ÆnimaWith the announcement of a brand new tour and an album that we’ll hopefully see in the future, I found it fit to review an album from one of my favorite Alt Metal/Progressive Metal bands in Tool. The first time I had ever heard the band Tool was while the band was touring Ozzfest in support of their second album Ænima. The name of the album itself, Ænima, was a combination of the the words Anima (latin for soul) and enema (which is that fun medical procedure). It was the band’s first record with former Peach bassist Justin Chancellor while the rest of the band was made up of Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), Adam Jones (Guitar), and Danny Carey (Drums). This album could be considered the band’s breakthrough record as it peaked at number 2 on the Billboard Top 200 Charts in it’s first week of release while the track Ænima won the Grammy in 1998 for Best Metal Performance (Back when the Grammy’s sort of got it right). Since then, the album has been certified triple platinum selling over three million copies worldwide. The packaging for the record was even up for a Grammy and it should have one with it’s holographic cover with various images on the inside like Cam De Leon’s painting Ocular Orifice, picture of contortionist Alana Cain with her legs wrapped around her head, and so much more.

Ænima 21. Stinkfist– Starts off with a cool drum riff before it explodes into the track with a killer bass line. A lot of people perceived the song to be sexual due to the title, but during the tour Maynard said it was about, “choosing compassion over fear.” 5/5

2. Eulogy– It starts off with what sounds like them drumming on pipes or something as the music starts to fade in slowly. This is an 8 minute epic piece by the band that really makes you think. It has that feel like it’s talking about people who think they are better than everyone. 5/5

3. H.– Maynard James Keenan one time described this song during a live showing saying, “So, any of you ever watched those Warner Bros. cartoons? Sometimes there’s that one where that guy is having a tough time trying to make a decision. He’s got an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Seems pretty obvious, right? Usually it’s the angel who is kind of the one trying to give him the good advice while the devil is trying to get him to do what’s bad for him. It’s not always that simple though. Most times they’re not really angels or devils. They’re just friends giving you advice, looking out for your best interest but not really understanding what’s going to be best for you. So it kind of comes down to you. You have to make the decision yourself… This song is called H.” 4/5

4. Useful Idiot– The beginning of the song sounds like a vinyl record that is at the end and it just keeps repeating the sound. 4/5

5. Forty Six & 2– A very evil sounding song with a cool bass riff, but for the most part it keeps the same tempo throughout the track, but when the chorus the band kicks the tempo up a notch as they are mostly playing in 4/4 time. The song references the works of Carl Jung who talks about the possibility of one day having two extra chromosomes due to evolution and then it talks about the shadow if you noticed. Change through the shadow is this idea that of exploring that side of the brain that hates, fears, and represses. 5/5

Ænima 36. Message to Harry Manback– it’s a track that is basically a piano track playing a recorded message over it. 4/5

7. Hooker With A Penis– This has to be the heaviest track on the record and probably in the history of Tool with elements of hardcore punk and thrash about a fan who once accused the band of selling out after the success of Sober.  5/5

8. Intermission– kind of a cool intro that sort of sounds like intermission music (hence the title). 4/5

9. Jimmy– A very interesting track as far as composition and it’s about Maynard himself as a boy. Apparently at the age of 11, his mother was paralyzed and so he was forced to live with his father. 4/5

10. Die Eier von Satan– a very interesting track which is basically a recipe in German and the song is sung by Marko Fox (Zaum). 4/5

11. Pushit– A very cool track from the band about Maynard’s internal struggle with his past and religion. 4/5

12- Cesaro Summability– a intro track with a crying baby with some echo thrown in there.

Tool-Aenima-Interior_Frontal13- Ænima– This is by far my favorite song on the album that uses the concept of Hemiola which according to wikipedia is, “a musical technique in which the emphasis in a triple meter is changed to give the illusion that both a duple and a triple meter occur in the song. For example, during the first verse, the beat appears to be in 12/8 timing, while toward the middle of the song when the lyrics from the first verse are repeated, the beat can be perceived as being in 6/8 timing. The double bass drums are played in a triplet using the floor tom in the middle of the song making them seem twice the speed. It’s by the far the best apocalyptic track telling you that you better learn to swim. 5/5

14. (-) Ions– a very cool instrumental on the album 4/5

15. Third Eye– “Today a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration. That we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.” This is a quote that Maynard says at the beginning of the sing that belongs to Bill Hicks and it’s basically what the song is about and it also contains some Buddhist philosophies as well. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– This is still by far my favorite record from Tool because top to bottom the album is just amazing. This really showed the world what Tool was made of and what you could do with music that was different than what was being made at the time. My hats off to Tool and here is to the future and hoping for a new album. I would defintiely suggest checking out this album if you haven’t in the meantime. I am going to give this record 4.5 stars out of five for a final grade.

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