the tool page

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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: JAM Showbiz! (

Date: May, 2001

Transcribed by
Kristofer Andersson (

 title: Lateralus Review

After years of delays, label battles, and title changes, the new Tool 
album is finally here. 

Laced with the trademark Tool sound -- gritty guitars, disturbing 
lyrics, and Maynard James Keenan's versatile vocals -- Tool's latest 
offering finds the band making a "lateral" move and expanding their 
aggressive drive. Keenan has said he wanted the album to be very 
personal for the band, hence the "us" in the title. So the title 
isn't as mysterious as some might have thought. 

In an interview with Keenan last year for A Perfect Circle's album, 
Keenan described Tool's then work-in-progress by saying: "You can 
probably expect a little more of the same that was found on 'Aenima', 
as well as some time signatures that require a calculator. It'll be 
close to something like this: Rush over Pi = Tool." Turns out he 
wasn't kidding. 

With the solid opening number "Grudge" leading the 
charge, "Lateralus" unfolds into an expansive and unreal world of 
aggression and complexity. While Keenan's scream isn't as heavy 
(though "Ticks & Leeches" does build to a deafening roar), his vocal 
style is more mature and fluid, molding itself to the diversity 
offered here. 

Danny Carey has to got to be one of the best drummers out there right 
now. His work here is incredible, as his pounding rhythm leads each 
track down its charted (or is that uncharted?) course. Guitarist Adam 
Jones shows off the distinctive heavy hypnotic riffs on songs 
like "Schism" and the title track, while numbers 
like "Mantra," "Triad" and "Parabola" see him adding more colours to 
the Tool tapestry. 

Has it been worth the wait? Yes. "Lateralus" isn't half-assed or 
forced together. It is clear that Tool stayed focused during the 
recording process, working hard to make each song stand out, yet 
finding some congruent factor to link them together. "Lateralus" also 
seems more spiritual. 

Much like the unique and unmatched sounds of 
1996's "Aemina", "Lateralus" will no doubt have bands new and old 
continuing to borrow/steal from them, though it is doubtful any of 
them will ever be able to match the magical message that Tool 
releases through their music. 

RATING: 4.5 (out of 5) 

Posted to t.d.n: 05/16/01 18:31:21