I’m actually completely intimidated about reviewing this album. I’m wondering if I can actually justify how good this is just using words. That sounds completely melodramatic, but sometimes the best way is to just let someone experience something for themselves & go from there.
But I’m going to give it a go. If you’ve heard this album before and love it, I’m sorry if I don’t do it justice. I only really got into Tool last year, but already they’ve changed the way I look at so many things in my life. I know that also sounds melodramatic and fanboy-ish, but how often does a band come along and do that to you?
This album sounds like alternative metal, but stretched to its very limits. In fact it’s so heavily doused with art rock and psychedelia it’s maybe not correct to call it metal at all. Whatever genre it is, it’s got a rich and incredibly layered sound. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and sounds like something from another planet. Maximum effort has gone into each & every song to ensure the same high standards are maintained, with everything flowing together seamlessly to create an enlightening journey of an album.
Although the music sounds detached from reality, the vocals have a real personal feel to them. You may not understand what Keenan is going on about, but you’ll yourself singing along appreciating the sheer emotion he puts into every word. That to me takes real talent on an album that sounds so otherworldly and massive that you can get lost in it.
When an album is as utterly ambitious as this one, you need to have patience and possibly an open mind to fully appreciate it. If you have those things, then this album will grow & grow on you and you’ll probably enter its world of multi coloured crystals, floating eyeballs and a smokey haze that smells a bit funny.
Personal Fave Track: “Parabola”