Lateralus (/ˌlætəˈræləs/[2]) is the third studio album by American rock band Tool, released on May 15, 2001 by Volcano Entertainment. The album was recorded at Cello Studios in Hollywood and The Hook, Big Empty Space, and The Lodge in North Hollywood between October 2000 and January 2001. David Bottrill, who had produced the band's two previous releases Ænima and Salival, produced the album along with the band.

Lateralus
Digital cover is the album cover with the name of the band and album. On physical formats, the cover art for Lateralus, done by artist Alex Grey, features a translucent insert that flips open to reveal the different layers of the human body.
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 15, 2001 (2001-05-15)
RecordedOctober 2000 – January 2001
Studio
  • Cello Studios, Hollywood
  • The Hook, Big Empty Space, and the Lodge, North Hollywood
Genre
Length78:51
LabelVolcano
Producer
Tool chronology
Salival
(2000)
Lateralus
(2001)
10,000 Days
(2006)
Singles from Lateralus
  1. "Schism"
    Released: January 15, 2001
  2. "Parabola"
    Released: 2002
  3. "Lateralus"
    Released: February 2002

Lateralus debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, selling over 555,200 copies in its first week of sales.[3] It received positive reviews from critics, and was later placed at number 123 on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "Definitive 200" list.[4] The album would later achieve double platinum status in the United States and Canada, as well as silver in the United Kingdom and platinum in Australia, and spawned three singles: "Schism", "Parabola", and the title track. "Schism" won the band a Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 2002.[5]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

Lateralus emerged after a four-year legal dispute with Tool's label Volcano Entertainment.[6] In January 2001, the band announced that their new album's title would be Systema Encéphale, and provided a twelve-song track list with titles such as "Riverchrist", "Numbereft", "Encephatalis", "Musick", and "Coeliacus". File sharing networks such as Napster were flooded with fake files bearing the titles' names.[7] At the time, Tool members were outspokenly critical of file-sharing networks in general due to the negative impact on artists that are dependent on success in record sales to continue their career. Keenan had this to say during an interview with NY Rock in 2000: "I think there are a lot of other industries out there that might deserve being destroyed. The ones who get hurt by MP3s are not so much companies or the business, but the artists, people who are trying to write songs."[8] A month later, the band revealed that the new album was actually titled Lateralus (supposedly a portmanteau of the leg muscle Vastus lateralis and the term lateral thinking)[9] and that the name Systema Encéphale and the track list had been a ruse.[10]

CompositionEdit

Lateralus has been described as featuring progressive metal,[11] art rock,[12][13][14] and progressive rock[1][15][16][17] throughout, in contrast to the band's earlier material, which was often labeled alternative metal.[18] In an attempt to summarize the album, Rolling Stone said, "Drums, bass and guitars move in jarring cycles of hyperhowl and near-silent death march ... The prolonged running times of most of Lateralus thirteen tracks are misleading; the entire album rolls and stomps with suitelike purpose."[1] Joshua Klein of The A.V. Club in turn expressed his opinion that Lateralus, with its 79-minute running time and relatively complex and long songs—topped by the ten-and-a-half minute music video for "Parabola"—posed a challenge to fans and music programming alike.[19] Drummer Danny Carey said, "The manufacturer would only guarantee us up to 79 minutes ... We thought we'd give them two seconds of breathing room."[20] Carey aspired to create longer songs like those by artists he grew up listening to. The band had segues to place between songs, but had to cut out a lot during the mastering phase.[20]

Drummer Danny Carey sampled himself breathing through a tube to simulate the chanting of Buddhist monks for "Parabol",[21] and banged piano strings for samples on "Reflection".[21] "Faaip de Oiad" samples a recording of a 1997 call on Art Bell's radio program Coast to Coast AM.[22] "Faaip de Oiad" is Enochian for The Voice of God.

