Date: May, 2001
page: title: Tool Lateralus Review author: Writing this review will not do justice to Tool or this CD. Five years in the making, one year-rather, five years in the waiting, "Lateralus" delivers huge to the fans desperately waiting at the doors of a local record store to open, where they stand anxiously with a twenty tightly-clutched between their sweaty fingers and shaking palms. What other could you expect from Tool than a hopeless mindfuck; a dark, brooding, magnificent, beautiful, intense, introverted, incomprehensible, odd, confusing, interesting, hypnotizing, serenading, soothing, yet violent, aggressive, yet peaceful, in your face, yet subtle unity of talent and intelligence put together by four men whoíve assembled something worthy of challenging Led Zeppelin or Pink Floyd for title of best rock band ever. Though this may be extreme, arguably, the fans of this foursome known as Tool would tend to agree. Nearly eighty minutes of recorded brilliance is much more than merely impressive, the English vocabulary lacks words to describe the feeling of pure bliss combined with extreme satisfaction and awe. Forget the verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, outro song structures, this is the good stuff; the kind of thing that will be hailed as wonderous for generations to come. Following their í96 masterpiece in "∆nima", Tool had their work cut out for them. Perfection is diffuclt to achieve, but these men must be extra terrestrial being able to follow-up on the genius demonstrated on the latter albums. "Pushit", "Third Eye", "Eulogy" among others come to mind as unmatchable, let alone unbeatable tracks prior to May 15th, 2001. With each song on the new album clocking in over seven minutes each, "Lateralus" puts any previous work to the backpages of an epic novel with Tool etched into the cover in platinum lettering. Tool are in a league of there own, where they look down from an elevated perch on those Weezers and Limp Bizkits of the world with a mocking grin and a mischievous tinge in their eyes-knowing that theyíve created something so much better than what weíve been fed. "Lateralus" comes refreshingly to the tasteful music fan, allowing an immersion of the senses. A deep feeling of comfort as all senses are tackled by the hellish and heavenly sounds of Tool. Good old Maynardís trademark vocals are nothing less than outstanding. Lyrically, he brings us on yet another journey through paradox, parabol and portal to spaces between time and dimensions where he alone holds the keys to the gates of our minds, where he tickles our intellects with his feather of pure genius. God knows how many interpretations of his lyrics have been made, leaving us guessing and Maynard smiling at us as he watches us take his lyrics the wrong way. Sonically brilliant, Maynard can softly grasp our spirits and then violently crush them with a great, big bellow or scream. Though screams rare on "Lateralus", he unleashes some nice ones on "Ticks and Leeches", the heaviest track on the album, where he questions, "Is this what you wanted? Is this what you had in mind? ĎCause this is what youíre getting." If he was talking about the album then, yes Maynard, all that and then some, thanks. The range on this man is seemingly infinite; lungs of steel. "The Grudge" showcases Maynardís ability to hold a full-blown scream for nearly half a minute. However, screams arenít important, but very impressive. His singing style has never been duplicated, nor imitated, nor even attempted which makes him so great in a world of shitty hybrids and plain awful vocal styles. Also striking on "Lateralus" is Danny Carey. More than remarkable, he is the beast behind the drum kit. His speed and accuracy is sick. Danny gives tribal beats a new meaning, leaving Roy Mayorga and Igor Cavalera having to rethink their styles. The polyrythms played are mind-boggling, Danny has Jon Bonham, Neil Peart and Dave Lombardo beginning to look like teletubbies in the world of drummers. Adam Jones and Justin Chancellor collaborate to sonically destroy the walls of sound with their talent that reaches past the heavens into the space behind nothingness. Thatís how far these guys can go when it comes to structuring songs. They compliment each other perfectly, riffs, basslines have never been so intricately woven together and meshed into an unmatchable sound. A sound so unique and powerful, permanently scarred into the mind of the beholders for all eternity as being the ever-lasting trademark sound of Tool. It goes without saying this CD is great. Anything said here is an understatement, I lack the literary knowledge to even begin to do right here and describe this CD for you. You must go pick up this CD if you havenít already done so. Songs like "Ticks and Leeches", "Parabola", "Lateralus", "The Grudge", "The Patient", "Disposition", "Reflection", "Triad" will take you on a roller coaster of emotion, walk you through perfection as you listen with your mind wide open and jaw near the ground. Hell, I just basically mentioned almost the whole album. The other tracks are great too, there is not one second of boredom or regret on this seventy-eight minute plus record. Each song unique in its own way, each song different and more original and greater than the last, "Lateralus" brings to world something itís been lacking for the longest time: a quality experience you can own for less than twenty bucks, not to mention the artwork and packaging on the CD surpasses that of "∆nima" which was beautiful some five years ago. Itís about time!
Posted to t.d.n: 06/12/01 19:25:33