Sound — 9
Tool's latest effort is not substantial progression from lateralus but a standstill in the prog giants' efforts. A good standstill. Guitarist Adam Jones' intense palm-mute riffing intertwines with bassist Justin Chancellor's unique bass-lines. But overall they play second fiddle to Danny Carey's monstrous beats which bash, crash and paradiddle their way through to climax. Jone's solos have been never been so noticeable, with the use arabic modes and the welcome use of a talkbox. Basslines are even-more-so important. Typically in 'the pot' chancellor plays an exotic groove, that seems to befuddle the listener. All the instruments work together to implement a sludgy sound reminiscent of EyehateGod and Mastodon, which complement Maynard James Keenan's various howls and whispers. But is not perfect, some tracks drag out far too long and takes serious patience to handle. The epic 17 minute 'Wings for Marie' suite is typical tool, but guest Lustmord seems to punctuate the song with his ambience rather than tool themselves. And the Tool tradition of fillers is even more agitating as there is roughly only eight songs with the rest being filler.
Lyrics — 8
Keenan's lyrics are as powerful as ever, with lines like 'Vicariously I live while the whole world dies', they range from poignant and sombre to humourous and amusing on "Rosetta Stoned', which is a real lyrical gem that should be experienced first hand. The execution of the lyrics are down masterfully too, leaving Keenan still lazing on his throne of one of the best Metal vocalists. Keenan's tenor is contorted many times to press his point. He manages an 'Adam Levine' falsetto on 'The Pot' and growling and roaring on some tracks. Yet he still has the power to be dangerously emotional and sad; the delivery easily cnveying sadness and longing. The only true downfall is that Keenan's vocal's are too low in the mix, with keenan; s voice being the main proponent of Tool, it is dissapointing to see.
Overall Impression — 8
Compared to the overwhelming Lateralus, 10, 000 days feels little overwrought and not as groundbreaking but it still manages to hold it's own in the metal world. Tool is on the forefront of prog and we best not forget it.