10 bands that sound like Tool in various ways have helped to shape the heavy music landscape over the past couple of decades. Throughout the nineties and into the oughts, Tool has been one of the most unique bands in heavy music, but they are not alone in taking traditional metal and turning it on its ear; While they are not completely similar, these ten bands that sound like Tool avoid the meatheadedness so common in metal music to create songs that remain heavy but are precise, crisp, and creative.
- Helmet Contemporaries of Tool, this New York band led by guitarist-vocalist Page Hamilton took the repetitive riffs of hardcore and metal and added a mechanical precision and jazzy skill. Among the bands that sound like Tool, they may be the only one that rivals Maynard's group in influence.
- The Deftones Popular among much of Tool's audience are the Deftones, who, like Tool, have progressed from a band concerned with riffs to one concerned more with texture and sound.
- Neurosis Pioneers of a sound that some call "post-metal," Neurosis are as interested in dynamics and tension as their contemporaries in Tool.
- Isis Like Neurosis and other bands that sound like Tool, Isis have taken the heaviness of metal and married it to the artfulness and aesthetics of post-rock, moving from a quiet whisper to a roar at an instant's notice and building mountains of sound out of reverb and distortion.
- Type O Negative Like Tool, Peter Steele's Type O Negative embrace the darker side of songcraft and play metal without the cliche.
- A Perfect Circle Featuring Tool's lead vocalist, Maynard James Keenan, A Perfect Circle touch more on the progressive side of the Tool sound.
- Faith No More One of the more unique bands in metal history, Mike Patton's Faith No More sound like Tool more so in spirit than in execution, with their relentless experimentation pushing heavy music forward.
- System of a Down With dime-stop time signature changes and a progressive spirit, at times System of a Down sound like Tool in their more up-tempo moments.
- Mastodon Influenced equally by art-rock and southern metal, Mastodon are one of the more unique entries on this list of 10 bands that sound like Tool.
- Baroness From the same southern art-metal school as Mastodon, Baroness may not immediately come to mind when thinking of bands that sound like Tool, but their mix of melodic vocals and impossibly algorithmic time changes put them of a sound with Maynard and company.
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