TOOL – Undertow [Remastered 2019] *Exclusive*
It finally will happen; after innumerable delays alt-prog-metal heavyweights’ TOOL got their fifth LP ready to be released at the end of the month, 13 years after their last studio album. But there’s more; finally all the band’s catalog has been remastered and it’s available digitally for the first time, 2019.
“Undertow” is Tool’s first album, and my favorite from the band. However it always has been a bit muddier to me than the other albums. Now this remaster fixes a lot of the minor nits it sounds terrific.
For almost 25 years Tool’s hasn’t been available for streaming. The band stated that they doesn’t wanted their work consumed in random pieces, that’s why it wasn’t available on iTunes or Spotify, and they never allowed its recording label to split up its songs into a Greatest Hits collection.
This has changed now… it’s 2019.
Just as grunge was reaching its boiling point and radio-friendly punk-pop loomed on the horizon, Tool released “Undertow”, which firmly reinforced metal’s prominence as a musical style — but lyrically and conceptually it had something to say as well.
Drawing equal inspiration from Black Sabbath, alternative theories of science, and Eastern religions, Tool’s abrasive sonic assault begins from the opening notes and continues through the final moments of the last composition, an open mockery of organized religion and its incapacity for original thought.
With its technical brilliance, musical complexities, and aggressive overtones, “Undertow” not only paved the way for several bands to break through to the mainstream adolescent mall-rage demographic, it also proved that metal could be simultaneously intelligent, emotional, and brutal.
Despite being tagged as alternative rock, I always found Tool’s music much more than that: challenging provoking, always interesting and unexpected. Tool’s music isn’t just dark or perverse; it’s radically ambitious, of a kind not seen since the gatefold double-LP days.
Tool’s four albums to date contain some of the richest, most immersive rock music of the past 25 years. And what should by all appearances be a cult band is actually a mainstream juggernaut: two of these albums debuted at Number One; and all are platinum certified.
If you never heard this band before, these 2019 remastered reissues are the perfect way to start.
01 – Intolerance
02 – Prison Sex
03 – Sober
04 – Bottom
05 – Crawl Away
06 – Swamp Song
07 – Undertow
08 – 4°
09 – Flood
10 – Disgustipated
Maynard James Keenan – vocals
Adam Jones – guitar, sitar on “4°”
Paul D’Amour – bass guitar
Danny Carey – drums
Henry Rollins – guest vocals on “Bottom”
Chris Haskett – sledge hammer on “Disgustipated”