Aenima. It's an album that many of you have undoubtedly heard of before. It was released by the (then) Rock/Metal band Tool, in 1996, so it's pretty old. But why are people still buying it? Truth is, it's a good album.
Tool began in 1990 with their debut Ep, Opiate. It contained only seven songs (if you include The Gaping Lotus Experience), but it made the fans beg for more. Undertow followed, in 1993 (also a great album, although somewhat dark and depressing). And in 1996...Aenima.
P.S. To save time, I am not going to include any of the segues.
------------------------ Stinkfist - A great rock song. Used as a single when Aenima first came out, it is easily accessible, compared to the rest of Aenima. Great guitar and drums on this song. Perfect example of 'hard rock' Tool.
Eulogy - This is a slightly longer song. It probably 'something you'll get used to'. The percussive introduction is great, IMO. Inspiring vocals by Maynard on this song, as well as great lyrical content. It'll be one of your favourites before long.
H. - H. is (IMO) a fairly experimental tune. It is softer than the rest of the album, with wandering guitar melodies and a strong bassline, if you can hear it. Maynard's voice on this song is softer on this song, and he shows his range well. Also a great song for guitar or bass. One of my favourites.
Forty Six and Two - Another good song. Deep lyrics - he is talking about our evolution (e.g. 46 + 2 chromosomes). Starting off with a dark, Egyptian-sounding bassline, it ends with an unbelievable drum solo (kudos to Danny Carey). A challenging song for drummers, and also a magnificent song.
Hooker with a Penis - This is similar to Stinkfist in a lot of ways. It is another 'hard rock' song, touching on the borderline with metal. This also gets a while to get used to, but once you do, you'll be headbanging 24/7.
jimmy - This song is about Maynard, when he was eleven. Strong lyrics and vocals back this song, but I believe the instrumentation (is that a word), is a little weak coming from the talented musicians that Tool are. This song, for me, is the worst song on Aenima.
Pushit - One of two of my favourite songs on Aenima. This voyage clocks in at 9:55, but is very much worth the wait. After the first calm few minutes, there is a lovely tabla break in the song, by Carey. The guitars are soft and melodic, as well as Maynard. But then, all of a sudden, it explodes into ripping guitar and spectacular drumming. Maynards voice at the climax of the song is immensely powerful. Good lyrics in this song, although it is hard to determine a subject. Fantastic song for drums, bass, guitar, and vocals.
Aenima - Another great song for the album. Similar to Stinkfist in the beginning, it turns out a lot differently. The chorus erupts into anger and hatred, whilst the verse is much softer. After a blistering guitar solo, the song becomes quiet once more, with Carey playing triplets with his two feet. At the end, the song once more erupts into a strong, tribal ending. Brilliant song.
Third Eye - The other of my two favourites, Third Eye is the longest song Tool have ever done, at 13:46. Some people love it, some people hate it, some people don't even listen to it. Personally, I love it. I can listen to the whole song, simply in anticipation of that unbelievable guitar solo at the end. Amazing. This song really establishes Adam Jones as a skilled guitarist, and firmly emplants the rest of the band as very, very talented musicians. Carey and Chancellor keep time together, with a very strong, rhythmic bassline, whilst Maynard once again provides his powerful vocals. Fitting end to a great album.
I thought Disgustipated was longer than Third Eye? 15 and a half minutes, I thought.
Anyway, nice review of one of my favourite albums. I agree totally with 5/5, although I found that Hooker with a Peni[i][/i]s was the first song on the album that I got into (as opposed to it taking a while to get used to), I just found it catchier and easier than the rest of the album (like Weak and Powerless on Thirteenth Step).
4. Useful Idiot-:38
5. Forty Six & 2-6:04
6. Message to Harry Manback-1:53
7. Hooker With a P*nis-4:33
10. Die Eier Von Satan-2:17
11. Push It- 9:55
12. Cesaro Summability-1:26
14. (-) Ions-4:00
15. Third Eye-13:47
This has some of the best cover art I've ever seen on a CD. The cover has great packaging. The holographic eyes are amazing, and really impresses the listener when they first pick up this CD. The liner notes are beautiful as well. The art is carefully chosen and is amazing and inspirational. And I usually like it when it comes with lyrics, but I'm glad this didnt. It gives it such a dark monolithic quality. It has such an impact with the art and theories of Tool.
STINKFIST-The opener for Aenima is a great one. It starts of with a very appropriate intro, followed by a searing, crushing riff, followed by Maynard singing very softly about boredom is not a burden anyone should bear. It continues, then spirals itself in a rockcrushing chorus riff with Maynard screaming, while still having the lyrics decipherable, then with the riff still bearing down over you, it goes back to soft singing again. Its just amazing. Around the halfway point, Justin comes in with this somber, melancholy bass riff that does wonders for the songs soundscape. Adam also does a very fine job during this part. Then it goes back to the main riff, mutating into a heavier part, and finally ending into a very somber, eastern tinged ending. Highly orgasmic, this song is among one of the best for first track starters.
