Sound — 10
Tool's sound and the music on Aenima are just wonderful. Aenima has some of their best music on it. My impression is that I am, well, impressed. Adam's guitar tone sounds top notch and Justin's is great as well. The band sounds so tight on this album, in my opinion. This is their first release with Justin and they did one hell of a job with it. Interestingly enough, several of the songs on Aenima were already written when Paul was in the band and he contributed to the writing of some of them. The musical styling of this album is an in between stage from the more metal-orientated sound of Opiate and Undertow and the more classic prog rock-influenced sound of Lateralus and 10, 000 Days. As far as innovations, or at least some interesting parts of the music, this album has a lot of filler in it and some of it is actually quite interesting and fun to listen to, leading into the next song quite well. Adam really established his signature flanger and delay tone with this album because he used both effects heavily on it. Another interesting thing about the album that is worth sharing is that David Bottrill, the producer of this album, had previously produced albums with Robert Fripp and King Crimson and later went on to produce albums with many other progressive rock bands.
Lyrics — 10
My overall impression of the lyrics on this album is that this album has some of my favorite lyrics from Maynard. A lot of the songs deal with religion and morality, which I really like. They seem to be posing a lot of questions to the listener to consider. The lyrics compliment the music quite well, just like pretty much all of Tool's music. Maynard's vocals are like another instrument in the band. Maynard's singing skills definitely improved on this album as opposed to Undertow. He did more of the "quiet", soft stuff, but still dealing out the "loud" stuff as well, which is sort of a signature sound of his.
Overall Impression — 10
It's hard to compare this album to others. Like I said before, it's like a transition from Undertow to Lateralus and I'm not sure which one it is closer to. It has elements of both. So, I guess I compare it to those two. It still has some of that heaviness from Undertow and also definitely has the progressive experimentation of Lateralus. +The most impressive songs on the album are Eulogy, H., Pushit, and Third Eye in my opinion. Those are the longer, more progressive songs and they are just so great. They have great instrumentation and the lyrics are fantastic. I love the tones of Adam and Justin on this album a lot. I also just love the instrumentation over all and the nod to Bill Hicks throughout. I also really like the religious matters of the lyrics. That interested me when I was first listening to it. There isn't much I don't like about the album. After a few listens, the filler gets a little old and I usually skip it now to get to the next song. Other than that, it's all pretty fantastic. This is my 2nd favorite Tool album, behind Lateralus. It my copy of the album were ever stolen or lost, I would definitely go purchase it again because I love the band that much. I am happy to spend my money on their music, especially this great album.