Review Summary: If you ever needed proof that the music industry is on a slippery slope downhill, here it is.16 of 64 thought this review was well writtenLateralus is the third studio album by American rock band Tool. The album was released on 15 May 2001, and debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart. On 5 August 2003, Lateralus was certified double platinum by the RIAA. On 30 August 2004 the album was certified Silver by the BPI for sales of 60,000 in the UK. On 23 August 2005, Lateralus was released as a limited edition two-picture-disc vinyl LP in a holographic gatefold package. Lateralus was ranked #123 on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "Definitive 200" list.
This excerpt is taken directly from the Wikipedia page of Lateralus, and if you ever needed proof that the music industry is on a slippery slope downhill, there it is.
Lateralus is nothing more than 80 minutes of Tool trying to prove to the world how intelligent they are. The album is riddled with pretentiousness and such lazy writing that it just comes across as boring, and at the end of the day, they prove the exact opposite: that they’re clumsy and arrogant songwriters.
Nothing makes this clearer than the song lengths. Eight of the thirteen songs are above 6 minutes, with a few of those being above 8 minutes. Now these drawn out songs are not only way too long, but also they are split up by multiple useless interludes. The point Tool are trying to make is that no matter how much pointlessness they put in their albums, fans will still listen to it because they think it makes them smarter. But I assure you, it doesn’t.
Now let’s talk about the band members for a minute. These guys are often regarded as legends, for what reason is beyond me. Maynard is perhaps the most boring vocalist of all time. Throughout the whole album it sounds like he’s sitting in a Macroeconomics lecture course after injecting a pound of heroin in his arm, desperately looking for sharp objects in the room to stab him in the neck with to take him out of his misery. He’s absolutely depressing to listen to, and his lyrics make it even worse because it proves that he thinks he’s smart. He’s easily the most conceited member of the group, using stuff like the Fibonacci sequence for his lyrics to pretend he has culture because he took one finite math class in high school. Also “Ticks & Leeches” features some of the weakest screaming I’ve heard, only comparable to M. Shadows off Waking the Fallen
The other members aren’t nearly as bad and show some hints of talent, but being led by such an abysmal frontman it’s excruciatingly hard to tell. Danny Carey is an excellent drummer, there’s no doubt about it. Adam Jones can play the guitar well enough I suppose. Justin Chancellor has some interesting bass parts scattered around, sure. None of it is revolutionary though and they don’t deserve any of the ridiculous praise they get. Just because they play in odd time signatures without getting lost doesn’t mean they’re good musicians. Not to mention the fact that they have an artist almost as conceited as Maynard, Alex Grey, who believes that the music cannot fully be absorbed unless the art accompanies it. In other words, if you don’t like the music because its dull and boring, try looking at my art to distract you until the painful 80 minutes finish.
Now the album isn’t all bad. Well actually it is, but the closest they get to a decent song is “Schism,” one of their most famous songs. It has a unique bass line and some relatively catchy hooks, but again Maynard ruins any momentum the song had as soon as his mundane vocals come in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like the album isn’t good for nothing. If you have insomnia and ran out of Ambien, throw on Lateralus and you’ll be able to sleep through an earthquake. But if you truly appreciate music for what it is, Lateralus is nothing more than an album that shows other musicians exactly what not