on 30 April 2007
I purposely waited one year after the release of "10,000 Days" to give this review so that it would be a better indication of my feelings towards the record, rather than a quick and excited review about a hugely anticipated album.
After what felt like an eternity since 2001's incredible album "Lateralus," Tool unleashed their most progressive album to date in the form of "10,000 Days." The album was shrouded in secrecy, as is Tool's way, revealing very little other than the track names a short few weeks before the album's release.
It quickly surfaced that the album's title was related to the amount of time lead singer Maynard James Keenan's mother spent paralysed from the neck down, and the album's longest duo of tracks "Wings For Marie / 10,000 Days" is a surprisingly touching yet angry account of that story. Clocking in at a collective 17 and a half minutes, the duo is an epic Tool song, so different to anything they've done before, a live masterpiece and by far and away the best thing on this album. Fans were slow to warm to the track but all eventually come around to its sheer strength, vocal complexity and lyrical and emotional power.
The album itself, in its entirety, is a revelation, much like "Lateralus" was and "Aenima" was before that. Opening with powerhouse radio single "Vicarious," the album starts with a roar and continues its charge through second song, live favourite "Jambi." After the assault on the senses that is "Wings For Marie / 10,000 Days," fans experience Maynard James Keenan's highest vocal attempt yet, the unusually apt "The Pot," which boils with energy reminiscent of the "Undertow" days.
The enigmatic "Rosetta Stoned" oozes with drug-induced paranoia and is the heaviest guitar track Tool have done since "Aenema" nearly ten years ago. The song must be heard to be believed, sporting various different vocal styles and an even more prolific variance is rhythms and styles thoughout.
The album's second-to-last track, "Right In Two" is possibly the band's most ingenius lyric writing showcase to date with unforgettable comparisons between human beings of today and our ancient monkey ancestors, with some interesting comparisons unmistakeably drawn together.
The only negative thing I can say about "10,000 Days" is a common complaint I have about Tool's records despite being a huge, huge fan, and while a bit nit-picky, it is regarding their shallow attempts at expanding the CD length by pouring the likes of "Viginti Tres," a four minute distorted sound that leaves the album ending on a particularly low point after such a strong start and fantastic run all the way through. One wonders why "Viginti Tres" is even there.
But that is a very minute scuff on the shining trophy that is "10,000 Days," in my opinion, one the best album released since Tool's own "Lateralus" in 2001. Every song (proper song!) is conpletely stunning and entirely different from the next and people will be listening to this record for decades to come.
on 29 April 2006
It's been a long five year wait, but the new Tool album dropped onto my doormat this morning, and having now listened to it twice I can safely say two things; 1. It was well worth the wait, and 2. Maynard and the lads have surpassed themselves!
The tunes on this new CD are superb, ranging from the atmospheric thunderstorm-backed title track to balls-out heavy stuff like Jambi, all with their usual complexities and wierd time signatures! Maynard's voice just gets better and better, there are times on this CD where he sings unlike I've ever heard him before with Tool or A Perfect Circle.
Contrary to the first review here, the titles and artwork are not fake, the titles are as they appear here, the cover is slightly different.
Speaking of which, the CD case design is outstanding but quite difficult to describe. The case contains two lenses which when folded out and looked through, the inside booklet gives a series of stereoscopic pictures of the band and the gorgeous artwork, total class!
The only downside to this album coming out now, is that this is probably the beginning of another long wait for the next one!
Also, a lot of the other reviewers calling themselves long-term Tool fans are moaning about the soundscape 'fillers' on here such as 'Lipan Conjuring' and 'Vigniti Tres', have they forgotten there have been tracks like this on EVERY Tool album? Remember 'Disgustipated' on Undertow (strange diatribe on vegetables taking over!), 'ions(-)' on Aenima (3 minutes of electrical buzzing!) or 'Faaip de Oiad' on Lateralus (some guy blubbing about being abducted by aliens!)??
on 19 April 2006
Was there really any doubt that the next Tool album was going to be fantastic? No not really, because they are a band of pure genius, a band that can put together the most beautiful music whilst at the same time throw in some vicious and powerful riffs which make you go crazy for more.
I have just listened to the whole album 10,000 Days, and i must say i have been blown away once again. This album is pure brilliance crammed onto a CD.
The thing that struck me most about this album is that it is quite different to everything they have previously done. After the opening track Vicarious (which has a hint of Lateralus) the album twists and turns and shows off something completely different. The track named 'The Pot' for example was confusing at first because i was unsure if it was actually Maynard singing.
Each and every song on the album is a perfect fit, from the fast paced opening of Vicarious to the creepy ending of Viginti Tres.
I have only listened to the album once so far, but i will be sure to listen to it religiously from now on.
My favorite tracks from the first time round were, 'Jambi'- A surprisingly heavy song with one of the most unique guitar sounds ever. '10,000 Days'- 11 mins of pure genius, one of the most beautiful Tool songs ive ever heard. 'Right in to' - A great song to rock out to, with some kick ass riffs and excellent lyrics.