"Disposition", "Reflection", and "Triad" form a sequence[1] that has been performed in succession live with occasional help from various tourmates such as Mike Patton, Dave Lombardo, Buzz Osborne, Tricky, and members of Isis, Meshuggah, and King Crimson.[23]

The title track incorporates the Fibonacci sequence.[24] The theme of the song describes the desire of humans to explore and to expand for more knowledge and a deeper understanding of everything. The lyrics "spiral out", refers to this desire and also to the Fibonacci spiral, which is formed by creating and arranging squares for each number in the sequence's 1,1,2,3,5,8,... pattern, and drawing a curve that connects to two corners of each square. This would, allowed to continue onwards, theoretically create a never-ending and infinitely-expanding spiral. Related to this, the song's main theme features successive time signatures 9/8, 8/8, and 7/8.[25] The number 987 is the sixteenth integer of the Fibonacci sequence.[26]

"Eon Blue Apocalypse" is about Adam Jones' Great Dane named Eon, who had died from bone cancer.[27] The track "Mantra" is the slowed-down sound of Maynard James Keenan gently squeezing one of his cats.[28]

PackagingEdit

The artwork was done by artist Alex Grey, who would later design the 3D edition cover for the band's next album 10,000 Days (2006). The insert is translucent and flips open to reveal the different layers of the human body. Disguised in the brain matter on the final layer is the word "God".

ReleaseEdit

Lateralus was released on May 15, 2001 by Volcano Entertainment. Just as Salival was initially released with several errors on the track listing, early pressings of Lateralus had the ninth track incorrectly spelled as "Lateralis".[6] The original title of "Reflection" was "Resolution" before being changed three months prior to the album's release.[7] The track listing is altered on the vinyl edition, with "Disposition" appearing at track 8. Because of the long running time, the double vinyl edition could not be released like the disc since the songs would not fit on each disc side in that order. By moving "Disposition" to an earlier point, the sides were balanced and could fit the material. However, this edit breaks the segue that occurs between "Disposition" and "Reflection" which, along with "Triad", are often grouped together.

The album was a commercial success in the United States, debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200[29] and selling over 555,200 copies in its first week of sales.[3] On August 5, 2003, the album was certified double platinum by the RIAA. On April 30, 2010, it was certified gold by the BPI for sales of 100,000 in the United Kingdom.[30] In addition, Lateralus was certified platinum by the ARIA[31] and double platinum by MC.[32]

The "double vinyl four-picture disc" edition of Lateralus was first released as a limited autographed edition exclusively available to fan club members and publicly released on August 23, 2005. Two music videos were produced; one for "Schism" (with the short ambient segue "Mantra" at the beginning) and one for "Parabol/Parabola". These were subsequently released as two separate DVD singles on December 20, 2005, featuring remixes of the tracks by Lustmord.

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic75/100[33]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [15]
Entertainment WeeklyB−[34]
Kerrang!5/5[35]
Los Angeles Times    [36]
NME7/10[37]
Pitchfork1.9/10[38]
Q     [39]
Rolling Stone     [1]
USA Today    [40]
The Village VoiceC[41]

Lateralus was met with generally favorable reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from critics, the album received an average score of 75, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 15 reviews.[33] Many critics noted the album's ambition and ability to confound listeners, with Spin's Ryan Rayhil summarizing it as a "monolithic puzzlebox".[42] In a review for AllMusic, Rob Theakston said that "Lateralus demands close listening from the first piece onward, as it becomes quickly apparent that this is not going to be an album one can listen to and accept at face value. Complex rhythm changes, haunting vocals, and an onslaught of changes in dynamics make this an album other so-called metal groups could learn from."[15]

