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4.9 out of 5 stars
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4.9 out of 5 stars
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on 18 July 2011
I'm going to keep this review short and sweet. Despite only having caught on to Tool in the last four or so years, I am a fully paid-up, born-again convert. I've been listening to Lateralus pretty much constantly for what seems like ages and I can't put it down. Their last album 10,000 Days is almost as good and I'm eagerly awaiting news of a new album or, who knows? a UK tour?

Anyway, Aenima doesn't quite hit the spot for me. It's hard to put my finger on the reason for this; the music is no less accomplished or complex than Lateralus/10,000 Days and Maynard's vocals are no less corrosive and the themes are just as powerful. Perhaps it's that the album lacks the gnostic, almost occult, feel of it's successors? I can't really say.

However, there are two tracks that really ring my bell. Die Eier von Satan is a short, profoundly industrial piece of trip hammer thrash with growling German vocals delivered in the style of a 1930's Munich bierkeller political oratory. It took a while for me to cotton onto the actual meaning of this track and now, whenever I listen to it I feel a bit more like an insider because *I got the joke*.

The other track is the long, rambling and chaotic "Third Eye". It's hard to see where this is going until Keenan slaps you hard in the face, screaming at you to pry open your third eye. It's like an electric shock.

Overall, I give the album three stars, but I think I can hike it up a star for those two tracks
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on 13 February 2001
the first time i heard this album, not two years ago, i somehow found it boring... then i listened. since i bought it only two months ago i have listened to it every single day ( a familiar story, it seems ) and it is honestly the first album i can say has had a huge, profound effect on my life. this is not to say that tool have put ideas into my head, and that wouldn't be their intention. rather, they have inspired me to go way beyond my previous ideas and manners of thinking, even though i had previously considered myself to be quite open-minded and free-thinking. i credit tool with some huge realisations and i find them to be a massive inspiration, simply because they unavoidably make me think, question and feel all along. the album is damn near perfect - there could be no better mix of subjects, emotions and sarcastic / black humour. i cannot help but feel that tool must know they are, today, the best band in rock and metal ; how can they not be vain about it?
previous to my new-found obsession, i may never have believed that the likes of metallica, led zeppelin, the doors could be overshadowed but now i am in doubt... with masterful production and the most astute, accurate, communicative manner of songwriting, they carry off ideas that other bands would play with at best. the hypnotic quality is created out of an understanding of the subconscious, and maintains not only the listener's attention but builds a new fascination with each song. the pink floyd influence is clear and i'm sure many tool fans would like to be to tool what they are to pink floyd - a natural, even improved continuation of an absolutely brilliant, inventive stream in music. long live tool ; this may be the best album ever and their new one is coming soon...
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on 28 August 2000
When I was in my late teens, I could hardly live a day without "Undertow"; now, it's the same with "Aenema". So delightful...Tool is the best thing that happened to (generally very simple-minded and boring) American hard rock in the last 20 years! Emotionally, their music is close to NIN (count "Pretty Hate Machine" out), only more original/less poppy and with interesting lyrics. With the frenzied moodswings of "Eulogy" and "Third Eye" (this song's middle section is one of the most moving pieces of music I know), wall-kicking angst of "Stinkfist" and "Aenema", desperate ambience of "46 & 2", "Jimmy" and "Pushit", the general effortless fusion of power and intimacy and the overall black-humorist aesthetics, Maynard's stunning vocal range (no wonder he's one of Tori Amos' best friends) plus the most sophisticated production I've ever heard on a non-electronic band, this is one special brand of musical aggression that remains enjoyable when you turn the legal age. Hell, I even got my girlfriend addicted to this, and she's a heavy Radiohead fan.
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on 20 January 2004
To try to comprehend this album with words is impossible. It incurrs feelings in you that nothing else can, sometimes greatly uncomfortable yet justified, but also of great reassurance. Tool have transcripted pure feeling into an album, which is extremely rare today, and to do it with such control and ability is almost impossible, but they've done it.
From the love of stinkfist through to the hatred of Aenima, this album can do so much that no other album cannot.
I have easily listened to this album over 100 times and I know it so well I could write a whole review for each song, but it just wouldn't comprehend the genius and effort that this album contains.
I can't make you buy this album, but if I could i'd strap you to a chair and make you listen to it, simply because you are denying yourself a great education, from the teachers that are Tool.
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on 12 July 2006
I first heard the title track on the radio when I was a teenager. It was instantly attractive. Brutally heavy, melodic, hooky and weird. I didn't know if I was allowed like it! When I eventually tracked it down and bought it I played the title track and nothing else on repeat for a whole month. It did take a while to get into the rest of album, Aenima, Stinkfist were the first songs I fully absorbed but really every song is amazing. It takes you places. And there's no going back. If you've never listened to Tool - get this album. It will inspire you if you give it time. Years after first obsessing about it - it's still my favourite album of all time and something I return to every now and again when I need to be absolutely up-lifted and overwhelmed by the beauty, the intensity and the mystery that Tool creates.
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on 15 July 2001
i don't claim to have a huge musical knowledge, i certainly don't have a lot of songs in my head to compare aenima with. however, i can give my honest opinion that i think this is definately THE best album i have ever heard. the whole mood throughout carries you with it, with the deep guitar riffs and melodic voice of maynard. at first i didnt find it that easy to listen to, as i think you need to recognise parts of each song so that you can fully appreciate the overall blend. and the way it blends is very VERY good.
also, sorry if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense but i can't really describe it well, it just rocks :)
ps. if u have trouble getting into it listen to the title track a couple of times, it'll get you hooked.
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on 8 November 2001
FACT: This is the second best album ever recorded by any band. The best is Tool's lateralus. This band are quite simply amazing. They have a unique sound, and aren't afraid to experiment and take giant steps away from the mainstream. Anybody who likes intelligent music should listen to this band, starting off with buying Aenima.
Standout tracks include the whole album!, but especially stinkfist, aenima, 46 and two, and push-it. Listening to this album is like a journey, and a long one at that. This album is well over an hour long!
Maynard James Keenan is the best singer ever and writes some of the darkest lyrics I have ever heard, covering issues such as lonliness, dispair, and child abuse. Adam Jones guitars are fantastic, and justin chancellor keeps it all together playing bass.
As for Danny Carey, would be the best drummer around at the moment if it wasnt for slipknots joey jordison. Carey is a robot I am sure!!!
Tool have a hardcore following and there music isn't for everybody, but to anyone who likes different, intelligent beautiful music, my advice to you is DON'T buy this album, buy ALL of Tools albums!!!
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on 27 November 2011
From time to time, one listens to something for the first time, and thinks 'wow'. Not quite so with Aenima. My son bought this for me a month or so ago (he had previously given me Lateralus, which is an extremely clever, complex and impressive album): I listened to Aenima one evening, but found it a bit too much. So, on to the shelf for five weeks (my son was a little surprised/disappointed!) before I could summon the will to try again ......... which I did last week, and I am so glad that I did. That first return left me numb; I had to sit quietly and let what I had just heard sink in. (I suspect the last thing to do that to me was Dark Side of the Moon on first hearing in the late 70s.) Incredible! Each subsequent play has reinforced the strength of Aenima.

