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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Sydney Tribe On-line

Date: June, 2001

Transcribed by
Paul Bamman (

 title: Tool - Lateralus review
author: Jason Treuen
Tool: Lateralus
(Volcano / Zomba)

With modern music drowning in a sea of pre-packaged, 
disposable angst, it's not surprising many looked to this 
release from Tool to deliver salvation.  And fark, didn't we 
need it. With less meathead machismo than Limp Bizkit,
more smarts than Linkin Park and simply more talent than 
both, this LA foursome's sheer scope and execution makes 
their colleagues look one-dimensional in the space of one 
song. It also helps that their frontman, Maynard Keenan 
Jones, can really sing.

Essentially a prog-rock-metal band - in a spooky, grotesque, 
enigmatic kinda way - Tool brandish dark and epic wide-
screen visions, built on shifting monstrous tectonic plates of 
sound and slightly disturbed soul. Mining metal more like 
Undertow than Aenima, yet less instantly engaging than the 
latter, Lateralus is unmistakably Tool, while peeling back yet 
another layer of skin.

The centerpiece, for mine, is the single Schism, a gloriously 
dark track, hypnotic with an intricate, rolling riff and Maynard 
chanting about Jenga - "I know where the pieces fit / Cause I 
watched them tumble down". Cool.

While their little intermission tracks are unnecessary, 
Lateralus does deliver, for the most part, some divine 
intervention and a welcome respite.  Sure, it borders on arty 
sonic wankery at times, but it's what we love Tool
for. It's the thinking-person's metal - not intellectually 
superior (although it is) as much as it provokes and 
demands thought. So you can ponder stuff while you jump up 
and down.

Whether it betters Aenima or not will take more time to 
decide, but ultimately it's hard to fault Tool's naked ambition 
when so many other bands seem to take the easy way out.

Jason Treuen

Posted to t.d.n: 06/17/01 20:42:41