Overall i am once again perfectly happy with this new serving of Tool, and i expect all the other Tool fans will love it also.
on 5 May 2006
Before we go any further, this is an entirely different beast to the other Tool albums, with the exception of Vicarious(the album's opener), which smacks of Lateralus and serves as a nice bridge between the two albums. Jambi continues the theme but feels more tribal, mainly due to Adam Jones's insteresting triplet based riff.
Fans expecting Lateralus II may be disappointed. Anyone with no preconceptions of what this album *should* sound like will be rewarded with one of the finest pieces of music to be released this decade.
Tool once again display absolute mastery of their craft. Polyrhtyhmic, dense, atmospheric, painfully personal lyrics healthily mixed with trademark cynicism.
Tool sound like an army rather than a band, the production is first rate and while Maynard's voice is less prominent in the mix this time around, the quality of his voice is staggering. His range seems to have improved as well (espec. on "The Pot")
I bought this cd, put it in my player and thought "not sure".
5 listens later and I have to say it is one of the most intense and complete musical "trips" I have encountered since....oh I don't know.....the last Tool album ;)Buy it.
on 7 May 2006
There seems to be a tendency to compare 10,000 Days to other Tool material, however I urge the discerning music-lover to ignore all the comparisons and approach each album individually. Tool has managed, yet again, to push the boundaries and deliver a truly amazing album that deserves your time. It may not 'make sense' on the first few listenings, but persevere and you will enter a world of musical mastery unlike anything you will have experienced before. And one from which you will never look back. Whether you are into rock, metal, 'progressive' (whatever that really is), industrial or whatever - this album should be in your collection. You will read other reviews picking apart each and every track, but I strongly urge you not to take any notice, buy this album, stick it in your CD player and listen to it non-stop from beginning to end. Then, and only then, start to make sense of it yourself. The less pre-conceptions you have about this album (and any Tool album) the better. What you think of 10,000 Days is all that matters, and with Tool especially you're unlikely to come to exactly the same conclusions as someone else.
All I will say is that you will not be disappointed.
on 21 August 2006
Tool were always in a league of their own due to sounding like no other band that came before them and as a consequence defining a whole genre of heavy rock. "10000 Days" is the follow-up to the awesome "Lateralus" which was their biggest achievement musically as well as commercially.
Although "10000 Days" is in the same vibe as its predecessor there are elements in it which constitute a progression from the former. Tool with 1000 Days have been more experimental and "progressive" than ever. This is evident in songs like the title track and "Wings for Marie ( part 1 )" - which form a continuum dealing with the recent loss of Maynard James Keenan's mother. There are also the more accessible songs of the album - like the brilliant "Vicarious" ( probably Tool's best ever single ) as well as the second single "Pot". The rest of the album is comprised of highely experimental tracks like "Rosetta Stoned" and its thematic "filler" "Lost Keys ( Blame Hoffman )" as well as the superb "Right On Two" - among others.
Likewise, the performances of the musicians here are as good as ever. Much has been said about Maynard's vocals - I personally think they are brilliant and add a different dimension to the songs. He certainly hasn't "lost his voice" as he can still provide powerful vocals when required ( see: "Pot" ) while he is also capable of ranging his vocal style in order to fit the atmosphere of the diverse material. His lyrics are as poignant as ever - dealing with tough subjects again - but without sounding "cheesy" in the least. Kerry's , Chancellor's and Jones' performances are also immense. Most of the guitar riffs, bass lines, and drum solos - in particular - are awe-inspiring. In short, the brilliant songwriting is accompanied by brilliant performances. Finally, the artwork of the package is one of a kind.
To sum up, Tool with this album belong to the pantheon of the best rock bands of all time - as labelling them as metal might be limiting their scope somewhat. Highly recommended, and definitely NOT a downer.
on 15 April 2008
I tend to agree with Mikey all this pontification about what Tool songs mean or don't mean or whether tool is a metaphor for living a certain way blah blahblah is pointless. I am a massve Tool fan and have seen their musical scale and scope grow since the early nineties into what has to be said a fantastic album in 10,000 days which is a real grower unfairly criticised by a lot of you on Amazon early on release but......... I don't hang on their every word, know all their views on climate change, when they were born or whether they talk in riddles and nor do I look for little gimmicky types of hippyesque quotes or stuff from the band. The most important thing is that the music is so unique that it moves you just like opera does. I can't speak Italian or understand the lyrics of some operas but still feel the power of arrangements or muscial changes. So, it is the same with Tool who have an unbelieveably diverse and distinctive vocalist like Maynard. Tool just work musically. They are one of those phenomena. I can't wait to listen to Tool most days, they excite me musically, but I don't for one minute think that we should worship at the altar of Tool and put them on a pedastal. I've got a feeling that most of the fans actually think they are a load of xxxxxxx but all I am interested in that they continue to produce music of the quality they can in the existing dire musical scene of drivel and mediocrity.
