The Band: Maynard James Keenan- vocals
Adam Jones- guitar
Paul D"Amour- bass
Danny Carey- drums
released 1993, was Tool's third album (including their demo EP) and it was this album that helped their career to take off. It was at this point in their career that people started to realize they absolute genius behind their music. Now, allow me to attempt to describe how Tool's music is 'genius'. The thing about Tool is it's very difficult to put them under one genre. They have their own unique blend of metal, progressive and hard rock. It's this unique collaboration of musical styles that makes them different from any other band. Not too mention their charismatic enigma of a front man Maynard James Keenan. Maynard has the perfect voice for the kind of music Tool plays. A lot of the time it's sort of like he's talking and singing at the same time. I guess you could call it 'salking' or 'tinging' (yeah, I know they're not great but I'm not here for word play).
Now I guess I'll try and describe the overall feel of the album. But bear with me folks, this is no easy task. This album overall, had sort of an eerie feel to it, as do most Tool albums. Mostly, what gave the album this feel was the bass, which had sort of strange tuning to it. While some of the eerie tracks were softer, actually a good word to describe them would probably be 'damp', not all tracks were like this. Some tracks, 'Bottom' for example did have a faster more rockin' pace. While I prefer the eerie tracks the faster ones were vital to keep the listener from getting bored. One aspect of the album I really enjoyed was the constant interludes. The majority of them were very interesting to say the least. There were lots of different FX used in them. This is one of the main things that gives Tool their unique sound. Overall I must say this album is a tad depressing. It's good too listen to when you're in somewhat of a glum mood. Although, that's not the only way this album can make you feel. It depends on your mood really. If you need to get pumped up for a sporting event or something like that a few tracks on the album can be useful.
The instrumentals on the album were exceptional, but not Tool's best in my opinion. The guitar work was more than adequate, although some solos would've been nice. Don't get me wrong there were lots of little solo-esque riffs in interludes or under some vocals in here, but there were no solos to be seen or heard, baring a few things here and there. For example, there was a very short solo under Maynard's vocals near the end of 'Bottom'. The rhythm guitar work was very well-written for the most part. Some of it may have been a bit simple, but the bizarre tuning on Adam's guitar made up for it. Also, as I previously mentioned some of the FX he used in interludes and things were spectacular. There was some wah used and I believe I detected some use of the talk pedal as well.
The bass for the album was simply phenomenal. As I mentioned earlier it was somewhat eerie, scary even. Like something you would here while walking through a damp marsh. All of it was spectacularly written and it was also rather easy to here throughout most of the album. Which was nice because so many bands don't give the bass near enough voice in the albums, but not Tool. The bass is almost as involved as the guitar and like the guitar I enjoyed its peculiar tuning. It seemed really low-pitched, even for bass. It's truly amazing the sounds that Paul can get out of that bass. This album just wouldn't be the same without the bass. The thing that really stood out for me, about the bass was that for a lot of the album it didn't just play the root notes of what the guitar was playing. Unlike so many other bands where the bass just conforms to the guitar, Tool lets the bass form it's own path and make each song its own.
The drums like the rest of the instrumentals were nearly flawless. I checked out some tabs for them and there actually rather difficult to play. I love how much Danny uses his toms. Most drummers rely on their high-hats and snare to get them through songs, but Danny dabbles more with the lower pitched drums. Which helps to contribute to the albums unique atmosphere. Also, Danny did a commendable job of keeping a steady beat. Which is difficult to do when you play as complex of drum lines as he does. Overall Danny Carey has to be one of my all-time favourite drummers, just behind Neil Peart.
Overall Rating: 4/5
Drums and bass were very involved
Cons: Some tracks blended together
I hope all of out there who haven"t already looked into this will. Although, keep in mind this style of music isn't for everybody. I didn't love it right away, it had to sink in first. So, if you do look into this listen to it for a while before you decide whether or not you like it. I've known some people who looked into this and hated it right away and that was it. They didn't give it any time to sink in. Then about a month later the music starts to creep up on them. Soon they"re telling me it"s okay. Then their asking to borrow my Tool albums for extended periods of time. Then they bring it back scratched! Anyways, before I start to ramble the point is most of you probably won't like this right away. Until next time keep your stick on the ice.