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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: Wall of Sound

Date: May, 2001

Transcribed by
Kristofer Andersson (

 title: Lateralus Review
author: Gary Graff

You can't say Tool isn't making up for lost time. With assorted legal 
problems keeping this quartet of heavy music auteurs out of the racks 
since 1996's Aenima, the group has delivered twice during the past 
six months  the stop-gap live-rarities-video set Salival and now, 
what we've really been waiting for, Lateralus, a 79-minute sonic 
sojourn of hard rock delivered with an arty, fusion-conscious 
sensibility rooted most obviously from the likes of Led Zeppelin, 
Black Sabbath, and Jane's Addiction. 
While frontman Maynard James Keenan is usually the focus of attention 
when it comes to all things Tool  particularly since his success in 
his other band, A Perfect Circle  Lateralus' 12 musical numbers make 
the case that its not the singer but the songs that make the music 
move along. And it's not just the songs but also the performances by 
guitarist Adam Jones, bassist Justin Chancellor, and drummer Danny 
Carey that define the album's impressive sweep. 

Co-produced by the band and David Bottrill, the album mixes 
interludes with epic song constructions that run seven, eight, and 
nine minutes or more, yet never seem labored or gratuitously long. 
Playing like jazz musicians accustomed to each other's nuances, the 
Tool men weave deftly in and out of each other's parts, with Jones' 
combination of searing and biting licks darting across the rumble 
laid down by Chancellor and Carey. 

"The Grudge" is all sinewy aggression, while "The Patient" builds 
from a delicate buzzing to a brawny fusillade. The title track  
curiously spelled "Lateralis"  is a roller coaster ride of shifting 
dynamics in which the ever-enigmatic Keenan voices a series of what 
could be Tool's creative mantras: "I embrace the desire to feel the 
rhythm, to feel connected"; "Feed my will to feel this 
moment"; "Drawn beyond the lines of reason/ Push the envelope/ Watch 
it bend." 

In "Parabol/Parabola," Tool moves from a mournful, Eastern-flavored 
drone to loud crush-rock that in spots recalls Pearl 
Jam's "Evenflow." And the masterfully constructed suite 
of "Disposition," "Reflection," and the instrumental "Triad" spends 
the first two tracks floating along gentle, trance-y, pensive, and 
polyrhythmic-flavored tone poems before arriving at the third's 
industrial-strength, jam-flavored electric attack. 

The lumbering "Ticks & Leeches" makes note of Tool's non-musical 
struggles of the past few years, with Keenan screaming to be sucked 
dry, but his ultimate statement on the state of Tool comes in "The 
Patient," when he declares that "I am still right here/ Giving blood, 
keeping faith " On Lateralus, that faith is amply rewarded for all 

Rating: 83(100)

Posted to t.d.n: 05/16/01 18:36:10