I also think that it is about time they actually produced a high quality live dvd recording for the fans that have bought their music and followed their progress for years, if indeed they are bothered. I hope it isn't arrogance or a sense of skewed commercialism that is stopping them from doing this as most fans I speak to want this. They will undoubtabley be referenced as one of the greatest bands of recent years and for years to come, they deserve it for their music, they are just excellent and I can't think of a tool song I can't listen to but lets have a little restraint on the fan worship and over analysing that typifies a lot of Tool fans
on 1 May 2006
You're going to be a bit disappointed when you first hear this. But the same was true of Lateralus. Tool has evolved again, and again it's a little bit of an effort to shift with them. The album starts out with Vicarious, which goes straight into the song. No tantric intro, no ethnic sounds. The sound is instantly recognisable as Tool and the theme is straight forward enough, but you get the idea that Tool have got rid of the "them and us". Maynard is actually singing about himself, you and me. It's not the derisory sneer of Aenema, far more confessional. Jambi comes in hard. I'm not hooked on it yet, but sure that it will grow. The centre of the album is the two part Wings for Marie/10,000 Days. It is simply stunning. Together the songs rack up over quarter of an hour, but they fly past as the themes repeat and build, until you get the trademark Tool pay-out. The Pot starts out with some very unusual vocals. It's going to be hard to accept that you'll grow to love them, but give it a chance, you will.Next comes the only problem with the album, quite a large stretch of filler. Lipan Conjuring and Lost Keys are both filler tracks, although Lost Keys has quite a poignant theme to it and leads well into Rosetta Stoned which has the new lyric for the teens to cheer (God damn, s**t the bed). To me it doesn't quite fire, and is the only song on the album where you start to notice the length. Intension is a good prelude to Right In Two, which is back to the excellent level you expect from Tool. Viginti Tres finshes the album off with the trademark Tool creepy outro theme. I think this one might be the scariest yet. Frightens me anyway. Overall the album is stunning, the only downside (though not enough to warrant removing a star) is that there doesn't seem to be much of it. Whereas Lateralus seemed to be jam packed with music, walking away after listening to 10,000 Days you feel there's one song missing somewhere. In the same way as Aenema lost it's way somewhat after 46&2 and then picked up later aropund Push-It, 10,000 Days seems to meander a little in the middle before finding its feet again for Right In Two. The album as a whole though is centred around the Title track, and it has to be Tool's finest moment. Hands down. This isn't the angsty, angry Tool. Teens are going to find it tough to associate with the emotions in the album. As evidenced by the rather dodgy band shots (nice packaging by the way), Tool are getting older, and the music is travelling with them. One for the old fans perhaps.
on 20 September 2007
Stating from the outset that I'm a Tool fan: Saw them in 2002 in Canberra and they we're bloody amazing. It was loud, (undeniably so - even the young kids in the audience were stuffing tissues in their ears - me, an older and wiser monkey came prepared with the industrial ear-plugs I take with me to every gig these days). There was an arrogance to the band which appealed to me, they didn't play to the punters, they played their wonderful music and left me feeling a buzz I hadn't felt from a live gig for years.
That was the Lateralus tour and that album was my favourite until 10 000 days.
Opening tracks seem to be Tool's strong point (The Grudge on Lateralus was brilliant); Vicarious is another step up. An incredible opener. You just finish Vicarious and are hanging open-mouthed when Jambi pummels the ears and brain. Good stuff keeps coming with the extended Wings for Marie/10 000 Days - a brooding and emotional piece which charts the 27 years from the initial stroke and paralysis to death of Maynard's mother. The Pot's another bunker-blaster. Other very listenable tracks include the penultimate Right in two. Unfortunately the CD ends with the anti-climactic Viginti-tres. Tool do have a (annoying to me) habit of adding filler tracks - nothing much happens for five minutes. A pity as it takes off a point. However, the whole package outweighs this minor whinge for me. An amazing CD and for me Tool's best.
on 6 February 2007
Let me start this review by saying I'm not just some crazy Tool fan who would give this album 5 stars no matter what (I would actually give it 4and a half...but it's better than a 4!). 10,000 Days really is an incredible record.
The general theme of religion runs through the album and it has been tackled with the level of subtelty and depth we have come to expect from Tool. As with their other records this one works best when listened to as a whole. The interluding soundscape tracks, which have received criticism from some quarters, work really well when taken as part of the whole package and serve almost as a reflection of the track before and an introduction for where things will go next.
The production on 10,000 days is worth a mention. It's tight and yet the album has an almost organic sound, the drums particularly sound great. Some of Danny Carey's drumming here is perhaps his best work (and thats saying something!)
Much like their other releases this is a record which needs to be digested over time, it's not an album of 3 minute radio friendly sing-alongs (but then you knew that!). I would suggest putting on a good pair of headphones and really listening hard-it's a genuinely rewarding experience.
The only reason I would give it 4 and a half stars if I could is because 5 stars, to me, are for all time greatest albums..Pink Floyd-Wish You Were Here for example..10,000 days comes very close and maybe in time I will put it up there with Floyd and co but for now it still hasn't quite sunk in enough.
Summing up I would say this is a brilliant record, typical Tool-clever, inventive, well written and beautifully packaged. Buy it and absorb it, it will keep amazing you.