EULOGY-This is probably the tightest, most monolithic, and best track on the album. It kicks off with a two minute intro of soft clicking and atpping. I used to dislike this intro, but it grew on me. It makes you wait for something magical, like waiting for Christmas morning. It just makes it all the more better. At the 1:57 mark it evolves into this simple repeated riff, with Maynard talking into a megaphone, with it finally exploding into an orgasmic chorus part with Maynard singing and the whole band working together as a mechanical musicbot. It continues the loud, aggressive-in-an-intelligent-way chorus, then quickly regains it's composure, and delves back into the mythic, megaphone induced part. Its really quite awesome to see something so large and lumbering then quickly go back to such a small, simple part. Then when it reaches about 4:35 or so, it shrinks into a small, spongy part with a drumbeat and some ocasional guitar screeches, all very well executed, with it then growing back into an agressive part with some truly great lyrics, before heading into a truly orgasmic part with just Danny and Maynard together, before heading into the climax of this song. It then has a guitar solo, then with the lyrics talking about to ascend you must die, you must be crucified, before leading into one truly great scream in music, with Maynard letting Goodbye continue for a while, without dying out, then some guitar parts, and finally ending this song. This song is wonderful, and probably the best on the album, but what just sends this home with a ribbon is the lyrics. They deal with false martyrdom, and they do it exetremely well. Some of my favorites. You should really check them out.
H.-This is a very mysterious song, no one really seems to know what its about. Many people say its about heroin, but nobody really knows. Another well done song, this song takes a while to get fully started, but when it does, it is a full juggernaut of a song.
It starts off with a very dynamic intro, and again quiets it down for Maynard to sing about the lyrics. This song really relys on dynamics, and this song does it well, with all those little pops in sound. This continues for about three minutes, until it burst into a large climax, then quickly switching back into a quieter, more reflective mode, for a while, until about 4:45, it repeats I Dont Mind for about 4 times before lurching into a massive riff, then ending the song. For the casual listener, this song is very well done as all the others are, but the lyrics again hold a hidden treat.They are again thoughtful and well crafted. Another great Tool song.
USEFUL IDIOT-This song/sample/filler runs together with the upcoming Forty Six & 2, and it works. It is only 38 seconds long, and it is really just static and scratches, so I cant really review it, but I'll just do it anyways. But the soundscapes help make this album what it is, so it fulfills it's purpose.
FORTY SIX & 2-Ahhhhh, this is more like it. Many people's favorite song on Aenima, and I can see why. Very, very good bass intro, and it flows exetremely well with the rest of the song. Another song that has very hypnotizing vocals and dynamics, it's like a musical hypno disc. The only real problem I have with it is that it could get repetitive, but you would have to listen A LOT. The guitar parts of Adam Jones are again amazing, and the bass and drums are definately doing their job, and doing it well. The song really, really starts to build in the 4:30 mark, all leading up to an eruption of bone crushing riffs near the end. The final bonecrushers at the 5:50 mark add a new level to the end of the song, helping by adding some nice aggression. And yet again, the lyrics are inspiring. Taking the concepts of human evolution with the human bodies 46 chromosomes and adding 2 to making the final step of evolution was a well chosen theme for this song. The philosophy of Carl Jung was well done in this song, even for Tool. His "shadow" ideas were well represented,thanks to the thick, gooey layers of plodding riffs. Another classic Tool song.
MESSAGE TO HARRY MANBACK-Another track like Useful Idiot, but this one has words. It starts off with a very soft piano part playing and seagulls flocking in the background. Then a very soft voice comes in. A man starts talking about his hatred for Americans and wishing your family dies of cancer. I dont know who this man is, but I heard that he was a man who went to a room mate of Maynards party uninvited and got kicked out, so he left this message. I dont know if this is true, but none the less, this track adds nicely to the atmosphere of this album.
HOOKER WITH A P*NIS-This a more straightforward, rocking song. It speeds by a lot quicker, and it's very fun to listen to. Maynard has a much harsher tone in his voice in this song and it fits very well. The lyrics are also less metaphorical and more straightforward than say, H. or Stinkfist, but this song is a nice addition to Aenima. The length is also wholly appropriate, clocking in at 4:33, just fast enough so your not bored and craving more Tool. It also starts to calm down around the 3:00 part, but then explodes fpr the rest of the song. I love this song, its very fun to listen to.
INTERMISSION-This is a quick track of organs reminisscent of a baseball game. It doesnt seem like a Tool song at all, but it ends very, very abruptly, and cuts in directly to Jimmy, so it's a good song. I like to listen to this song once in a while, I like the how strong the organ is, and I love the contrast between it and Jimmy. A very good way to run along with Jimmy, another one of the darker songs.
JIMMY-A very engaging part of this song to me is the intro. It comes in directly after Intermission, and its very dark and brooding, so it works great for this song. A lot of slower parts to this song, very melodic, so it adds alot to the brooding of it. The drums also make this song what it is, by having a deeper sound. But what I really like is how the voracious guitar eats up the background, really allowing the band to lash out later in the song.
