Math rock meets spiritualism meets alchemy in the underground lair of the Tool discography. The creators behind Tool continue to provide deeply hidden references as well as open little mysteries to delve deeper into. Enjoy the music and explore the layers as far as you wish with this list:
- "Opiate". "Opiate" begins Tool's ascent and is a small peek into the band's future capabilities. The titular song "Opiate" is a full assault on those who follow religion without question and it shows that Tool isn't worried about crafting simple hooks to lure those with pop sensibilities nor playing for mass acceptance. A great sampling that leaves the listener ready and willing to embrace whatever next step might come.
- "Undertow". A full fledged album which lets deep murky bass bring you down into a murky world where anthems call those who are willing to pursue ideas with the band and not be swayed into the shallow parts of reality. Henry Rollins has a guest track where pressures build and build like tectonic plates squeezing down and the audience feels the air go out of the room. Tool has built with "Undertow" an environment where the pressures are as intense as the releases and where the individual self can find its way out as long as the will is strong.
- "Aenima". With their third album, Tool shakes a furious fist at self-absorption, false prophets and the idea of selling out. The music has grown with "Aenima" where with "Undertow" it was being born, it has now grown to adulthood. Self-deprecation and humor are evident throughout this album. There aren't many places where the seriousness of an earthquake ravaging the West Coast can be given all the help it needs with the simple worded lesson of "learn to swim" in "Aenema". A brutally keen observation on humanity and the worries held by society all wrapped in one album.
- "Lateralus". Embracing the math rock label, Tool's "Lateralus" uses the mathematician Fibonacci and his famous sequence to dictate the syllabic content in the titular track. Guitar and bass tear down heaven and hell while the drums and vocals protect the audience from the falling debris. Maynard James Keenan's voice drips with acidic malice in one moment then caresses with enough lust to make envious all the other deadly sins.
- "10,000 Days". Precision and a beautiful ode to Maynard's mother's death are some of the forces that drive "10,000 Days" forward. The first song "Vicarious" rips into a world where we get to see all the horrors on television in real time but aren't repulsed; instead we crave more and more with no desire to put ourselves at risk. Another look back from the abyss letting the audience know they can judge whatever they wish to judge but to never forget they're being judged as well and perhaps even more harshly. Both notes and vocals are given all the time needed to grow in each song which displays a maturity and breadth that leaves the listener wanting more music that opens the mind and rewards thinking as well as introspection. Each album has a titular track and "10,000 Days" doesn't break with tradition as it showcases a soft storm of a song sweeping across the sky, leaving both destruction and creation in its wake.