Tool - 10,000 Days (Review Part 1)
10,000 Stars, for 10,000 Days
Tool, one of the most innovative, creative and mind-bogglingly intelligent metal bands of their generation.
They formed in Los Angeles, California 1990 and with 4 ground-breaking albums under their belt they have constantly honed and evolved their sound over their sixteen year career. Their debut album "Undertow" was purely focused on delivering a dark metal sound that Tool fans have grown to love.
It wasn't until their 2001 release "Lateralus" that Tool decided to dabble into much more progressive art (visual and audio), implementing complex time signatures and geometrical sequences into their music. The success of "Lateralus" lead to Tool winning a Grammy in 2002 for 'Best metal performance' for the song "Schism".
It has been five long years since Tool released their progressive metal masterpiece 'Lateralus'. The album was full with genius rhythm beat downs from drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor. Sharp, heavy guitar hooks from Adam Jones and incredibly impressive vocals/lyrics from Maynard James Keenan.
However, despite the long break between albums, the band has lost none of their talent or creative genius. You will definitely be listening to this album for much longer than 10,000 Days.
The band's members themselves are quickly becoming the most renowned names in progressive music.
Maynard James Keenan has an incredibly versatile vocal range, thumping out everything from sweet, haunting melodies to gut-wrenching howls. Something that many vocalists fail to do is capture the essence of the lyrics in the tone of their voice, Keenan does this time after time.
Justin Chancellor's sharp bass is incredibly prominent throughout all of Tool's music, as he weaves up and down the fret board with ease; laying down deep, imposing bass melodies which are so much more than just simple root notes.
Drummer Danny Carey is often cited as being one of the best metal drummers in the world, he certainly has a lot to show for it. Executing incredibly difficult time signature changes like it is second nature, Carey moves flawlessly around the kit as if it is his second home.
Adam Jones is the sole guitarist in Tool and incorporates harsh, down tuned (drop D), power chords and off-beat rhythms into his playing. He also uses a variety of effects in his playing such as a talk box, delay and flange.
Vicarious: No fancy introduction here. Adam Jones jumps straight in with a steady, palm muted, 5/4 riff. The intro builds for about 45 seconds until the crushing guitar riff drops and Danny Carey delivers a beautifully syncopated drum beat working all around the kit. Keenan's voice ranges from softer chimes "Why can?t we just admit it"? to crushing near-screams 'I need to watch things die, from a distance.'
On the subject of everyone's obsessions with horrific news stories. This song also features probably the best breakdown in prog metal.
Jambi: Probably the heaviest song on the album. Adam Jones and Justin Chancellor instantly thread through each other's riffs in a complicated 9/8 timing. Adam Jones utilities a talk box effect for the solo, a clear influence from older artists such as Pink Floyd and Peter Frampton. Meanwhile through this masquerade of technicality Maynard Keenan sings about wanting to wish some things away completely.
Wings For Marie (Part 1): Part one of the seventeen minute-long epic "wings". This song starts out incredibly slowly with a soft, spooky bass drone. A clean guitar riff then pans continuously left and right. Maynard Keenan softly sings about his mother Marie ("Didn't have a life, but surely saved one?") who was paralyzed by a cerebral aneurism until she died 27.4 years (10,000 days) later. The song picks up briefly in a heavier phrase which only lasts around 30 seconds.
10,000 Days (Wings Part 2): Beginning, much like Wings part one, with a soft bass line with sounds of thunder and rain faintly in the background.
Adam Jones uses slight bended legato notes which adds to the whole 'stormy' feel of the song. At first Keenan's voice is soft, coinciding with Danny Carey's light cymbals, as he chimes "None of us have actually been there. Not like you."
The intensity of the song increases as the storm sound effects volume increase slowly. The song ebbs and flows but reaches its climax around eight and a half minutes in, with Adam Jones breaking into a harsh octave riff, complimenting Keenan's now harsh vocals; "You were my witness, my eyes, my evidence. Judith Marie, unconditional one."
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About The Writer
My name is Andrew Muller. I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story.
If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O'neils home cooking eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham.
Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat Mcdonald's at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot.
I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy. Take a listen to the latest sound here.