Writing for Drowned in Sound, Terry Bezer compared Lateralus to the band's previous album Ænima, calling it "more focused and cunning record than its predecessors that in many ways puts everything the band have formerly produced into perspective."[43] David Fricke of Rolling Stone also measured the album up to earlier works from the band's oeuvre; "Tool have everything it takes to beat you senseless; they proved it on 1993's Undertow and their 1996 Grammy-winning beast, Ænima. Here, Tool go to extravagant lengths to drown you in sensation."[1] In a review for Kerrang!, Dave Everly said, "it's the most perfectly played, perfectly produced record you're likely to hear this or any other year," and called it "one of the greatest albums you'll hear in your lifetime."[35][44] Andy Capper of the NME wrote, "Lateralus has added a little more colour to their palette of chanting, drumming and high drama. Singer Maynard James Keenan has been unaffected by the comparative tunefulness of his side project A Perfect Circle, while the stripped-down nature of the instrumentation means that Tool's innate heaviness shines out in a world of production tricks and dodges. There's no trickery - Tool's progressiveness is all their own work."[37]

Some reviews of Lateralus were more critical than others. Writing for Pitchfork, Brent DiCrescenzo claimed that "With the early new century demanding 'opuses', Tool follows suit. The problem is, Tool defines 'opus' as taking their 'defining element' (wanking sludge) and stretching it out to the maximum digital capacity of a compact disc."[38] Reviewing the album for the Village Voice, essayist Robert Christgau lambasted the album, calling it "meaning-mongering for the fantasy fiction set."[41] Blender described the album as sounding like "Black Sabbath jamming with Genesis at the bottom of a coal shaft."[45][46] Despite this, Lateralus would eventually be placed at number 18 on Blender's 2001 "Albums of the Year" list.[47]

AccoladesEdit

Tool received the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance for the song "Schism".[48] During the band's acceptance speech, drummer Danny Carey thanked his parents for "putting up with [him]", and bassist Justin Chancellor concluded, "I want to thank my dad for doing my mom."[49]

Lateralus was named one of the best albums of 2001 by several publications. Alternative Press placed it at number two, Metal Hammer placed it at number four, Terrorizer placed it at number six,[47] Kludge placed it at number two,[50] and Kerrang! placed it at number one.[51] Q also listed Lateralus on its list of the 50 best albums of 2001.[52]

In the years following its release, Lateralus continued to receive several accolades. The album was named one of the best of the 2000s by Consequence of Sound in 2009 and Terrorizer in 2010, and was also placed on Kerrang's "100 Greatest Rock Albums" list in 2006.[47] In 2016, Loudwire named Lateralus the greatest hard rock/metal album of the 21st century,[53] and also placed it at number six on its list of the "Top 25 Progressive Metal Albums of All Time."[54] The album was placed at number 32 on Rolling Stone's list of the "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time",[55] and number 33 on Louder Sound's list of the "Top 100 Prog Albums of All Time".[56]

Publications have also continued to praise the performances on the album. NutSie.com ranked the performance of drummer Danny Carey on the song "Ticks & Leeches" at number three on their list of the "Top 100 Rock Drum Performances".[57]

Track listingEdit

All lyrics written by Maynard James Keenan; all music composed by Adam Jones, Danny Carey, Maynard James Keenan, and Justin Chancellor.

Standard
No.TitleLength
1."The Grudge"8:36
2."Eon Blue Apocalypse" (instrumental)1:04
3."The Patient"7:13
4."Mantra" (instrumental)1:12
5."Schism"6:47
6."Parabol"3:04
7."Parabola"6:03
8."Ticks & Leeches"8:10
9."Lateralus"9:24
10."Disposition"4:46
11."Reflection"11:07
12."Triad" (instrumental – the song "Triad" ends at 6:32, before 2:14 of silence)8:46
13."Faaip de Oiad"2:39
Total length:78:51
Notes
  • On the vinyl version of the album, "Disposition" follows "Parabola".
  • On the first presses of the US CD, "Lateralus" is misspelled "Lateralis" on the tracklist of the outer packaging.
  • On the digital version, "Triad" omits the two minutes of silence at the track's end.

