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The Tool Page: An Article

Publication: De Volkskrant (dutch newspaper)

Date: May, 2002

Transcribed by
Thijs Wolters (

  page: 7
 title: Tool plays pieces pregnant with frustration (concert review)
author: Menno Pot

Besides all the screaming Nu metal musicians sometimes a 
group tries to remind us that heavy guitars can also be 
beautifull and authentic. Deftones for example. And Tool, 
hardrockband 'extraordinaire' from some place nearby Los 
Angeles. In fact you could call Tool's music 'progressive 
metal', but that summons images of symfobands with too 
prominent keyboards and annoying guitarhero's. Thank God 
those weren't there in the Groningse Oosterpoort, which was 
sold out in record time before the kickoff of the second 
European Tool tour for the support of their latest 
album 'Lateralus' (2001)
Tool is progressive as is- let's say- Tricky is. Lateralus is the 
superlative of predecessors like AEnima (1996) and Undertow 
(1993): an 78 minute lasting tour de force, with long, ritmic 
complex pieces, pregnant with frustration. Laterallus is the 
Metalinterpretation of Radiohead's 'Kid A.' Tools central 
member, singer Maynard James Keenan, doesn't act like 
that. In the Oosterpoort his microphone stood behind the 
stage, before a movie screen, so you could only see his 
profile. The faces of guitar player Adam Jones and bass 
player Justin Chancellor were kept hidden behind their hairs; 
that of the virtuous drummer Danny Carey behind a shield of 
cymbals. Tool wants to be a band without a face, that 
supports the message of it's outstanding preformed music 
with self-made images of red eyes and of limps trembling of 
fear and pain. What makes Tool's music so gripping is- 
besides the beautifully despaired voico of Maynard James 
Keenan-the fact that all that noise is being made by just one 
guitar. So it never gets a massive wall of sound: you can 
constantly hear what Jones' fingers are doing, and that 
makes the sound -how paradoxical- almost light. This 
excellent band only has one weak point: trouble with 
expunging. The records are so intens that it almost is 
impossible to keep up listening for 75 minutes, and in the 
Oosterpoort a couple of silences at the end of the show 
stopped the tension. 
Maybe that's for the good: because leaving the stunded 
audience in a whirlpoolof paranoia and neurosis of the 
breathtaking opener 'The Grudge' or 'Schism' or 'Stinkfist' 
would have been almost irresponsible. 

Posted to t.d.n: 05/15/02 15:48:42