Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Art-Rockers rock - Even more!

Tool have, for nearly 15 years, been synonymous with deep, heavy, artistic rock music. All double-kick drums and heavy bass, with cracked time signatures, floating, almost-insane guitar and Maynard James Keenan's deep, threatening vocals, sometimes screaming, sometimes bawling a gutteral yell hovering over the top. But always different. Always looking to change things. 10,000 Days, their latest offering, is no different. But, if possible, they've gone even heavier. Witness the speed-metal riffing and drumming intro to the kick-arse 'Jambi', or the heightened crescendo of 10,000 days (Part 2).
Then, just when you wonder how long they can maintain this kind of intensity, comes 'The Pot', and amazing blend of the aforementioned depp metal/rock and Eastern/Indian raga. It's incredible. And Keenan is in such fine voice, you find yourself questioning whether it's actually him. It stands out as one of Tool's greatest ever songs.
After 16 years and (only) 4 albums, it is refreshing to see that Tool are still capable of the mind-numbing, powerhouse riffing and skin-bashing to match their lyrical and melodic complexity.
When it comes to power-metal, Tool (and perhaps System of a Down) are in a class of their own.


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