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Lateralus turns 20 years

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    Lateralus turns 20 years

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    I remember that morning walking into the store and buying a copy. For me this is Tool's best album. I remember getting into arguments with my then bandmates as to whether this or Aenima was better, but I still stand by this sentiment (Lateralus for me has stronger songs and less of the usual Tool throwaway tracks).

    It's also one of my favorite bass centered albums. I learned so much from Justin Chancellor's approach in both playing using pedals.


    #2
    Aenima is still my favorite Tool album, but this comes in close second. Some of the songs took some time to grow on me, while others were favorites from the get-go (such as Parabola). I think I bought it a few months after it first came out, but I remember I got it in mid 2001.

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      #3
      Originally posted by Naren View Post
      (such as Parabola)
      Parabol to Parabola is still one of my favorite buildups on any album.

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        #4
        It’s the album that got me into Tool. I hated them prior to Lateralus and really had my head up my ass about them, thinking they were no-talent hacks because they weren’t playing prog like Dream Theater. My best friend was leaving for college and the weekend before he left, for our last time getting together and getting high in my truck in my buddy’’s driveway he says, “I know you hate Tool, but tonight we’re checking out this song because if you don’t think this is awesome, you’re not a musician and you just suck.”

        So we started our ritual of siting in my Blazer and ripping bong hits in my buddy’s drive way when we were good and high and my buddy put on “Lateralus”, I was probably running my mouth about Tool sucking but I know by the time the middle section came up, I was paying attention. But what did it was that polyrhythm, the “With my feet upon the ground” section....once that section hit, my truck was just rocking back and forth because we were basically car moshing. I think we listened to that section like 10x over before we went inside.

        From that day on, I was a huge Tool fan. It was like a light switch and I all of a sudden understood them. Ended up seeing them a few months later in the equivalent of a high school gym, Meshuggah opened and I was a Tool fan for life. Maynard was on fire that tour nearly nightly and the show I caught was definitely a good one (bootleg is on the YouTube’s).

        What’s funny is some 18 years later, my wife tattooed the lyrics from that “With my feet upon the ground” on her leg. She’s a Tool fanatic, sometimes one of the annoying ones because she thinks Maynard’s fucking magical.

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          #5
          Absolutely amazing album start to finish. Over the years I've come to appreciate the last couple of tracks a lot more as well.

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            #6
            I feel like my favorite songs are on Aenima, but this is my favorite album. It doesn’t have all the usual filler, and it flows great from start to finish.

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              #7
              Great album, probably their best. I still liked 10000 Days too (saw them live on that tour, and it was a phenomenal show), but the newest is just such a snoozefest.

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                #8
                IMO this was the last really great Tool album before they went too far down the path of pretentious weird noise for me.

                I saw them live and it was ~5 songs I recognized and 90 minutes of boring weird ambient nonsense.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Chris View Post
                  IMO this was the last really great Tool album before they went too far down the path of pretentious weird noise for me.

                  I saw them live and it was ~5 songs I recognized and 90 minutes of boring weird ambient nonsense.
                  Yeah I assume their live shows are like this, you might like their most recent album its a lot more "songy". Everything after lateralus has been slightly hit or miss though. Some amazing tracks but some total filler.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Chris View Post
                    IMO this was the last really great Tool album before they went too far down the path of pretentious weird noise for me.

                    I saw them live and it was ~5 songs I recognized and 90 minutes of boring weird ambient nonsense.
                    All of this, plus the boring Meshuggah lite.

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Nick View Post

                      Yeah I assume their live shows are like this, you might like their most recent album its a lot more "songy". Everything after lateralus has been slightly hit or miss though. Some amazing tracks but some total filler.
                      I gave it a listen when it first came out and I think I'm just too old for this shit now. I like the APC stuff better, more easily digestible songs that I don't have to think about.

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                        #12
                        This clip is still awesome.




                        Originally posted by Chris View Post
                        IMO this was the last really great Tool album before they went too far down the path of pretentious weird noise for me.

                        I saw them live and it was ~5 songs I recognized and 90 minutes of boring weird ambient nonsense.
                        I get this. This was around the 10,000 days tour cycle. I already felt the difference after seeing them during the Lateralus tour, where they became just a full fledged munted jam band. And it certainly shows on their newest album, especially all the digital exclusive tracks that start and end absolutely nowhere.

