Review Summary: Boring. Repetitive. Bland. That's Tool's Lateralus.
Tool is a band that has redefined progressive rock and metal as we know it today. From their debut Undertow
, Tool has introduced us to the dark world that is Tool, filled with low-tuned guitars, heavy bass, and drum-driven beats. Most bands out there at one point or another try to hard to make an epic, classic album; thus enter Tool's third release Lateralus
. Tool was trying so
hard to recreate the greatness that was Aenima
that it wounded up backfiring. This album is an overly long, boring, trite, and un-inspired piece of progressive rock.
When you release as little albums as Tool does within a long career like Tool does, hype is bound to grow majorly for each album. Such happened for Lateralus
, but it didn't even hit anywhere near the hype. Lateralus
is a prolonged Aenima
with longer songs and more filler. Tool's music has never been very varied, but with this album, the tracks all sound the same, feel the same, thus are the same; and it makes this album no pleasure to listen to. I'm sorry, I guess I don't have the patience to listen to the same guitar riffs and drum tempos over and over again for about an hour and a half. That's right, this album is long, but to make matters worse, it drags and never seems to end. That doesn't end up boding well for an album, or a band in my opinion.
There's no reason to be as harsh on this album as certain review sites (i.e. Pitchfork), but there is a point where people need to understand how truly overrated this album is. There's a few solid tracks to be found on Lateralus
, like the opener The Grudge
and the title track Lateralus
. The Grudge
slowly builds and changes tempos and rhythms often, and Maynard screams often in this track. The title track, Lateralus
is loud, long, and easily the album's epic. But reverse this, and now you have some of Tool's worst tracks, like Schism
which seems to be the most repetitive piece of work Tool's ever created. At times, I'm tempted to count how many times Maynard says "I know the pieces fit.". Its that repetitive. Or, there's Ticks and Leeches
, which has some cool instrumental work but Maynard's high-pitched screeching vocals hurt to listen to.
The rest of the album is just boring, and like stated before, the album winds on forever. There's way too much filler found in the album as well, and over and over again it seems the same songs start over and over again, with a little variety in the lyrics here and there; but mostly, its the same stuff different song, which makes this album almost unbearable. Tool fans may worship Lateralus
like its godsent, but there's plenty more good Tool albums out there for purchase; best leave Lateralus
on the shelf.