A few years ago, Maynard James Keenan (lead vocals), Adam Jones (guitar), Justin Chancellor (bass) and Danny Carey, came together to produce one of the greatest musical masterpieces of all time - Tool’s fifth album, “Lateralus.”
When I play “Lateralus,” I listen to the entire album, otherwise the broad range of sound is lost. Creating strong lyrical foundations for their instrumental melodies is one of Tool’s strongest points, as they use sophisticated and descriptive language to share their message.
Songs like “Schism” and “Lateralus” show just how colorful and poetic their lyrics can be as they attempt to explore how we can connect to the world. To help explore the human mind, Tool members practice yoga and other spiritually rooted activities.
Tool’s members are not known just for good lyrics, but they also are some of the most progressive musicians I have heard. It takes a great deal of talent to play their lines; to execute them in odd time signatures (like 7/8, 9/8 and 11/8) demands an incredible amount of skill and practice, especially to make them flow and not have abrupt and choppy time changes.
“Lateralus” is the culmination of years of hard work and intense practice, evident in the fact that it is known and loved by thousands across the country.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.