Tool - Lateralus
Sep 1, 2019
90
On Lateralus, Tool really cements their signature unique progressive metal sound, with more complex arrangements and less aggression.

One thing that you can take out of this record right away is that, with the exception of Ticks & Leeches, Tool’s less angry and fast, instead with a lot of songs having a slow build-up until they finally explode and really pay off. During these usually prolonged instrumental passages on songs like Reflection, the band shows off how they’ve progressed from the already brilliant sound of their last album, Ænima. On the few moments that some stylings from their last album creep in, they managed to change it not only so that it fits this new sound, but possibly even goes beyond that, like on Ticks & Leeches where Maynard lets out his screaming vocals, which I’m not a big fan of, but can certainly appreciate in the context of the song. The opener, The Grudge does wonders in showing off this wonderful new Tool, especially towards the end of the song. This album, just like the last has quite a few interludes, but they’re presented differently here, as actual songs (except Eon Blue Apocalypse and Mantra) that are more just preludes to the following song, transitioning directly into them, and even working really well as a song by themselves, which is a major improvement from Ænima. These prelude tracks are usually a lot slower and quieter, at least compared to their following counterparts, which puts even more variety into the album. One of the highlights of the album is the “I know the pieces fit” hook on Schism, one of the most memorable moments, as Maynard sounds incredibly intense, and his convincing performance on the track helps the storytelling of the song really shine through. The longest track, Reflection, incorporates some great echoing vocal effects, as really interesting drum patterns, as is probably the most unique song on the album, even though I don’t feel it’s as good overall as the first 3 tracks. Triad is definitely Tool’s best instrumental track, the guitars on it sound absolutely crushing at points, and I love how the song builds up to this brilliant climax without even having lyrics to go along with it. The only downfall of this record is that some points can be kind of forgettable, but those are few and far between, because most of this album is just absolutely killer. Barely better than Ænima, but it just works better as an album so I have to give the best Tool album to this one.

Favourite Tracks: Schism, The Patient, The Grudge

Least Favourite Track: Ticks & Leeches
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Tool - Ænima
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