So after lining up for the midnight release (and boy was there a line) I finally got the latest installment of the Tool saga.
I’ve only had one listen end to end and tried to absorb as best I can. This release is more layered than previous, mixing in the rocky tunes of Aenima/Undertow with the abstraction/new direction that Lateralus achieved. Its a refinement more than a new sound but thats not a bad thing.
There is much going on at once, I felt throughout listening that I was listening to a Pink Floyd type record, long tracks, interesting segments/interludes, it is definetely a great journey end to end.
The vocals were a bit softer, but this give all 4 contributers the chance to equal out the record. I’d kinda say it is a bit harder to listen to (in terms of seeking imagery and meaning) simply because there is so much to it. I’m used to the vocals making (the understanding of) a Tool song for me, but at the same time realising that on 10,000 Days, everything appears to be on more equal footing and it really does work. (and perhaps that I should learn more musical understanding to fully appreciate the process behind that work.)
Once I’ve listened a few times, I’m sure the tapestry will start to make itself more accessible. There is so much to it, where do you start? How do you do justice to it all? Will you get to take it all in? Have you ever taken everything in from the previous records?
Just like one of the punters collecting the CD last night said “See you all in another 6 years”, I think in this case, most easily, Tool have bought their time well. Whether it will take you a shorter or longer period than the last to digest, this one feels much more intense – time will tell whether it is a bright spark that will die out the quickest or whether the tapestry will keep us enthralled/imaginative/appreciative/understanding/content until the next record (I know its the later, my pesimism feels the need to state the former though)
If I could state a favourite bit (with such a limited listening behind me), I would have to say its in the middle of 10,000 Days. There is a music change and Maynard roars about going to the gates (of the heaven/holy trinity?) to take back/give back what they have deserved for their injustices. That part just blew me out of the water, the endorphins kicked in for sure, I was awake, in total ecstasy and thinking my god, this is the shit.
I heard the Triple J interview yesterday where Maynard was talking about their song writing process (again) and he mentioned about how the songs are refined from the jams, they collect the bits where their hairs stand on end and work backwards to find the emotion that created it. I can understand and attest that without any assistance or external provacation, that this record does that. I can only imagine (and will experience over the course of digesting this record in the next few years) that there are a billion more of these moments hidden within and I can’t wait.
Half the time I was in a self induced hypnosis while listening to this record. Perhaps I’m older, less intelligent, have the flu, but it is really something that you need to digest – chew your food before you swallow – perhaps its the fact I’ve got these hypnosis techniques under my belt – my brain didn’t take it all in at once – or rather, my awake consious didn’t take it in – my subconscious was busy experiencing it. My endorphins worn out (is that possible?), my mind taking part in recreational neuroscience and the mental gymnasium has ripped my brain muscle and is craving more work with the new Tool machine.
Somewhere in this blog, I should mention the packaging. Tool have found a way to make a CD case into a viewmaster. Google around for some images and you’ll see what I mean. The 3d imagery is fun to watch. I’m trying to see the meaning of the images standalone without trying to integrate their position within the record, again so much to take in…
These are only my first comments and I’m sure much will be revealed and change in the future. Don’t flame me if you don’t agree, I’m sure we’ll have moments when we see I to eye or we are like ships passing each other on the wrong side. For now I’m just “thank god you are here”, the reason which gave Tool the motion to make this record and “thank god you are here” that there is another soul experiencing this too.