Publication: Hot Metal
Date: July 1993
Transcribed by Mark Healy (email@example.com)
author: Jeremy Chunn If you bought/heard Tool's Opiate EP then you know these guys crank maximum articulated aggression better than so many of the posers heaped on us in '93. Their secret weapon is drummer Danny Carey and the surly, unpretentious vocals of Maynard James Keenan. There is joy to be derived from hearing this all-powerful machine spit out a line that's better than 98.7 per cent of things in (my) life. But in a way Opiate was too good for Undertow to follow. The songs and production are fierce but not as fierce as their first mind-bending advance scout. But fuck, if Tool don't buy it in an air disaster this week, just imagine where they could push the envelope of modern music. Indeed, where the Rollins Band faltered on End Of Silence, Tool have taken over and are somehow, somewhere, nailing that beast to the ground. I've become a major fan of Maynard, because he's the guy who told the jocks at school to go fuck themselves, regardless of the consequences. This must be admired. This is an excellent album.
Mark's useless comments: He then went on to give the album four skulls out of a maximum five, about two less than it should be. Thanks for the understatement in the last sentence, too. I found it a little cheesy, actually (the review, not Undertow). I don't know about "pushing envelopes" and "nailing beasts to the ground"...