tool_lateralus-1For most of 2018 and 2019, the biggest talk of the rock and metal world was always the prospect of a brand new Tool album and when it was going to come out. The album is going to come out on August 30TH according to the band and it’s the band’s first album since 2006’s 10,000 Days, but to help us while we wait, I am going to check out the bands third studio album in Lateralus which Loudwire ranked 13TH on their 50 Best Metal Albums of All Time list.  Lateralus was released on May 15, 2001 via Volcano Entertainment and it featured Maynard James Keenan (Vocals), Adam Jones (Guitar), Justin Chancellor (Bass), and Danny Carey (Drums) and the album was produced by David Bottrill who produced the band’s previous effort Ænima. When the album was released it instantly went to number one on the Billboard Top 200 charts and it also went number one in Australia, Canada, and Poland. It also peaked at number one as the top Internet album selling over two million copies and the rock and roll hall of fame has it ranked number 123 on their definitive 200 list.

UgLvB1. The Grudge– The track starts with what sounds like someone hitting play on a tape machine before Chancellor comes in with an amazing bass riff. One of the great signatures is all the time signature changes you’ll hear in one track, but I think this song is about Maynard throwing how stupid holding grudges can be. 5/5

2. Eon Blue Apocalypse– an instrumental track on the album that is all about Danny Carey’s dog Eon who passed away from Bone marrow cancer. 4/5

3. The Patient– The track starts off a little slow with a persistent and driving guitar riff, but when it gets to a certain point it explodes into one hell of a track that is all about that point when you reach a certain mindset that you are centered. 5/5

4. Mantra-a small instrumental interlude that is actually just Maynard James Keenan squeezing his Siamese cat. 4/5

5. Schism– This track beat out tracks from Black Sabbath, Slayer, Slipknot, and System Of A Down for best metal performance at the Grammys in 2002. Keenan described the science and math behind the track saying, “They’re all about relationships. Learning how to integrate communication back into a relationship. How are we as lovers, as artists, as brothers – how are we going to reconstruct this beautiful temple that we’ve built and that’s tumbled down? It’s universal relationship stuff.” 5/5

6. Parabol-To create the sound of the Buddhist monks chanting on the track, Carey sampled himself breathing through a tube in this very melodic track. This one is about dealing with your problems. 4.5/5

7oo97. Parabola– If the last track was the melodic version, this is the in your face Tool track that everyone loves from them. It’s driving when it needs to be and calculating at others. The track deals with how our minds create an illusion of what we think we are. 5/5

8. Ticks & Leeches– Another great track on the album that is all about the struggle on your journey to enlightenment because of all the leeches that try to suck you dry. 5/5

9. Lateralus– The track is known for it’s signature time changes which go from 9/8 to 8/8 to 7/8 during the chorus. Danny Carey commented saying, “t was originally titled 9-8-7. For the time signatures. Then it turned out that 987 was the 16th number of the Fibonacci sequence. So that was cool.” Keenan described the lyrics saying, “I use the archetype stories of North American aboriginals and the themes or colors which appear over and over again in the oral stories handed down through generations. Black, white, red, and yellow play very heavily in aboriginal stories of creation.” Reports also say that the song could be based on LSD trips. 5/5

10. Disposition-I love the melodic beginning that has a nice and soothing bass riff that opens up the 1st track that forms a sequence with the next two tracks. I think the track is all about realizing that we as people change all the time, it’s just a fact of life. 4.5/5

11. Reflection– The second part of the sequence that really is eye opening lyrically as he tells us that we are really capable of great things if we put our mind into it. The tribal beat from the previous track continues on this one and Chancellor’s bass playing is amazing. There are some great sounds on this 11 minute track. 5/5

12. Triad-The last part of the sequence is a two minute instrumental and a great way to close it out. 4.5/5

13. Faaip de Oiad-The title of the the last track on the album is Enochian for Voice Of God and it features samples of a radio call of a 1997 radio show phone call for the Coast To Coast show by Art Bell of a man claiming to be an Area 51 employee. 4.5/5

My Final Thoughts– The album took four years to come out because of a dispute the band was going through with Volcano Entertainment, but nonetheless the album was definitely worth the wait. We’ll have to see if the same boast true for the new album when that is released. There are a lot of great songs on the album with a lot of amazing playing and some enlightening, but easy to interpret lyrics. That is why I am giving the album 4.7 stars out of five for a final grade.

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