Sound — 10
"Aenima" is Tool at their heaviest, and with amazing production. Don't listen to this expecting typical heavy metal, the vocals are amazing, but not very heavy, and you won't find any crazy shred solos. Tool's an alternative/progressive metal band, and have a heavy, almost industrial sound to their music. And Maynard has a very unique voice, one that can't be described, you have to hear it to get it. At first I didn't like Tool, like lots of other people, it took time to grow on me, but once it did, I can't stop listening. Truly an amazing sound. They also have some of the best musicians of all time, I especially love Justin on bass, perhaps the most underrated bassist of all time as far as I'm concerned.
Lyrics — 10
Maynard would have to be one of my top five favorite lyrics writers of all time. Tool has some of the most deep, amazing lyrics you will ever hear. They most always have a deeper meaning, and in most cases I'll probably never know quite what Maynard is talking about. The lyrical highlight is third eye. I won't take up a ton of space with it, but if you're interested, google the lyrics for third eye and you can see just how amazing they are. A definite ten lyrically.
Overall Impression — 9
I'll go through it song by song:
01. "Stinkfist" - they had to change the name of this song and some of the lyrics for MTV since the lyrics are about anal fisting but I think the song has a different meaning, I think it's about how we keep on "digging," in other words wanting more, and we'll go to extremes to get it. One of the albums best songs and the first single, this is one of tools most recognizable songs, and it really is amazing.
02. "Eulogy" - another one of the best songs on the album, probably in my top three. This song has great music and great progression. I love the weirdly distorted guitar part in the intro, and how the vocals later match it with "you claimed all this time that you would die for me, why then are you so surprised when you hear your own eulogy?" This song's about standing up to powerful and opressive figures, at least that's what I think.
03. "H." - the band couldn't decide if they wanted the song to be called half empty or half full, so they decided to just call it "H." and this is a slower, darker song. It has very haunting music, and is about being in some kind of realtionship that's killing the character in the lyrics. Another of the more recognized songs.
04. "Useful Idiot" - a useless song, just forty seconds of basically nothing. Nothing special here.
05. "Forty Six and Two" - a great bassline in this song. Another slower one, and a really great song. This song also has great progression to it, and I especially love the "My Shadow" part. I'm not sure exactly what this song's about, but one of my friends told me it was about like genetic testing, which makes sense with the title.
06. "Message to Harry Manback" - some people complain about this song, but I love it. It's just a two minute interlude thing, but it has a really nice piano line that's hard for me to describe, but I picture a foreign guy on a beach making a cell phone call threatening an American, and I think it's pretty funny.
07. "Hooker With a Penis" - probably the most straightforward metal song on the album, another pretty funny song, a pretty vulgar put down song. I have to say, I don't like this song as much as I did at first, but it is a good song. Great to blast out loud.
08. "Intermission" - just a one minute long circus style instrumental, with a keyboard sound just doing a jolly little thing. I like it, it's just a nice jolly song.
09. "Jimmy" - this song is about the death of Maynard's mother from cancer when he was eleven, and another one of my favorite's on the album. This song has the most chilling music on the album, the vocals and the instruments are just downright creepy an album highlight.
10. "Die Eier Von Satan" - this is a two minute industrial song, and the title means "the balls of Satan" the lyrics are in German, and are a cookie recipe. I think it's just making fun of Nazi's, like even if they're saying as something as simple as a cookie recipe, it sounds evil.
11. "Pushit" - another one of the more recognized songs on the album, but I'm not sure exactly what it's about. It's still one of my favorites though, I love the music and the lyrics in it. It's a definite highlight, and is also pretty dark. Also contains a great slower version on the live album "Salival."
12. "Cesaro Summability" - a lot of people complain about this song, and I can see why. It's just a minute and a half of noise and a baby crying. Maybe there's some reason the band put it in, but I don't see it. Then again, I'm not nearly as deep as the four geniuses in Tool.
13. "Aenima" - a rebellious hard rock song, this song has good music, and I love the chorus: "Freaks here in this hopeless fucking whole we call L.A., the only way to fix it is to flush it all away." Just a great song.
14. "(-) Ions" - a four minute instrumental, just like static sounds and some thunder like sounds, I have no problem with it. Nothing too special, but fun to listen to
15. "Third Eye" - Tool's best song as far as I'm concerned, this song never ceases to amaze me. It's fourteen minutes long, but never gets old. This song is about a tie with "Jimmy" as far as chilling goes, with the best lyrics Tool has ever had and music to match it. It starts out with an intro from Bill Hicks, which is both funny and true, and goes into "dreaming of that face again" I'm not sure if this song is about drugs, or more of a spiritual thing. And the "prying open my third eye" part could either be related to drugs or a kind of spiritual thing, either way the lyrics and music of this song will send chills down your spine. It took this song a few listens to grow on me, but it's truly amazing.
This album was really a new door for me, tied with "Lateralus" as Tool's best album, any metal fan or even just a rock fan should love this album. It may take time to grow, but well worth it. Really the only reason I gave it overall a nine is because of some of the interlude songs.