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Bob Waliszewski

Album Review

Pro-Social Content

As if inspired by Matthew 18:21-22, “The Grudge” urges listeners to forgive others. A love’s embrace brings joy on Parabol.” “Schism” seeks to bolster a relationship through improved communication. Hunting for purpose in life, lead singer Maynard James Keenan acknowledges a bigger picture (“Lateralus”) and wants to crucify his ego (“Reflection”). Patience, perseverance and hope for a better day buoy “The Patient.” Three tracks are entirely instrumental.

Objectionable Content

Curious theology finds the band longing to “swing on the spiral of our divinity and still be human” (“Lateralus”). A mild profanity disrupts the paranoid ramblings of “Faaip de Oiad.” Angry at human parasites, a man berates them on “Ticks and Leeches” (once using the f-word) and hopes they suffer for the pain they’ve caused.

Summary Advisory

The music remains foreboding, but Tool’s lyrics have brightened considerably since 1996’s Ænima. Of course, “Ticks and Leeches” leaves a nasty scar (so much for not holding a grudge) and while it’s not reflected in the band’s lyrics, their oft-reported fascination with the occult may color otherwise innocuous searches for meaning in life. Nevertheless, Lateralus]marks a dramatic improvement for the act that has Ticketmaster using a stopwatch to see how long it takes them to sell out concerts (three minutes in Atlanta; sixty seconds in New York). Pray that, in the musicians’ search for truth, God sharpens Tool.

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Bob Waliszewski