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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Spin

Date: November, 1996

Transcribed by
Jeff Sinclair (umsincl2@cc.UManitoba.CA)


  page: 
 title: Aenima review
author: Unknown

The dark allure of Tool's Undertow relied as much on razor-sharp 
musicianship and a gripping combination of melodicism and devastating 
rhythms as it did on the elusive moodiness that suffused it. The 
group's long awaited follow-up resonates with the same volatile 
forces, only agitated into a headier, even more ferocious mix that's 
full of intriguing twists and turns.

Samples, exotic instrumentation, and stuning percussion creep into 
many tracks. "Intermission" is a quiet calliope interlude. And 
"(-)ions" is a full-on ambient piece composed of whorling electronic 
clouds of sound charged with electricity and thunder. Another track 
seems to be a skewed tribute to German industrial moguls Einstrurzende 
Neubauten. Ornery and angsty, "Die Eien von Satan" is woven out of 
this process.
        
Even the mellowest moments unwind with a raw edge, yet the whole album 
is grounded in the same epic rock sensibility that underscored the 
"Who's" strongest work. Maynard James Keenan's vocals can be 
deceptively delicate, hovering behind astringent layers of guitars one 
moment, then lunging to the foreground with riveting power the next.
The title track finds him contemplating the apocalypse while guitarist 
Adam Jones, new bassist Justin Chancellor and Drummer Danny Carey 
regulate the catharic ebb and flow. "Eulogy" gradually builds out of 
the pause between tracks with a dramatic flair that even Maurice 
"Bolero" Ravel might have envied. Once it acheives cruising intensity, 
a chilling study of the Jesus Christ (Rock) Superstar syndrome 
unfolds, alluding to musical martyrs from Jimi Hendrix to Kurt Cobain.
        
Somehow, in broadcasting their attack, TOOL have focused the impact of 
their sound. Though they cover a lot of ground with Aenima, they're 
never stretched too thin!

Posted to t.d.n: 05/27/97 00:54:04