Tool

Record review

Phases & Stages

Tool

10,000 Days (Dissectional)

Tool's fourth studio release ain't their best, but this hasn't effected its popularity. The math-mystical quartet's 10,000 Days went platinum soon after its release. How? Thanks to 2001's justifiably multiplatinum Lateralus. Five-year between-album interludes prime fan salivary glands. 10,000 Days references the duration singer Maynard James Keenan's mother endured a stroke-induced paralysis before meeting the Maker. As such, a heartfelt two-song suite is dedicated to her. Outwardly off-theme, another two-song suite about LSD populates the midsection. Interesting, but ultimately fleeting. In contrast, opener "Vicarious" is among Tool's finest, and the top-shelf "Jambi" powers a ravine-deep rhythmic breakdown. "The Pot" lends weight to the proceedings, yet the remaining five cuts come across without much conviction. Nothing here to best the hungry creativity of Ænema's "Eulogy" or Lateralus' "The Grudge," which is particularly frustrating given that drummer Danny Carey dazzles again. And the artwork, ah ... the artwork – a pair of stereoscopic eyeglasses help visualize Alex Grey's multidimensional, transcendental art. Simply sublime. These zeniths aside, the whole does no more than maintain Tool's rep. Still, this is cred engendered by Tool's 1993 debut, Undertow. Yep. Platinum.

**.5

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