At last, after five years of anxiously waiting, we finally get Tool’s latest album! 10,000 Days
(no, not the companion album to Disturbed’s Ten Thousand Fists
and I’m pretty sure it’s not representing the length of time it takes for Tool to make new music) is the latest album from my favorite band in the world, and I couldn’t be any happier. Is this review going to be as biased as the Fox News Channel? You bet your poppy, punk-rock loving booty it’ll be! I can tell you right now this album has already won album of the year and that nothing this year will top it…at least, in my eyes. If you don’t agree with my love of the best musicians of our time and happen to think that Tool has absolutely zero talent, then feel free to send me a hate mail explaining why the latest acoustic, punk, or American Idol wannabe fad is better than Tool, so then I can read it and have my really good laugh for the day. C’mon, these are sad times for your gifted review writer. I’m in need of a good laugh, damn it!
Now that I’ve hopefully gotten rid of the wussy music lovers, you’re probably going to guess this is going to be a positive review, so unlike the occasional pretentiousness Tool can present when you’re listening to one of their filler tracks, I’m going to do the impatient ones a favor and tell you this album is the greatest musical experience since Tool’s last album, Lateralus
, and save you all my over-analysis that’ll undoubtedly have the word “experience” pop up more times than the amount of people who watch American Idol. Get off your chair right now and buy this album if you’re even marginally into these genres: rock, hard rock, metal, progressive, and music in general. If you’re not, read the first paragraph again. If you happen to like Tool and haven’t bought the album yet, then shame on you for not buying this album already.
Tool consists of Maynard James Keenan on vocals, Adam Jones on guitars, Danny Carey on drums, and Justin Chancellor on bass. All of them have had their own separate projects as well, with probably the most popular one being Maynard due to his lead singing talents in A Perfect Circle. Maynard’s moody singing is an interesting mix of darkness and sadness, with anger and rage where appropriate. There have been a couple of imitators of him recently, but none have really been able to stand up to the original. On a maybe negative note, Maynard’s vocals can sometimes be a more acquired taste and therefore isn’t very accessible. Special makeup effects artist Adam Jones’ guitars have always been spectacular featuring brooding and epic solos, and with 10,000 Days
in particular, there’s an almost Pink Floyd flavor to it. Danny Carey is hands down the greatest drummer ever. The only person I think that has ever equaled him is Terence Blanchard’s drummer, Kendrick Scott. Taking note on the bass work, Justin Chancellor’s bass in 10,000 Days
is the most standout bass performance in Tool’s musical career, and it’s a really nice surprise to hear the bass being so prominent this time around.
has many similarities to Tool’s previous albums, although there are some differences in song structure that makes this one sound a tad different than the others. As mentioned before, I at least feel the album has a much more bass heavy sound. This can be seen particularly in “Jambi” where Adam’s grinding guitar work almost seems to merge with Justin’s bass into one singular melody. Furthermore, while Tool has done the epic, progressive rock song numerous times in the past, this album seems to be saturated in it. There’s the two part “Wings for Marie” (“Wings for Marie” and “10,000 Days”), the “Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)/Rosetta Stoned” duo, and “Right in Two.” Also, save for the filler tracks, almost every song clocks in at over 7 minutes. That’s a lot of music and a lot of Tool, so if you’re not into all that, you should probably skip this. One other thing I’ve noticed is that Maynard seems more reserved with his vocals in this album. He’s still there and he’s still singing, but his singing is even more of a background to the music than other previous albums.
I mentioned before that 10,000 Days
has a rather large Pink Floyd feel to it, and while this is probably what should be expected from a band of this caliber, this feel is especially strong in 10,000 Days
. One only needs to listen to “Wings for Marie” and “10,000 Days” to get what I’m talking about here. This may turn off some of the more heavy metal Tool fans, but there are still some of the heavy tunes that Tool’s known for throughout the album (“Vicarious,” “Jambi,” and “The Pot” are the prime examples). For the other fans of Tool, the album is more of a transcendental music experience in the vain of their last excellent album, Lateralus
Filler: the one thing in an album that I almost always skip through. I always see filler as a stupid excuse by the musicians to make their album more cohesive because they ran out of ideas to make more songs. In a nutshell, filler isn’t music and it should never be considered music. If there’s one negative thing about Tool, it’s their consistent use of this damn filler I just defined. Tool’s Ænima
was the guiltiest of this, featuring pointless pieces of babies crying, electricity surging, and German spoken brownie recipes. Lateralus
continued the filler trend with stupid moans and little guitar ditties, although I’m not going to lie when I say “Faaip de Oiad” scared the crap out of me. 10,000 Days
is no exception with Native American jingles (“Lipan Conjuring”) and an extremely annoying blend of sound effects and sinister sounds (the hugely disappointing last track, “Vigniti Tres”). Some would probably argue that “Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)” should be considered filler as well, but I like to think of that one as the intro to “Rosetta Stoned” which is why I mentioned it above along with it.
As a final piece, the actual last two songs, “Intension” and “Right in Two,” can be a mixed bag for the overly critical music listener. “Intension” is probably the weakest song in here, not going anywhere past its reserved musical flow. “Right in Two” is absolutely awesome even if the song starts off in a slower pace than some of the other songs in the album. But take more of a gander of the song and it might just quickly become the best song in the album. I think “Right in Two” works really well as a final song even though the complete crap pile that is “Vigniti Tres” follows this epic.
All that filler not withstanding, 10,000 Days
isn’t the album that made me shift my love for Tool, and it continues to make them look like masters in my eyes. I highly recommend this to the Tool fans that aren’t elitist idiots and anyone else who doesn’t like the crap that’s been spewing out on the radio lately. Here’s to waiting another 10,000 days for the next Tool album.
Adam Aguirre is the chief head of music reviews and has yet to meet an album he absolutely hates and is disgusted by it. Send such offensive "music" material to email@example.com.