it's them. Adam Jones's guitar work is powerful and sometimes haunting, leading the band perfectly. The best example of this can be found at the beginning of the album in songs "Vicarious" and "Jambi." Danny Carrey's drumming is nothing short of amazing, making him a cadidate for the best drummer around right now. The drums are near perfect throughout the entire album and fit the music perfectly, whether they be powerful or slow. Justin Chancellor has proved he is not an average bassist. His bass work really stands out on this album, especially in "The Pot." Finally, Maynard James Keenan's voice completes the Tool sound. His voice has a dark mystique that gives the music a great tone. Although he shows on "The Pot" that he can reach several different pitches with his voice. Overall, the Tool sound is still there. Four muscians all very talented in their areas, and this has produced a true work of art.
Lyrics — 9
Maynard James Keenan has always been known for deep lyrics, often dark and disturbing. Nevertheless, they always deliver a powerful message, whether it be "Schism" or "Maynard's Dick." On 10,000 Days, the standout songs lyrically are the partner tracks "Wings For Marie (Part 1)" and "10,000 Days (Wings Part 2)." They are written revolving around Keenan's mother, who suffered a stroke and was paralyzed for approximately 27 years before her death, which is about 10,000 days. "Wings For Marie" is more about describing Keenan's mother than anything, up to the last line that declares "now it's time for us to let you go," leading into "10,000 Days," where Keenan truly shines. Using a more metaphorical approach, there is still some describing of his mother, but also talks about the life in paralysis, how "10,000 days in the fire is long enough," and it's time for her to go "home." Overall, Keenan's lyrics are very powerful. They are hard to understand at some points, while at others are perfectly clear. The topics of the lyrics range from tragedy on television to hypocrites to alien abductions. As you can see, the lyrics differ greatly from song to song, but the fact that Keenan is an excellent songwriter cannot be denied.
Overall Impression — 8
This album is hard to compare with Lateralus because of the aforesaid difference. Most Tool fans will probably agree 10,000 Days is not as good as Lateralus, but the album is certainly a great work. Here's a breakdown of each track individually: 01. Vicarious - opens the album with a kickass hard rock tone. Awesome song. 02. Jambi - carries the same tone as "Vicarious," and Adam Jones gets a chance to shine. 03. Wings For Marie (Part 1) - takes the album in a new direction with a mostly calming song and excellent lyrics. 04. 10,000 Days (Wings Part 2) - a long epic both slow and fast, soft and heavy, with even better lyrics. 05. The Pot - another heavy song with angry, metaphorical lyrics. Good vocal range and great bass work. 06. Lipan Conjuring - well, it's 70 seconds of tribal music. It's near completely random, but it's the first of two intermission tracks, so to speak. 07. Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann) - a slow piece with a guitar riff repeated over an intriguing conversation between a doctor, nurse, and a nonresponsive patient. This provides some mystery, and also ends the intermission. 08. Rosetta Stoned - a song that can only be described as: cool. Various guitar riffs. Powerful from start to finish. A very long song that delivers a powerful punch. 09. Intension - a mellow song with very interesting lyrics. A little long, but one of those songs that's good to listen to in the dark. Very soothing. 10. Right In Two - the last good song on the album. Another very long song that provides some good heavy moments. A good overall song, but leaves a little to be desired. 11. Vigini Trees - five minutes of breathing effects. A very unique piece and really cool to listen to, but probably not the best way to conclude an album. Overall great album as a whole with some pretty decent individuals.