the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: premiere issue

Date: April, 2001

Transcribed by
Casey Miller (

  page: 58
 title: Darkness on the edge of an industrial town
author: Rickey Wright

Tool's blend of dark metal and alternative/industrial sensibilities 
has kept fans both outside and inside the industry talking during its 
long absence from the new-release racks. 

Feeding the eagerness for new Tool material is singer Maynard James 
Keenan's recent success with side project A Perfect Circle - the 
band's Mer de Noms went platinum last fall - and the group's 
reluctance to release much information about its forthcoming album 
before its release. That such grinding, even forbiding sounds as 
Tool's Aenima should find a mass audience may well say something 
about the willingness of a certain audience to be challenged. That 
even a stopgap project like Salival, which packaged a live CD with a 
collection of the band's videos, was well received speaks to their 
fans' rabidness. 

Like many threatening bands before them, though, Tool allows 
glimpses of a sense of admittedly black humor. Those videos are 
among the most disturbing ever made (for those who find such things 
disturbing). MTV refused to even acknowledge the title of one of 
them, "Stinkfist." At the same time, their creepy post-Cronenberg 
beings and settings must entertain these smart musicians. Maynard 
guffawing? It's not out of the question. He thought well enough of 
the late bellicose comedian Bill Hicks to include a sample of his 
voice on Aenima. Unlike, say, Korn's, Tool's music and presentation 
allow an interpretation broad enough to take in anger, rage, and grim 

So will the mysterious third Tool studio opus connect with the 
faithful? No doubt. It might, like Radiohead's Kid A, sell most 
quickly out of the box, then fade fast from the charts - but most of 
those who get it will surely 'get it'(italics). If nothing else, the 
album will bear the burden of perhaps being the last new thing Tool 
issues for another five years: That in itself will make the record 
feel special. But what will make it really count is how it 
surprises, how it fits into the lives of everyone from the outcast 
kids to guitar-shop-haunting techies, and whether or not the media 
decides to pronounce its name out loud. 

Posted to t.d.n: 04/25/01 09:14:21