PersonnelEdit

ProductionEdit

  • David Bottrill – production, engineering, mixing
  • Vince DeFranco – neurocistance, engineering
  • Alex Grey – illustrations
  • Statik (Collide) – machines on "Triad"

ChartsEdit

AlbumEdit

Chart (2001) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[58] 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[59] 9
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[60] 13
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[61] 19
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[62] 1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[63] 12
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[64] 7
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[65] 11
French Albums (SNEP)[66] 21
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[67] 5
Italian Albums (FIMI)[68] 22
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[69] 2
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[70] 2
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[71] 1
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[72] 8
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[73] 31
UK Albums (OCC)[74] 16
US Billboard 200[75] 1

SinglesEdit

Year Song Peak chart positions
US
[76]
US
Mod
[76]
US
Main

[76]
NLD[77]
2001 "Schism" 67 2 2 54
"Parabola" 31 10 56
2002 "Lateralus" 18 14
"—" denotes releases that did not chart.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Fricke, David (May 14, 2001). "Lateralus". Rolling Stone. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  2. ^ "Section of MTV Riot Interview with Danny Carey and Justin Chancellor". n.d. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Tool's 'Lateralus' Leads Five Top-10 Debuts". Retrieved October 6, 2016.
  4. ^ "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's "Definitive 200."". n.d. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved February 22, 2011.
  5. ^ "Grammy Award Winners". The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on April 13, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  6. ^ a b Akhtar, Kabir. "The Tool FAQ". toolshed.down.net. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  7. ^ a b Akhtar, Kabir. "Old News. January — March 2001". toolshed.down.net. Archived from the original on April 7, 2013. Retrieved March 6, 2006.
  8. ^ Gabriella (September 2000). "Interview with Maynard James Keenan of A Perfect Circle". NY Rock. Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2006.
  9. ^ Joel McIver (2002). Nu-Metal: The Next Generation of Rock & Punk. Omnibus. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-7119-9209-2. Retrieved January 27, 2008.
  10. ^ D'Angelo, Joe. "Tool Tinker With Album Title, Set Track List". MTV News. MTV.com. Retrieved March 6, 2006.
  11. ^ Reed, Ryan (May 15, 2018). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Tool's 'Lateralus'". Revolver. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  12. ^ "Lateralus review". E! Online. 2001. Archived from the original on December 18, 2003. Retrieved June 18, 2007.
  13. ^ Bond, Laura (2001). "Tool Stretch Out And Slow Down In Show With King Crimson". VH1.com. Retrieved July 19, 2007.
  14. ^ Brett, Milano (2006). "Power Tool: Maynard James Keenan and band craft epic art-metal". Boston Herald. Archived from the original on June 29, 2006. Retrieved May 27, 2006.
  15. ^ a b c Theakston, Rob. "Lateralus – Tool". AllMusic. Retrieved April 28, 2006.
  16. ^ DeRogatis, p. 562.
  17. ^ "Tool : Lateralus". NME. September 12, 2005. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  18. ^ NOISE – Las Vegas Weekly Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Klein, Joshua (May 15, 2001). "Tool: Lateralus". The A.V. Club. Retrieved May 25, 2007.
  20. ^ a b J. R. Griffin (May 2001). "Interview with Danny Carey". Mean Street. p. 26.
  21. ^ a b Ken Micallef (June 2001). "Danny Carey: Demon On Drums". Modern Drummer, transcribed by Ruskin F. for The Tool Page. Retrieved April 17, 2007. I also had a piano that was destroyed. I got some good samples from that, banging on the strings for 'Resolution.'
  22. ^ Jim Abbott (May 24, 2001). "Tool's latest a step ahead of the `metal' mouths". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved April 15, 2008.
  23. ^ Brad Kava (August 13, 2001). "Tool, King Crimson remind audiences how rock should be" (fee required). San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
    "Tool shakes the walls" (fee required). The Roanoke Times. November 5, 2002. Retrieved February 19, 2008.
  24. ^ "Fibonacci in Tool's Lateralus". UpVenue. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  25. ^ "Tool – Lateralus tab". GuitareTab!. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  26. ^ "Fibonacci and extensions". indigo.ie. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  27. ^ "The Tool Page: Articles". toolshed.down.net. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  28. ^ "The Tool FAQ". toolshed.down.net. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  29. ^ "Discography Tool Laterlaus". Billboard.com. Archived from the original on March 11, 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2006.