It's pointless going into the merits of each element of each track, given the overall dark brilliance of Aenima. Is it the knitting of the drums beneath and around everything, or the bass riff, or the challenging/bleak vocal, or that heavy, dripping guitar? It is each of these, and all of these. Others have commented more fully on various elements of this work - read them, but I urge you to find your own way through this incredibly powerful piece of art. Don't compare - just absorb, and enjoy this for what it is. But if you feel the urge to compare, perhaps Turner's 'Rain, Steam and Speed'.
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on 22 April 2014
I discovered Tool on the web and bought this album after listening repeatedly to several of the tracks. the music is designed to be listened to, and repays careful listening. The initially strongest element for me was the use of rhythm, but there is a lot more to Tool's carefully crafted songs, as they make skilful use of texture, timing, the sonorities of different instruments and dynamics. Original, gripping and an experience
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on 11 May 2003
This is easily the best album i own and have ever had the pleasure of listening to.
From the opening track you know you are about to embark on a musical journey like no other.
A break down of the tracks:
Stinkfist - Perfect way to start the album and pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the album. 4/5
Eulogy - Amazing song, definately one of my favourite offerings from Tool 5/5
H - Emotional and moving song, Maynards vocals are very strong on this track as he bellows 'I dont mind' again and again before fireing into another of his long screams. Starts slow and ends up being one of the heaviest on the album. 5/5
Useful Idiot - Static, intro to the next song
46 & 2 - Another very stong track, with soft and heavy parts. 4/5
Message To Harry Manback - Not really a song, another intro type track.
Hooker With A Penis - Yes! Probably the heaviest and most angst filled song on the album. Great song and one of my favourites. 5/5
Intermission - Odd sounding intro to.........
Jimmy - I have neglected Jimmy, i havent listened to it as much and usually just skip past it. But, as i recently discovered again, its another amazing song that i was wrong to overlook. 5/5
Die Eier Von Satan - mmmm in german, have no idea whats going on in this one 2/5
Pushit - Classic Tool song, one of the best. Although i prefer the Live Version from Salival, the classic album version still impresses me greatly. 5/5
Cesaro Summability - Short intro to.......
Aenima - WOW! This song is a absolute classic, amazing lyrics, amazingly vocals and whilst not too heavy, it is one of the more fiery tracks. My favourite Tool song. 5/5!
(-)Ions - Static, wierd sounds and the intro to.......
Third Eye - !! Absolutely stunning song, over 13 minutes long and again, a classic. The last minute is Maynard yelling 'Prying Open My Third Eye' repeatedly as Danny smashes his drums with unrivaled ferocity.
Well, thats it, amazing album one that no one should be without, 5 stars truly isnt enough. Buy it now or you will be denying yourself of the perfection that is Aenima.
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