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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Orlando Sentinel

Date: May, 2001

Transcribed by
James Kennedy (acumenhvac@cybertron.com)


  page: 
 title: Tool's latest ahead of 'metal' mouths
author: Jim Abbott/Orlando Sentinel

Hate to break it to you, kids, but the spectrum could be infinitely more creative than 
the rap-derivative monotony that now passes for Metal Music. (YES!!) Fred Durst, Aaron Lewis and a dozen of 
their most devoted imitators together aren't worthy to hold the microphone stand for Robert Plant in his prime. 
(AMEN) Nor does the ever fashionable trend toward venom and anti-establishment angst seem credible against 
an indistinguishable nuclear blast of guitars and drums. If Led Zeppelin taught us anything, and it did, it's that 
texture and sonically adventurous arrangements are as integral to heavy metal as turning the amp to 11.It's 
that ambitious approach that seperates Tool and it's long awaited Lateralus from the growing list of less 
talented posers.(Love that part!!) With roughly 77 minutes of music, including numerous songs in the 7- to 
8-minute range, Lateralus makes immediate demands on listeners who inevitably will make comparisons to the 
Grammy-winning 1996 Aenima. Titles such as "Parabol" and its bookend companion "Parabola" reflect the 
albums theme: math and science as metaphors for the human condition. The approach sounds pretentious 
although the acedemic preoccupation is a natural extension of the band's penchant for odd time signatures and 
complicated, pseudo-classical movements within the longer songs. Yet singer MJK, bassist JC, guitarist AJ and 
drummer DC miraculously manage to keep the marathon songs from spinning into self-indulgent jamming. In 
the way that a student might balance a math equation, each jarring drum pattern or woozy guitar solo is 
countered with gentler, evocative passages in songs such as "Parabola" and "Schism." Likewise, Keenans 
larnyx-shredding vocals are delivered in finely measured increments, building to a fever pitch in the manic 
tension of "Ticks and Leeches." Outside of the basic instrumentation, the band and co-producer David Bottrill 
keep the other sonic diversions to a minimum. A panic-filled snippet of conversation from radio host (and UFO 
aficionado) Art Bell's syndicated radio program lends to the paranoid mood of the closing "Faaip De Oiad." 
Keenan (back from a successful side project with APC) and his mates deserve to stand above the current 
hard-rock, metal crop for their ambitious approach alone. "I know the pieces fit" Keenan assures us in "Schism." 
Lateralus generally proves that he's right, which sets the bar pretty high for the band's competitors. - Jim 
Abbott/The Orlando Sentinel

Posted to t.d.n: 05/30/01 13:25:17