  30. ^ "Certified Awards Search" (To access, enter the search parameter "Tool"). British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  31. ^ "Accreditations – 2001 albums". Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  32. ^ "Canadian certifications – Tool". Music Canada. Retrieved January 26, 2013.
  33. ^ a b "Lateralus by Tool". Metacritic. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  34. ^ Browne, David (May 25, 2001). "Lateralus". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 24, 2012.
  35. ^ a b Everley, Dave (May 9, 2001). "The Future Starts Here". Kerrang!: 44.
  36. ^ Appleford, Steve (May 14, 2001). "With 'Lateralus,' Tool Reclaims the Good Old Excessive Sound". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 17, 2012. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  37. ^ a b Capper, Andy (May 31, 2001). "Tool : Lateralus". NME. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  38. ^ a b DiCrescenzo, Brent (May 15, 2001). "Tool: Lateralus". Pitchfork. Retrieved April 28, 2012.
  39. ^ "Tool: Lateralus". Q (179): 141. August 2001.
  40. ^ Gundersen, Edna (May 15, 2001). "They're just the right Tool for the thinking headbangers". USA Today.
  41. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (November 27, 2001). "Turkey Shoot 2001". The Village Voice. Retrieved February 24, 2018.
  42. ^ Rayhil, Ryan (April 2002). "The Spin Top 40 (Only Bands that Matter)". Spin. p. 77.
  43. ^ Bezer, Terry (May 14, 2001). "Album Review: Tool - Lateralus". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  44. ^ "Then And Now: Does Tool's Back Catalogue Hold Up?". Kerrang!. August 2, 2019. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  45. ^ "Tool: Lateralus". Blender: 115. July 2001.
  46. ^ "Mixed Critic Reviews for Lateralus by Tool". Metacritic. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  47. ^ a b c "Acclaimed Music - Lateralus". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved August 14, 2019.
  48. ^ "Grammy Award Winners". The Recording Academy. Archived from the original on April 13, 2007. Retrieved April 28, 2007.
  49. ^ D'Angelo, Joe (2002). "Alicia Keys Takes Five, 'O Brother' Gets Most At 44th Grammy Awards". MTV News. MTV.com. Retrieved August 7, 2006.
  50. ^ Perez, Arturo. "Top 10 Albums of 2001". Kludge. Archived from the original on July 22, 2004. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  51. ^ "Kerrang! End Of Year Lists". Rocklist.net. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  52. ^ "The Best 50 Albums of 2001". Q. December 2001. pp. 60–65.
  53. ^ "Top 100 Hard Rock + Metal Albums of the 21st Century". Loudwire. Retrieved June 2, 2016.
  54. ^ Hill, John (August 2, 2017). "Top 25 Progressive Metal Albums of All Time". Loudwire. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  55. ^ "50 Greatest Prog Rock Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. June 17, 2015. Retrieved August 31, 2015.
  56. ^ Henstra, Jeroen. "The 100 Greatest Prog Albums Of All Time: 40-21". TeamRock. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  57. ^ "Top 100 Rock Drum Performances". www.nuTsie.com. Archived from the original on September 12, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  58. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  59. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Tool – Lateralus" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  60. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tool – Lateralus" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  61. ^ "Ultratop.be – Tool – Lateralus" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  62. ^ "Tool Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  63. ^ "Danishcharts.dk – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  64. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Tool – Lateralus" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  65. ^ "Tool: Lateralus" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  66. ^ "Lescharts.com – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  67. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Tool – Lateralus" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  68. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  69. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  70. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  71. ^ "Tool Polish Charting". olis.onyx.pl. Archived from the original on December 7, 2008. Retrieved September 14, 2008.
  72. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  73. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Tool – Lateralus". Hung Medien. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  74. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  75. ^ "Tool Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved August 10, 201.
  76. ^ a b c "Tool Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved August 10, 2019.
  77. ^ "Discografie Tool". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved September 14, 2008.

External linksEdit