                        I'm on the same boat as Noodles when it comes to the Aenima/Lateralus comparison. Aenima has all their best and well known songs, but gets hampered down with a lot of filler. Lateralus was more consistent through and through so it was the better album experience for me.

                        Funny enough, the guys in my first band were all hardcore Tool fans, and I wasn't into them before I joined. Though I was already into a bunch of 70s prog like Rush and King Crimson. When they needed a bassist, I joined and forced me to lift my game. But I managed to show them exactly where Tool's influences came from. It blew their minds hearing Natural Science for the first time. They're essentially a 70s prog band fed through the 90s filter, which when Aenima was released, was groundbreaking at the time.

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                          #13
                          Huh, when I saw them in 2006 they played a very song oriented set - they did do 3 songs of 10000 Days, but they were the more rocking ones (Vicarious, The Pot, Jambi). Other than that, they played 3 songs from Aenima (Forty Six & 2, Stinkfist, Aenima), 2 songs from Lateralus (Schism, Lateralus), and one each from Undertow (Sober) and Opiate (Opiate). It was a festival, though, so perhaps the limited time slot forced them to be a bit more concise.

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                            #14
                            I recommend a live Tool show to anyone, even with Maynard phoning it in these days. The visuals are just on another planet and I’d go as far as saying that one doesn’t get the full Tool experience until they’ve heard them in a killer venue, cranked up along with the visuals as well. Though I was a fan by the time I saw them in 2001, they “made sense” after that show so much more. While it may not have the same feel as a younger, pissed off Maynard, it’s still quite the experience. As long as they’re cranked up. We saw them at Boston Calling, which was in the Harvard athletic field and it was fucking terrible. You could barely hear the band over the crowd shouting “TURN IT UP!”, and really my wife don’t even consider that a legit Tool show. Tool is her favorite band and that was the only time she saw them.....we had tickets to the two Florida shows that were cancelled for covid and it’s still a sore subject for her.

                            One thing that I’ve learned after seeing them 3x is that you can pretty much stick a microphone in the room they’re playing in and it’ll sound like Tool. They don’t rely on shit from FOH to do the job for them. It’s one of the few cases these days where FOH is literally just amplifying the sound of the band and not running FOH like a 2nd instrument or running a bunch of tracks. At one point, Maynard was doing all his own vocal effects and had a pedalboard onstage to control them, I think he was triggering some vocal harmonies with a keyboard for a while as well, I recall seeing that in I think “Jambi” from around 2014.

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                              #15
                              The only Tool album I actually reach for anymore, because they whole thing just flows.

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                                #16
                                So basically it's been 20 years since Tool has put out anything worthwhile.

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                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Jeff View Post
                                  So basically it's been 20 years since Tool has put out anything worthwhile.
                                  Not true. Karnivool put out Sound Awake 10 years ago, that's definitely the last great Tool album.

                                  I'm the same as everyone else here. I was utterly blown away by Aenima when it came out and at the time Lateralus was never going to match up, in hindsight it's the better album.

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                                    #18
                                    Originally posted by Lozek View Post

                                    Not true. Karnivool put out Sound Awake 10 years ago, that's definitely the last great Tool album.

                                    I'm the same as everyone else here. I was utterly blown away by Aenima when it came out and at the time Lateralus was never going to match up, in hindsight it's the better album.
                                    LOL fair point, though to be honest I love Karnivool (Sound Awake in particular) more than anything Tool has ever done.

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                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by Jeff View Post

                                      LOL fair point, though to be honest I love Karnivool (Sound Awake in particular) more than anything Tool has ever done.
                                      Me too, it's probably got the consistency of Lateralus with the songs of Aenima.

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                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by Lozek View Post

                                        Not true. Karnivool put out Sound Awake 10 years ago, that's definitely the last great Tool album.

                                        I'm the same as everyone else here. I was utterly blown away by Aenima when it came out and at the time Lateralus was never going to match up, in hindsight it's the better album.
                                        I honestly don't get the comparisons between Tool and Karnivool. I own every album Karnivool has put out and all the Tool albums UP TO Lateralus (the songs off 10,000 Days bored me so much that I didn't buy it at the time and just when I was considering buying it, Fear Inoculum came out, which seemed even worse, so I only have Opiate, Undertow, Aenima, and Lateralus).

                                        But I really have no idea where people are coming from. I see people comparing Tool and Karnivool a lot, but I see no more similarities between them than between, say, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. I guess they both fit into the "alternative rock" and "progressive rock" categories and both have some elements of metal, but that's about the limit.

