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Complex song structures full of surprises, which skillfully combine elements of different genres, mystical, spiritual lyrics and the unmistakably melancholy voice of Maynard James Keenan: we're of course talking about the progressive, high-flying metal band Tool. Without a doubt, the quartet from Los Angeles has been one of the most celebrated bands from the alternative and progressive field since it was founded in 1990.
For over two decades, the guys from Tool have inspired fans, not only with their unique musical style, but also with innovative videos and psychedelic artworks. There are often several years between album releases by the band, but despite this, or maybe even because of it, Tool succeeds time and again in creating a little masterpiece with every studio album. Millions of fans worldwide and numerous awards are just two indicators of the band's ground-breaking success. Tool keep reinventing themselves both visually and musically and have become an integral part of the international metal scene.
Tool managed to polarize audiences with their very first publication, which as well as their signature sound and experimental music videos, included provocative lyrics. "Undertown", released in 1993, the two hits "Sober" and "Prison Sex" on their debut album , which deal with topics such as drug addiction and child abuse, attracted particular attention.
Critics disagreed: was Tool "just" one of many metal bands who wanted to catch fame with critical lyrics, or would Tool revolutionize the music scene? The answer to this question quickly became clear when “Undertown” reached platinum status and made Tool one of the most famous bands of their time almost overnight.
The band's first music video for “Sober” is particularly famous amongst Tool fans, and it still inspires people today with its creative and dark ‘stop-motion’ animations. The video is about a small, human-looking doll that stumbles through a gloomy house and opens a box with ominous contents. The message of the video is not clear and is open to interpretation, but that is exactly what makes it so depressing and very typically Tool!
Music that’s getting more experimental
Three years after their resounding success, Tool returned with their second studio album “Aenima” with an experimental record that again divided the opinions of the music crowds. Whereas some found "Aenima" to be musically confused, others celebrated Tool for having developed their style even further towards art rock. Instrumental sequences between the individual songs, rhythm changes, a mix of progressive and alternative, a labyrinth of chords and haunting lyrics, made the album one of the craziest but surprisingly most successful tool albums. To date, it is the band's best-selling album.
Music that’s worth the wait
It took a while until the third Tool studio album was released, 5 years to be more precise. This was mainly due to the fact that front man Maynard had taken a break from Tool to work on his second project "A Perfect Circle".
In 2001 “Lateralus” was finally released and fans were anything but disappointed, because the long wait was really worth it. An album with 13 songs, including many with complex arrangements and a duration of over 7 minutes, made this album a success too. Despite the very strong surge in Nu-Metal music at the time, Tool still managed to assert themselves with their sound and show fans that they had not lost their relevance, even after the 90s.
Tool came back with a bang from another creative break, with their fourth studio album “10,000”. "The Pot'' and "Vicarious" - two single releases from the album - proved that once again Maynard and his band colleagues still have what it takes. As usual, the album convinced audiences with it’s ambiguous lyrics and diverse musical fireworks, which are now closely associated with the band.
👀 Did you know that the album title Ænima comes from the words "anima”, meaning ‘soul’ in Latin, and "enema", which is a medical procedure to relieve constipation. 👀
After their fourth studio album Tool toured here and there and performed a few live concerts, but their fifth studio album remained a secret for a long time. Finally, on May 7, 2019, during a concert in Birmingham Alabama, the band announced a release date for their latest work ‘Fear Inoculum’, due to be released on August 30, 2019. Their first new work in 13 years, the announcement was staged very proudly with a video that showed not only the album release date but also artistic animations in the typical Tool style.
Singer Maynard James Keenan, guitarist Adam Jones, drummer Danny Carey and bassist Justin Chancellor have once again combined a lot of experimental ideas to create an explosive sound. The band are not known for touring a lot and take it easy when it comes to producing new albums, so to sweeten up the waiting time for eager fans, Tool presented new songs "Descending" and "Invincible" at the Rockville Festival in Florida, which would be on the new record:
Of course, you will find Tool albums on both CD and vinyl at EMP including a spectacular special edition of the album ‘Fear Inoculum’. The album is presented in a three-fold soft pack brochure, which includes a 4" HD screen with exclusive video material, USB charging cable, 2-watt loudspeaker, 36-page book and an MP3 download card - there are also 3 bonus tracks included on the download card. Whether for yourself, or for Christmas or a birthday, Tool albums from EMP are sure to please any fan.
Tool Fan Shop
It’s not just the band's experimental albums that are eccentric and artistic, the album artwork is also very striking and looks great not just on LP covers but also on clothing. That's why you will also find a large selection of Tool shirts and hoodies in the EMP online shop, which, with their elaborately designed motifs, are not only suitable for the next festival, but look great in everyday life.
Even more merch at EMP
Looking for a new outfit from your favourite band, brand or TV series to twirl into the party season? Use our handy lists and check out Band Merch, Fan Merch and Clothing Brands from A-Z, and discover the full range of over 30,000 products available online at EMP now.