Tool – Ænima – Review


Ænima (Volcano)
by Rebekah Sue Harris

Hard on the eyes but easy on the ears, Ænima, the latest release by Tool, is marvelous. Pick up the CD, whose jewel case is etched with multiple vertical lines, and move it around to experience the moving eyes designed by Multi Image Packaging: A must for the tripping community (the inserts “move” too!). The swelling guitar at the beginning of the first track, “Stinkfist,” lets you know that you’re in for something special. The whole CD is a wonderful melange of guitar, drum, bass, and vocals that mesh to form reminiscences of everyone from Jethro Tull to Down. If anyone else attempted to sing like Maynard James Keenan, the result would sound like a tunnel; Keenan produces a sound that’s aboriginal and futuristic at the same time. “Third Eye,” the “ultimate extended remix of ‘ænima,'” (Chancellor, the bitchen new bassist) evokes visions of being outside, tanned and naked, in a heathen tribe. You can almost see the birds and feel the sand beneath your feet.

Drummer Danny Carey remarks that, “…no recording can capture what happens in a room with four people who have a similar in it. Especially the way we play,” — there’s a tour I’m awaiting with bated breath. They’re an uncut and unpolished gem, raw and primitive, but as perfect as nature intended.