View Full Version : Contemporary Symphony

11-19-2002, 11:23 AM
There is a common criticism, apparently, among music fans embelishing themselves in pop culture extravagancy, which supports some notion that Tool songs are drawn out, obnoxiosly processed, and erroniously long versions of the same one song over and over again. This criticism, however, is unsupported; and if supported at all, the source of its ignorance is exactly what declassifies it as valid. Many of those holding this opinion are fanatically accustomed to three and a half minute blips, hardly demo versions of songs and void of any possibility of capturing emotion or musical relevance. These songs, packaged and processed to be force fed to mainstream masses, hardly give music fans holding such Tool criticism any merit at all. Because of an overwhelming amount of vocal criticisms displayed to me lately, I have constructed a theory involving these crticisms, and their irrelevance to the true Contemporary Symphony.

Particularly, there is a stricking similiarity between "Third Eye" and classical music standards from composers with such high relevance as Behthoven and Mozart. Classical music and the symphony structure of sound were standard for much of the later four centuries, and are still widely enjoyed and supported today. It seems as though, however, that much of this culture has lost its ground, evolving into much less intricate values of sound and structure, and basically desintegrating into a noise void of musical formulation. Tool's "Third Eye" dips back into the classical realm, yet tweaks, punks, and bloats classical style into a modernized, morphed version of classic ideals. From the opening verse, with exerpts of Bill Hicks leading into a sweeping guitar staccatto and a flowing bass line accompanied by light stretching vocals, to the heaving chorus, in which distorted vocals rage over screeching guitars and a blunt drum explosion, the song runs its course. It is an emotional ringer, when "so good to see you, I've missed you so much" sways from Maynards vocals over a decrecendo guitar riff and an offbeat, highly timpani like drum beat; then vulgarly and passionately the coarse "prying open my third eye" ressonates through the amplifier and the heartbeat like punch of drums, guitar and bass sink together. It is formulated, much like classical symphony, to embody the entity of music and its every intention. To sweep through time without time as an issue, and to enlighten and inspire those priveledged enough to hear it. Tool's Contemporary Symphony does not end or begin with "Third Eye" yet carries into the entire Lateralus disc and even ressonates in previos releases. The Contemporary Symphony of Tool is undeniably an impressive feat.

To those harboring such criticisms mentioned above, this post is intended to condemn, yet ultimately to educate, in hopes that something other than the length of a song can be used as valid criticism against a musical establishment. And also, this author has a rant to accompany the final paragraph: If you have heard Tool songs on the radio, and are basing your "educated" opinion on limited knowledge, your Pokemon special is on now and I have nothing else to say to you, so go watch and enjoy. If you have heard other Tool songs and have gathered an EDUCATED opinion that such a style is not your bag, then thank you for your opinion, and I hope to talk to you further about this and many other things in the future. If you don't give a fuck, then good, I enjoy musical yes men aggreeing not to disagree.

11-19-2002, 03:45 PM
fireplaceporno, you're my fucking hero =) Well said. This post should be sticky, hehe.


11-19-2002, 10:19 PM
well said indeed. in general, i agree with some of your points: most music today sucks. most of it is underdeveloped, sucking up to the man, post-attention-span-culturalized bullshit. tool does far more than this. third eye is as close to a rock symphony we're likely to get and still want to listen to it. But.

even in the time of mozart and the ludwig van, the symphony was not the only musical form. there were sonatas and conciertos that ran much shorter and had less thematic development. i don't think this is a bad thing, i think it's a bigger range. stemming back to tribal times, repetition and simplicity have played a big part in music, and i don't think there's anything inherently wrong or bourgeois about short songs. there are some damn good ones, some of them by tool.

as for people who make judgements without full knowledge, those of us who see them for what they are find them too small to be worth our while.

i've often thought of 3rd I as a symphony, but i've never been able to properly delineate it. a proper symphony has 4 movements, an introduction and theme, a more moving and energetic upswing, a depressive and somber third, and then a passionate finale. can anyone suggest how to cut up 3rd I like this?

11-20-2002, 01:37 PM
I believe I can.

Introduction: Hicks snippets
Theme: There are at least four that I can think of. There's the slide guitar part in the beginning, the palm-muted riff under the vocals, the octave riff, and the melody that Adam plays behind the bridge.
3rd Movement: This would be the "so good to see you, I missed you so much" part.
Final Movement: "Prying Open My Third Eye"

11-22-2002, 07:21 AM
I couldn't agree more with what you said.
I especially like how you took this from an educated standpoint. It says alot of good about the tool listening community.