Tuesday, May 16, 2006

 

An AE Album Review - Tool's "10,000 Days"

Attempting to review a Tool album after only a few listens - or a few hundred spins, for that matter - is much like attempting to drive at age five. It's not an impossible task, just one that's likely to end in disaster. Therefore, I really shouldn't even be sharing my thoughts on this album for at least another year, since it'll take that long for my to properly evaluation the work as it stands on its own and in relation to the rest of the band's catalog.

That being said, I can indeed say that "10,000 Days" carries along in the tradition of "Lateralus", in that it further moves the band away from the nu-metal that it's so oftenly (and mistakenly) catagorized with, and cements the band's status as a prog-rock act for the ages. Really, there's little about the album as a whole that identifies it as a work from 2006AD - with the exception of the lead-off track "Vicarious", which follows in the tradition of "Aenima" and releases the band's anger towards the stupidity of mass media and its effects in one 7:06 chunk. From there, the album launches into a catharsis of sorts for Maynard regarding the passing of his mother (a stroke victim who was paralyzed for the last 27 years of her life, hence the album's title). It's the album's meandering path along emotions other than anger that really set it appart from previous works, and it's an impressive progression from the days of "Prison Sex" and "Crawl Away". Have no fear, however; songs like "Rosetta Stoned" still contained the sort of fucked-up lyrics that we're used to.

Speaking of what we're used to getting from Tool, here's the album cover:


Unfortunately, its 3D trickery isn't properly captured by my camera. It also doesn't work well for those who wear eyeglasses. That takes nothing away from the fact that it's damn cool, although I'm still not sure if it lives up to the prismatic cover of "Aenima" - it's hard to top an animation of California falling into the Pacific Ocean.

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