DIE EIER VON SATAN-Starts of with a very industrial part to it, and continues the same thing over and over for two minutes. For the the non German speaker, Die Eier Von Satan translates to The Eggs (or balls) of Satan. This song sounds exetremely evil, with the harsh, corrosive industrial rythm going on and on, but also th harsh tones the spekars (two German men) are using. It sounds like some sort of Nazi rally, with crowd chants and all. But for the the person who knows what these lyrics mean, it's quite funny to hear them with such evil sounding words. I actually really like this song, and can listen to it a couple times. And you really should find out the lyrics, they add an extra edge to this song once you know what they mean. ( Im not going to tell you if you dont know)
PUSH IT-This is probably the slowest, most melodic song on Aenima. Its also the second longest, at around ten minutes, so it starts to get a little monotonous after a while, but it still doesnt lose focus. It has an oddly brassy feeling feeling to it, and the final minute really has some great parts going for it. I like the eastern tinged parts in it. Tool seems to express their lighter side in this song, and mission accomplished. It certainly is melodic, and you could certainly listen to it more than once (not cheap, unmemberable melody). This song relys less to be structured on bassy beats and rythmic syncopation than other songs. Not to say that it doesnt incorporate some of these ideas, but in the end, Tool doesnt use those tools so much to provide music.This is probably my least favorite song on Aenima, but it is still great.
CESARO SUMMABILITY-This track kicks off with a baby crying and screeching, and followed by some static and a seemingly disembodied voice with samples that sound like engines revving up, then ending with some sounds trailing down. Not one of my favorite tracks, but gives some nice soundscapes.
AENIMA-This is probably one of the best tracks on the album, and its very clear why. It starts off with some seemingly whispering vocals, followed by a very forceful guitar intro riff, that just seems to barrel everything out of its way. It then keeps rolling on with pulsing bass riffs taking charge now. It continues that way for a while, but then seems to get bored and just go full force in to pummeling chorus like riff. It does that one more time, but it then seems to spiral into a much more quiet, melodic part, with lyrics chanting and guiatrs wailing. It then breaks down and just seems to slow down around the 5:05 mark, before just exploding and lumbering like some sort of giant ape into the ending of the song, with some very strong vocals. The lyrics are also very fun to listen too, but has some profanity. Highly reccomended.
(-) IONS-A very long, seemingly filler track, this track is just a lonely, windtorn desolate soundscape that lasts four minutes. Lasts a bit too long, but it again fits well with the final track, Third Eye.
THIRD EYE-The final and longest track on Aenima is also an epic. It breaks a silence with some comedian Bill Hicks samples, followed by some great drumming and guitar wails. Maynard then takes the vocals, and they seem lighter than others in other songs, but then gets to an abrasive part around 3:55, then breaking down again into a softer, gentler appraoch. Eastern tinged melodies pop up like moles all thorough out this song, with some guitar solos that fit well. Then starts to slow down tremendoulsy around 7:30, and seems to stop all together, but just seems to tingle its way past, before getting back to a louder, more goopy part, then exploding into an exetremely harsh, abrasive sound, with screaming vocals yelling "prying open my third eye!", then switching back to the more traditional riff, like nothing happened before. Continuing down that path for awhile, it again returns to the corrosive sounds of "prying open my third eye" for the remainder, then ending off with some static. The theme for this song is magnificiently portrayed, with the Bill Hicks parts well done. The way of opening is chakra with hallucenogenics is well done, and it does not dissapoint. A great finisher song, kudos for Tool for giving it such a long play time.
To rate this album, I am definately giving a 5/5. A must own it is truly great. It is a shame that some critics compared this to Marilyn Manson. Dark and monolithic, this, in my opinion, was the album of the nineties.
Sorry, but my review was too long, so I had to put the rest in a reply.
Originally posted by YDload I thought that was an excellent, very descriptive review. I could have sworn someone already reviewed this album before, but even if they did they didn't do as good of a job as you!
Aww shucks. This review took me a long time, so glad you like it.
I totally disagree with all the filler things. When I sit down to listen to Tool or a few other bands, I think of their album to be like a journey (this CD, Lateralus, Thirteenth Step, a few jazz albums). The filler songs (even with Mantra and Ion Blue Apocolypse on Lateralus), they are meant to set a mood for the next step in the journey. And with Third Eye, I don't know what 3 minutes you could take off, but it's all **** good and a nice resolution to the album.
Originally posted by robnathanson It's the same way with Lateralus
LATERALUS is the album
LATERALIS is the song
EDIT: I give this album a 4.5/5....it's by far my favourite alubum EVER, but there is just too much time filler on it.
Useful Idiot--just sound leading into Forty-Six & 2
Intermission--Jimmy riff on a keyboard
Message to Harry Manback--In my opinion this is filler...there's no point to it, and I skip it EVERY time.
Cesaro Summability-nothing really big or important to this
and several minutes of third eye could be cut off. (great song, but still)
Actually, I read somwhere that the Lateralus album and track are both supposed to be spelt with a U, but there was a misprint on the earlier printings of the album...I don't know how true this is (my early printing copy has Lateralis as the song, and I insist on spelling it like that), as I've never had to buy a newer one.
I also disagree with what you said about filler....I like all the segues, as I think they add to the album. And I really don't think Third Eye could be any shorter, but to each his own .