the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article


Date: May, 2000

Transcribed by
parietal_03 (

 title: Tool - Lateralus  review
author: -by Javier Elizondo

It's been a while. Truly quite a while. For so long, Tool has 
only existed as a dormant memory in the minds of countless 
fans with hope that their true heroes would emerge once 
again. Although fans were partially satisfied in the meantime 
with the band members' alternate projects and offspring, 
like "A Perfect Circle", the return of one of current rock's best 
bands seemed to be highly improbable or, uncertain at the 
very least. A couple of months ago, however, many prayers 
were answered when Tool released a live album and 
promised to come back with a new record soon. Today, that's 
all history. After a lengthy five-year hibernation period of 
unending rumors and speculation, Tool is back with one of 
the most awaited albums of their career.

Tool has always been a band particularly hard to pinpoint 
under any specific music genre. Because of this, they have 
been battered around endlessly, having been tagged as hard 
rock, grunge, prog, metal, and God knows what else; always 
being at the mercy of their reviewers. Clearly enough, Tool 
possesses the natural tendency of morphing with each of 
their albums, which is probably the reason by which most 
critics picture them as a rather ambiguous group and fail to 
represent them as they rightfully deserve.

As expected, Lateralus stays true to this nature. The band 
has done it again, this time around implementing an intense 
prog ambience throughout the entire record, freeing 
themselves from any pre-established limits or parameters 
without forsaking their identity, signature sound & ideals. 
Now, this brings me to my point. Personally, I wouldn't even 
bother in categorizing them, as I consider this pointless 
because they are, indeed, in a genre all their own.

Contradictory to the main rule (as Tool usually is), while so 
many bands are terrified of admitting any prog influence on 
their albums, it appears that Tool proudly embraces this tag, 
even attempting to name this new release "9-8-7" due to the 
odd-tempo rhythms within the record and have already 
courteously invited King Crimson as a supporting band for a 
couple of their shows.

Certainly, with Lateralus, the band experiments deeply with 
most of the vital elements of progressive rock through songs 
filled by complex rhythm structures and arrangements. The 
approach is so borderless that most of the songs are strongly 
based and dependent of their time-signature changes. This 
is evident in tracks such as "The Grudge" and "Schism" where 
drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor maintain 
such an amorphous rhythm structure that one can only let go 
and be guided through the album as it naturally progresses. 
On a parallel universe, vocalist Maynard James Keenan and 
guitarist Adam Jones embellish these awkward rhythms and 
hard-pounding beats with amazing riffs, atmospheric, flowing 
melodies and glorious angelical passages that take us on a 
journey through Maynard's deep metaphorical mind.

Tool is a pioneer and one of the few bands capable of 
flourishing outside trends or styles, stretching themselves 
without boundaries to the farthest corners of the mind. The 
group has an artistic chemistry virtually unparalleled by any 
band that allows them to come with great compositions and 
concepts, such as Lateralus. Quite right, Tool has done it 
again. It's been a while, but it's been definitely worth the wait.

Posted to t.d.n: 05/15/03 19:58:27