Sound — 8
It's easy to get lost in this album. There is so much to think about when you listen to Aenima, Maynard's amazing voice, Adam's trippy and complex guitar patterns, Justin's guitar-like bass lines and Danny's percussion laiden irregular drum beats. Tool prove that it takes an entire band to make great music (when compared to MJK's other hit or miss band A perfect circle) Each song is an epic which takes you through so many moods an emotions and feels like an album in itself. The only bad thing I can find about the sound is the production, no fault of the band themselves but some of the sounds aren't thick or loud enough which tends to spoil the climaxes in the music. A prime example of this is the drums in "Jimmy".
Lyrics — 10
Tool are blessed with the most talented singer and of one the best lyricists in the world. Maynard James Keenan has such a powerful, emotional and genuine voice that gives Tools music and extra dimention. His versatility is astounding, indistinguishable whispers, soaring melodious singing, agressive and angry growls and his amazing screams give vocals on this album such a thick texture. His lyrics are so open to interpritaion which makes the Tool experience individual to each listener. Many varied topics presented using beautiful words and metaphors that challenge you. There isn't a wasted word on the whole album.
Overall Impression — 10
This is one of the best albums I own, it's intelligent, complex, heavy, soft and simply amazing. The band have a rare chemistry that make them so individual, every minute of each song has been thought through and perfected over time. A true peice of musical art. So much diversity is shown here; you'll have an epic like "Eulogy" then an aggressive hard rock/metal song like "Hooker with a penis", over to the hugely emotional and brooding "Pushit" and end with the mind bending "Third eye". Even if you are the slightest bit curious about Tool, buy this album.