Sound — 10
Like all Tool cds, Lateralus is very compelling and different. But Lateralus has something about that makes it much more full and all-round a better listening expierence. The tracks are definatly more complex and thoughtout than the previous albums. The talent of the band has never been in question, they are extremely talented, but this album seems to capture that talent. The tracks so the wide-based talent of the band. Songs like "The Grudge", "Schism", "Parabola", "Ticks & Leeches", "Lateralus", and "Triad" showcase their raw heavy rock/metal powers, were as songs like "The Patient", "Parabol", "Disposition", and "Reflection" show their ability to slow/calm themselves down and show their ballad side. Finally, songs like "Eon Blue Apocalypse", "Mantra", and "Faaip De Oaid" tie the cd together (if you're listening to it in the order they gave you, I'll explain later if you don't already know).
Lyrics — 10
Lyrics are an area that Tool (Maynard and Adam) have always been solid in. Every CD. The music always compliments the lyrics and visa-versa. In terms of Maynard's vocal talent, I'd say he's falling nicely into himslef so to speak. He knows what he's good at and he uses that well.
Overall Impression — 10
Simply put, best Tool (any band for that matter) album. I have never heard such a solid album. They seem to out do themselves every new album release. Which makes me excited for their next album. As for the track order that I hinted at earlier, the layout (as placed on the CD) is not, in my opinion, the intended way to listen to the CD. Since Lateralus is a spiral, many people have taken it upon themselves to find the actual way to listen to it. They have found that you listened to it in a spiral fashion. Going from the centre outwards then back in. So the order is: 6, 7, 5, 8, 4, 9, 3, 10, 2, 11, 1, 12, 13. It works better if you put it an audio editing program (ie cool edit) and take out the pauses inbetween tracks.