Date: December, 1996
page: title: "Aenima" Review author: Chuck Eddy It was given a 5(marginal) out of 10 Tool's genre is yawning-chasm metal-instead of concrete songs beginning and ending, volume knobs simply open and close, engulfing you like a sperm whale's mouth. The nightmarish and often gag reflex activating (e.g., intestine meat oozing through sewer pipes) Gumby-in-Hell claymation videos to "Sober" and "Prision Sex" broke them out of LA cultdom in 1993. But their grunge was dark and hookless, occasionally grunting through constipated funk. On Aenima, guitar dude Adam Jones discovers dynamics, sculpting his classical chord progressions in the Salt-N-Pepa homage "Pushit" into an exactitude that rings and buzzes magnificently. Too bad Jones' grandeur constantly loses out to Maynard Keenan's hollered drill-sergeant melodrama. Keenan only knows how to get intense by turning ugly; his vocals stretch only toward bullying low notes. In his upper register, instead of soaring, he settles for just mumbling blandly. So he's inevitably subdued into submission by the sound mix, a shame because once in a while his lyrics aren't humorless pretension: "Aenima" itself is California-tumble-into-the-sea-Armageddon (cf. Steely Dan and Warren Zevon) made mildly amusing by cynical forecasts of "meteor showers...followed by billions of dumbfounded dipshits," not to mention its helpful suggestions that gangsta guntoters and tatooed loveboys learn to swim. 1993's platinum-plus Undertow CD ended with a quarter-hour monstrosity of tedium entitled "Disgustipated" that at least managed to introduce Tool to the Wide World of Sound Effects. Three years later, the quartet's newfounded audio- verite' bent helps make Aenima their least tedious disc yet: rusty styluses scratch, babies cry, vocoders bleat, jet engines explode, bass lines boring and tap dance, inclement weather inherits the wind. The dainty, under-a-minute "Intermission" could pass for dub-reggae whiz Augustus Pablo tinkling carnival organ, and there's even a Nuremberg-rally-over-kitchenware klink-klank known as "Die Eier Von Satan" that works as an accidental Einsturzende Neubauten parody. It's the first time Tool have ever trooly sounded like their name. ----------------- Well that's it. I love his references. I guess you through in some obscure names and that makes him real deep. Incidently, in the same set of reviews, Anti- Christ Superstar was given a good review (8 out of 10). In the review Marilyn Manson was called a "philosopher." Isn't that hilarious. Hope you can use this.
Posted to t.d.n: 05/10/97 17:21:56