The silver cord that has tentatively linked all Tool albums (including Lateralus, their latest aural enigma) is an underlying longing for release and reunion with some version of divinity. Here, singer Maynard James Keenan charts more hopeful territory than usual with lyrics that find the band searching for deeper meaning and connections with a higher power.
"The Grudge" opens up the album with Tool's signature churning, volatile style, highlighted by drummer Danny Carey's inhuman eighteen-limbed playing and bass player Justin Chancellor's melodic, deep rhythms.
Experts at creating dark, eerie and alien landscapes, the band uses these atmospherics to reach deep into the subconscious realms of the human psyche. Guitarist Adam Jones does not play his instrument so much as use it as to channel ancient sonic entities from other worlds into this one. The shimmering track, "Eon Blue Apocalypse" lifts you to loftier dimensions only to bring you crashing back to the flesh with fierce, molten-rock heaviness.
Questions of mortality vs. immortality and spirit vs. body are addressed on the first half of the album, while the second half continues on more healing, ethereal levels.
In these times, there seems to be a sharply declining number of rock bands that are artistically dedicated, non-superficial and gutsy. Tool has now returned to show all the cheap imitators what music with heart, intelligence and powerful magic really sounds like.
You notice that the temperature seems to have dropped about ten degrees in the room and a chilling silence rings in your ears. Strange shadows dance beyond the corners of your eyes. Suddenly, you feel a cold hand slide up your shoulder and a
Some albums take you by surprise, leaving you a little bit changed for the better. Innocence and Despair does just that, subtly grasping you by the hand and guiding you on a lovely, lo-fi, majestically imperfect journey.
The Langley Schools
The title of this album is somewhat misleading, gracing us with exactly the opposite of the proposed experience, but perhaps also symbolizing how many of us in the world are feeling at this moment.
Tomcats Screaming Outside is a beautiful