Lateralus review by Tool

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  • Released: May 14, 2001
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 9.7 (274 votes)
Tool: Lateralus

Sound — 10
My impression of Tool's sound and music on this album is that I think all four of them are at their absolute best on this album. This is their best album in my opinion and they sound so tight and have the perfect melding of influences on it. A story I can attach to the album's creation is that, if I recall correctly, there was some confusion for the band members about whether or not they were going to get back together to make this album because everyone in the band was off doing their own thing for a while and seemed too occupied with those activities. There was especially some confusion about Maynard doing his thing with A Perfect Circle. I get that information from reading the book of Tool that Revolver Magazine put out. I haven't read it in a while, but I'm pretty sure about that. The styling of this album is a more progressive rock turn as opposed to the more metal influenced sound of Opiate and Undertow. The band is definitely very heavily influenced by King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Rush, and other old school progressive bands on this album and that shows in their sound. As far as some interesting musical innovations on it, this album has a lot of progressive time signature changes going on, Justin's bass playing got more experimental and prominent in the mix of the songs, and Danny's drumming took an even more jazzy turn. Only thing I feel like sharing about this album is that this was my first Tool album I bought or listened to and I got it only because Schism was on it. I am so glad that I bought it because it changed my outlook on music forever.

Lyrics — 10
My overall impression of the lyrics is that I think Maynard did a fantastic job on this album with them. This album deals a lot with religion, the relations between human beings, philosophy, and change, among other topics. This album has some of their most profound lyrics, in my opinion. The lyrics compliment the music perfectly. Maynard makes it his job to try to make the vocals presented like another instrument in the music and I think he delivers that well. Maynard's singing skills are top notch on this album. He perfectly delivers that "loud-quiet" dynamic in the songs on this album.

Overall Impression — 10
As far as comparing Lateralus to other albums, it definitely is more stylistically in-sync with 10, 000 Days and some aspects of Aenima. I believe this album to be better than those two, though. The most impressive songs on this album, for me, are Schism, Parabola, The Grudge, and Lateralus. What I love about this album is that I like all of the songs for their own reasons. I think that every band member was playing together so tight on this album. They really pull of the odd song structures well. I don't really have any complaints with the album. Faaip de Oiad was a weak way to end, I thought. But that's about it. If my copy were stolen or lost, I would definitely buy it again because I love Tool and their music that much. Especially this fantastic album, my favorite album of all time.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    i found out that lateralus was a printing error the albums title was really lateral-us if you dont belivie me go to and look at the band interviews. XD
    This is THE BEST ALBUM EVER MADE. Period. End of story. I am so happy that everyone gave it 10's with the exception of a few 9.3's and the horendous 8. What the hell was that dude thinking? The lyrics arent as good? BULLSHIT! This album has the greatest lyrics ever put on a single album. They truly describe all the emotions that come with being human and are delivered in such a way that each listener can have their own unique interpretation of each song. Its just pure genius and I doubt that an album this perfect will ever grace this earth again.
    I love how people where complaining that there weren't enough epic guitar solos, my favorite thing about Adam as a guitarist is that even though he has a ridiculous amount of speed and control he doesn't feel the need to show it off at every opportunity. He just does whats right for the music even if it means just playing one note for two minutes. If you want to hear people playing ridiculously techichal for the sake of playing ridiculously techichal you should be listening to dream theater.
    Definitely, this is the album that influenced my choice of music, this album has evolved me into a sucker for detail in music and other bands out there seem way too boring to me! I'm really hoping to hear a new album from these guys soon!
    I would write something about how awesome this album is but it has been pretty well summed up already, an album that for once deserves the 10's it gets !!