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With its heavy-duty distortion, weighty rhythms, and cynical lyrics, Tool is a heavy metal band for the '90s. Rather like Metallica circa ...And Justice for All, the sound is focused heavily on texture, with vocals and guitars layered one atop the other, and heart-pounding drums underlying everything. There's not a whole lot of variety on Tool's second full-length album--most of the songs start off fairly low-key, kicking into high gear for the chorus, and repeat--but Maynard James Keenan's distinctive voice, the prog-rock stylings over a heavy metal base, and a supremely unhealthy dose of vitriol make this the perfect album to bang your head to.With its heavy-duty distortion, weighty rhythms, and cynical lyrics, Tool is ...
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Arguably their finest album, this follow-up to Opiate showcases Tool at their best, assisted by clean, crisp production, without the muddiness of Aenima. Edgy guitar riffs are complemented by spitting, heavy bass, especially on "Sober" and "Crawl Away". Lyrically, Tool are at their vitriolic best, targeting religious hypocrisy ("Intolerance," "Sober"; always a popular theme), the loss of innocence and its consequences ("Prison Sex"), and deliberate ignorance ("Swamp Song"). Henry Rollins makes a guest appearance on "Bottom," which, along with "4 Degrees," deals with questions of identity. Undertow is also Tool's most musically adventurous album, lacking the occasionally numbing sameness of Aenima, and with considerably more ...
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