TOOL — Ænima (review)

TOOL — Ænima album cover Album · 1996 · Alternative Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Sleepwalker
Ænima is a big leap forward compared to their previous album, Undertow. Tool decided to focus more on creating an atmosphere than on their previous release. This doesn't mean they didn't pay any attention to the music itself though, as most of the music on this album is very good. A rough sound, which has some similarities with Stoner Metal opens the album. "Stinkfist" is a pretty accesible song with slow, heavy riffs. This isn't the only song on this album that isn't conventional metal. Songs like "Eulogy" and "Pushit" have a very atmospheric feel to them, though being very rough and aggresive at times. The album contains several songs that really stand out, like the haunting "Jimmy", the mellow "H.", the mysterious "Forty-Six & 2" and the epic "Third Eye", which is one of the most ambitious pieces of music Tool has ever made . Some of these songs are definitely among the best in Tool's catalogue.

Many people claim this album has a lot of filler and unnecessary material. I haven't heard any of it, though I know what people are pointing at. They are pointing at the several one minute songs that this album features, that are full of strange noises like crying babies, white noise, and strange, electric sounds. These songs are all meant to create a certain atmosphere, and in my opinion they definitely succeed in doing that.

Ænima is a dark and atmospheric album. It is not as diverse as later Tool albums like Lateralus, but has a great atmosphere and contains some of Tool's best songs. I give it a four star rating, as it isn't a masterpiece, but a fantastic album indeed.
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