“10,000 Days” by Tool

Artist: Tool
Title: “10,000 Days”
Label: Volcano Records
Release Date: 5/2/2006
Genre: Heavy Metal/Progressive
Rating: 7.5/10

The first thing about the long awaited Tool CD that grabbed my attention was the packaging. Yes, that’s right I said the packaging. Ok, I know it is about the music, but true to form Tool once again has some top notch package design going on courtesy of Adam Jones. Just like the vinyl albums of the past with intricate record jackets – the 10,000 Days CD gives you the complete experience of opening up the disk and going…? WTF, Oh Cool! It’s much more than the music with Tool as it’s a nice introduction to the band and something to set the mood. You don’t get this vibe from downloading MP3s. The case has two lenses in a folded flap which magnify the eyes of a Tribal tri-face illustration. Then when you open it up there are pages of double images that can be viewed through these lenses. Basically the CD case folds out to become a Stereoscope, on which 3D images can be viewed. Flip the pages and the fun begins as you browse through a series of 3D illustrations, band member photos, and some strange stuff typical of Tool which can be stared at after or while the music plays. Where’s the bong?

The Music upon first impression is definitely Tool as I have come to expect them. Their previous albums have varied a bit and gone in different creative directions, however 10,000 Days sounds almost too familiar. It seems like Tool has decided to work within their previously defined style with songs that remind the listener of stuff they already know. It’s similar, yet it is slightly different and while there are some subtle creative advances it will take a few listens for you to catch them and they will become more apparent with additional listens.

10,000 Days is very rhythmically driven and Danny Carrey’s drumming is a highlight on this CD. He and Bassist Justin Chancellor are the force that propels 10,000 Days. Adam Jones is trying to keep things fresh with some new sounds, by taking a sort of guitar solo on “Jambi”, using a talk box. Think Pink Floyd “Pigs (Three Different Ones)”, but heavier and meaner. Maynard Keenan’s vocals seem a bit distant and almost faint in comparison to the very upfront guitars in the mix. Even though Keenan is not as upfront in the mix, his presence is powerful and highly musical as he weaves interesting vocal melodies through the bands rhythmic diversity.

Some may feel that 10,000 Days is a bit repetitive and has to many filler tracks. “Lipan Conjuring”, “Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)”, and “Viginti Tres” could easily fit into this category yet I like to think that they add to the mood of the Album. I did not understand why the record closed out with “Viginti Tres”, a seven minute song of pulsing noise but I guess one does need to decompress. As a result of this there are others who might find this a work of genius. I think it is a solid album from a band that knows how to set a mood as well as write some heavy dynamic music. Overall I feel that 10,000 Days gives you a full experience in a CD and it’s a journey that only a full listening will reveal. It has familiarity but offers something new as well so don’t put any expectations on it – just absorb it. It merits repeat listens which make me feel that this is another excellent offering by Tool.

Editor’s Note: Aiming to have you enjoy the experience of the Tool CD all the more, Joe K. reached deep into the world of Mr. Wizard and found some stereoscope information for you. Its pretty wild stuff and leave it to Tool to make use of it on a CD.

Track Listing:
1. Vicarious
2. Jambi
3. Wings For Marie (Pt. 1)
4. 10,000 Days (Wings Pt. 2)
5. The Pot
6. Lipan Conjuring
7. Lost Keys (Blame Hoffman)
8. Rosetta Stoned
9. Intension
10. Right In Two
11. Viginti Tres

Official Website: www.toolband.com

Here is some info on Stereoscopes

Sir Charles Wheatstone, 1838, popularized by Oliver Wendell Holmes,


Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum http://www.cprr.org/Museum/Ephemera/Stereo-Viewers.html

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