Publication: Philadelphia Inquirer
Date: October, 2002
page: title: At Spectrum, Tool bares nerve endings author: A.D. Amorosi The psychedelic experience is often dismissed due to the dippy eclat of '60s social leaders such as Timothy Leary. But for Tool, as witnessed Tuesday at the nearly full First Union Spectrum, psychedelia is no joke. The quartet employed hallucinatory images, trance-y tunes, and anti- authoritarian words to devastating effect. As with the packaging of its 2001 disc, Lateralus, Tool exposed layers of the body - musculature, blood vessels, nerve endings - visually and lyrically. While video screens displayed Edvard Munch/David Lynch- style scenes (eyeless creatures, wide-open mouths), singer Maynard James Keenan and guitarist Adam Jones went to work making sophisticated noise to match. The twisty metal music was diabolically cheerless and spartan. Crouched like a walking fist, Keenan - in near-darkness, hunched on his own riser near thundering percussionist Danny Carey - sang embittered lyrics in a primal howl. While the singer roared into the abyss, Jones and company delivered progressive hardcore numbers such as "The Grudge" and "Stinkfist," creating rivetingly complex works as raging slabs of distorted guitars ricocheted off Justin Chancellor's wall of bass. "Schism" was pure relaxed menace, building slowly from a quiet glockenspiel intro to a barbed-guitar finale. But "Parabol/Parabola," with a lonely-sounding Jones solo, was the night's most epic moment - a tense, prayerful song whose halting moments were uncomfortably intimate and thrillingly adventurous.
Posted to t.d.n: 11/01/02 11:31:27