Sound — 10
Tool's sound has always been a progressive/alt. rock/metal sound. Heavy downtuned chords by Adam Jones, running basslines by Justin Chancellor, the insane drumming of Danny Carey, and of course, the vocals of Maynard. There isn't too much of a story behind the album, but there are lyrical themes (which I'll explain later). This album goes is many directions. You get the usual hard-hitting aggressive tracks you would come to expect, stuff like "Vicarious" and "Jambi". You also get some more softer songs, such as "Wings for Marie" and Part 2, "10,000 Days", both an ode to his late mother. Adam Jones makes use of a talk box on the album, specifically in the solo for the song "Jambi", which is somewhat strange for Adam Jones, since he tends to stay away from both effects as well as solos. This album is Tool's most polished sounding record to date, as older efforts were good, but didn't sound like an "album", more like demo-quality mixing.
Lyrics — 10
The title tracks (10,000 Days, which is part 2 of Wings for Marie0 are written about Maynard's late mother, who suffered a stroke that left her partially paralyzed and wheelchair-bound. The length of time between the paralysis and her death was 27 years, or approximately 10,000 days. The themes behind songs on this album range from his mother, hypocrites, and LSD. I really love Maynard's voice on this record, he has a really aggressive, passionate sound to his voice, which really deliver an amotional experience. Maynard is one of the best.
Overall Impression — 10
I personally think this is their best, but alas it's the album that really got me into Tool. The most impressive songs would probably be the first tow tracks "Vicarious" and "Jambi", as well as "Rosetta Stoned". I love the heavy style of some of the tracks, and the settled-down emotional, spaced out ones such as the title tracks(s). I really can't hate on this album. If completely lost from my library, I would probably go out and buy not only one copy, but another one for backup. Amazing album, one of the best in recent years.