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                                          #21
                                          Crazy to think this has been 20 years, but I guess I remember driving around summers while I was in college listening to the local rock radio srtation - remember those? - and hearing "The Grudge" on the radio and being in a little bit of disbelief that anyone could get a 9 1/2 minute song on the radio.

                                          I'd be hard pressed to pick between AEnima and Lateralus - I think both have plenty of "filler," but the filler works - things like the transition from Parabol to Parabola, I don't think anyone has ever intentionally gone and queued up Parabol, but that transition adds so much to the album. And some of the trippier stuff on AEnima - the little czarnival music on acid interlude that suddenly becomes Jimmy, or the discordant, um, whatever it's called, but it translates to "the eggs/balls of Satan" in German, I think, and is some sort of a recipe - some of that oddness works in ways that maybe three minutes of Theremin noise doesn't, in 10,000 Days.

                                          I still think the cymbal fills on the bridge of Lateralus are one of the coolest things I've ever heard - only once in my life, while driving in the dark, did the polyrhythm "click" for me and I was able to count out the parts, and it was fucking mindbending. I need to sit down and figure that relationship out some night.

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                                            #22
                                            Originally posted by Naren View Post

                                            I honestly don't get the comparisons between Tool and Karnivool. I own every album Karnivool has put out and all the Tool albums UP TO Lateralus (the songs off 10,000 Days bored me so much that I didn't buy it at the time and just when I was considering buying it, Fear Inoculum came out, which seemed even worse, so I only have Opiate, Undertow, Aenima, and Lateralus).

                                            But I really have no idea where people are coming from. I see people comparing Tool and Karnivool a lot, but I see no more similarities between them than between, say, Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. I guess they both fit into the "alternative rock" and "progressive rock" categories and both have some elements of metal, but that's about the limit.
                                            Agreed. It's easy to compare them but I don't really hear them being that similar. Though perhaps because I'm Aussie and I've known Karnivool since their early groove/nu metal days.



                                            That and at the time almost every alt rock band were riding the Tool bandwagon (I was in one) with very few being actually any good and once Karnivool came on the scene they nust demolished everyone else.

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                                              #23
                                              Originally posted by Drew View Post
                                              Crazy to think this has been 20 years, but I guess I remember driving around summers while I was in college listening to the local rock radio srtation - remember those? - and hearing "The Grudge" on the radio and being in a little bit of disbelief that anyone could get a 9 1/2 minute song on the radio.

                                              I'd be hard pressed to pick between AEnima and Lateralus - I think both have plenty of "filler," but the filler works - things like the transition from Parabol to Parabola, I don't think anyone has ever intentionally gone and queued up Parabol, but that transition adds so much to the album. And some of the trippier stuff on AEnima - the little czarnival music on acid interlude that suddenly becomes Jimmy, or the discordant, um, whatever it's called, but it translates to "the eggs/balls of Satan" in German, I think, and is some sort of a recipe - some of that oddness works in ways that maybe three minutes of Theremin noise doesn't, in 10,000 Days.

                                              I still think the cymbal fills on the bridge of Lateralus are one of the coolest things I've ever heard - only once in my life, while driving in the dark, did the polyrhythm "click" for me and I was able to count out the parts, and it was fucking mindbending. I need to sit down and figure that relationship out some night.
                                              It’s a recipe for brownies, IIRR.

                                              I “write” little interludes like that all the time, which is pretty much just me getting baked in my studio and playing with VST’s with no real goal in sight. I’d never release that stuff because who the fuck wants to hear that? Then again, Devin Townsend and Mike Patton have both released albums of nothing but straight noise and have made money off of them, so...



                                              The fucking insanity of this one is that it’s actually written out. I haven’t put myself through the torture of comparing the studio version vs the live version, but I’m assuming if he’s going through the trouble of laying out all those sheets of paper he’s using them as cheat sheets.

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                                                #24
                                                I definitely prefer their angsty phase, which cooled off after Aenima. The prophetic nonsense just bores me, and the riffs are so spaced out it's hard to keep focused

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                                                  #25
                                                  Originally posted by Naren View Post
                                                  Aenima is still my favorite Tool album, but this comes in close second. Some of the songs took some time to grow on me, while others were favorites from the get-go (such as Parabola). I think I bought it a few months after it first came out, but I remember I got it in mid 2001.
                                                  For the longest time it was my favorite too but the more I listened to Lateralus the more it became my favorite. There both so good.

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