Descending

We haven’t had any Tool for a while. I have to say that their new album (released last year) is one of my favorites. Their music is complicated in a way that most Rock and Roll, just isn’t. From their rejection of 4/4 time, to the subject matter of their songs. This isn’t your typical Rock and Roll.

You can find the lyrics at this link.

This song is “Descending” by Tool from their 2019 album Fear Inoculum.

Schism

One of the things I love about the Progressive Metal band Tool, is that they don’t feel constrained to write songs in 4/4 time. For you non-musicians, that is the meter you find in much more than 90 percent of rock music. Some bands I wonder if they know anything else. “Schism” is definitely not in 4/4 time.

The song begins with two bars of 5/4, followed by one bar of 4/4, followed by bars of alternating 5/8 and 7/8, until the first interlude, which consists of alternating bars of 6/8 and 7/8.

The following verse exhibits a similar pattern to the first, alternating bars of 5/8 and 7/8. The next section is bars of 6/4 followed by one bar of 11/8. This takes the song back into alternating 5/8 and 7/8. Another 6/8 and 7/8 section follows, and after this the song goes into repeating 7/8 bars.

But that’s not the end of it.

The other thing to love about Tool, is the way the lyrics are crafted. (See this link.) This song is about how a communication breakdown will doom any relationship.

This song is “Schism” by Tool from their 2001 album Lateralus.

Sober

“Why can’t we not be sober?”

Tool doesn’t play well with the tiny minds in the American Music industry. They’ve been censored any number of times, and they insist on privacy. For that relationship alone I could love them. But I do like a lot of their music, which is usually categorized as Alternative Metal.

Tool released an album at the end of August, 2019, Fear Inoculum. As a result of that release, I’ve been revisiting songs, which I liked, but haven’t listened to in a while.

This song is “Sober” by Tool from their 1993 album Undertow. It was the first single released from that album and reached number 13 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock chart. You can find the lyrics at this link. It deals with the issue of how an addiction can destroy the people around the addict.

Lately YT has been playing nicely with my browser’s privacy settings, but if that changes, use the link provided.

The Grammys STILL Don’t Understand Metal

Because the suits in the entertainment industry have no vision. Have The GRAMMYs Finally Accepted True Metal?.

Historically, the Best Metal Performance GRAMMY is kind of a joke. When the award was first introduced as the Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal in 1988, and was given to Jethro Tull over Metallica, it was an announcement to the world that the GRAMMYs didn’t understand the world of heavy music other than that it was enough of a money-maker that it had to be acknowledged.

If you are completely without a clue, Jethro Tull was NEVER Heavy Metal or Hard Rock. They were the height of Progressive Rock. They had flute-player out in front a good part of the time. See Living In The Past if you’re confused on the subject.

This year they stiffed Tool for “Best Heavy Metal Performance” on “7empest,” and recognized High On Fire, a Thrash Metal band. Of course they did. They ignored Lacuna Coil’s Black Anima album. Mastodon’s cover of “Stairway to Heaven,” Delain, and their 2019 album Hunter’s Moon. (Oh no, are some of those European? What a shock, when the American companies won’t support Metal. Even Kamelot – from Tampa Bay – has to go to Europe for a record label.) They don’t understand metal. They never will. It isn’t clean, and fun. People sing about pain, grief, growing old, you know… Life. And besides isn’t all Metal Thrash? You mean there’s more than one kind? Fucking Idiots.

“Angels on the sideline, Puzzled and amused.”

Tool’s lyrics are always interesting, which is part of their appeal, and the song “Right In Two,” from their album 10,000 Days was not an exception to that rule. And their songs have been all over my playlists since I started obsessing over their new album.

Angels on the sideline,
Puzzled and amused.
Why did Father give these humans free will?
Now they’re all confused.

All of the lyrics can be found at this link.

This song is “Right In Two” by Tool from their 2006 album 10,000 Days. (If YT trips over anything and says the video is unavailable, try the link.)

Ænema

Tool is a Progressive Metal band, though it is hard put that square peg into one of the round holes created by the suits in the American music industry. (The Wiki lists them in different ways in different places.) What they are is a Progressive Rock band with a Heavy Metal foundation. (They do have one of the best drummers in all of Rock, after all.)

Anyway, after I concentrated for a while on their new album, which was released in August, a bunch of their older stuff started showing up in my “recommended” tracks on my streaming services. I both love the chorus of this song…

It’s a bullshit three ring circus sideshow

[Chorus]
Of freaks here in this hopeless fucking hole we call L.A.
The only way to fix it is to flush it all away
Any fucking time, any fucking day
Learn to swim, see you down in Arizona Bay

And this verse that appeals to the prepper in me.

Some say a comet will fall from the sky
Followed by meteor showers and tidal waves
Followed by fault lines that cannot sit still
Followed by millions of dumbfounded dipshits

Full lyrics at this link.

This song is “Ænema” by Tool from the 1996 album Ænima. (And yes, they really are spelled differently.)

On the subject of “Arizona Bay.” (See the lyrics.) Bill Hicks and “Goodbye you lizard scum.”

How About a Drum Solo to Start Your Day?

OK, so Tool should be on Metal for Mondays, but since I make the rules, I can break the rules. And Danny Carey is one of the best Rock drummers. Ever.

So he deserves some attention, and this song has one thing to do, which is highlight Carey’s mastery of his craft.

This song is “Chocolate Chip Trip” by Tool from their August, 2019 album Fear Inoculum.

I haven’t enjoyed drum work this much probably since Carl Palmer.

Fear Inoculum

So after some legal difficulties, and a family issue or two to distract members of the band, Tool released a new album on August 30th of this year. Their first album since 10,000 Days which came out in 2006. It seems cliche to feature the title song on an album, but that was the decision Tool made. It came out as the first single. And it might be my favorite song from the album. If I had to pick. But that is always subject to change.

Tool is listed as “alternative” or Progressive Metal. They are Progressive Rock with a Heavy Metal foundation. Most people who listen to Rock all but ignore the drummer. That would be a mistake in this case because Danny Carey is one of the best drummers in Rock (of any flavor). He is always doing something unexpected. But then the other 3 guys are also unexpected.

Spin has some very nice things to say. Tool’s Fear Inoculum Is a Transcendent Return. (And the whole article is worth a look.)

Tool have never followed the structures or strictures of pop music, but still, there is something surprisingly accessible about the album’s overall effect. The title track begins disarmingly with a repeating three-note pattern, evoking Philip Glass as much as Metallica, slowly building into a work of somber beauty and grandeur.

Oh, and Every Song on Tool’s Fear Inoculum Has Placed in the Top 25 of Billboard’s Top Rock Songs Chart. And the album charted globally at #1 on its debut.

This song is “Fear Inoculum” from their August, 2019 album Fear Inoculum. It was released as the first single ahead of the album. It is the longest song to chart on the Billboard 100. (It’s 10 minutes and change, so grab the beverage of your choice.) Lyrics for the song can be found at this link. (It is Metal after all.) The drum work by Danny Carey is superb.

It took a long time to get this posting, considering the album was released August 30th, and the single closer to the 1st of the month. But it is an album worth a good listen. And it makes me want a really top-notch set of headphones. Like I said, Progressive Rock with a Heavy Metal foundation.