View Full Version : Best Album

11-27-2002, 09:38 AM
I personallt think that this is the best tool album, lyrically (except for a few songs here and there like 3rd Eye, Reflection, C&U, H., Opiate, and others) but all around the lyrics to this album really stick out to me. Flood is possibly one of my favorite songs, Prison Sex has a amazing message, sober well is 'the' hit, Undertow is just an amazing song, Bottom as well is an amazing song, i mean i love this cd, im listeing to it now, and does anyone agree

11-28-2002, 05:04 PM
hmm, no, i can't say i agree with you there. the lyrics are very strong and pretty straight forward, but just listen to lateralus, man! despite the fact that i am wracking my brain to articulate something a bit more intelligent than that, there's nothing else that i can say.

11-28-2002, 05:55 PM
I can't say I like it more than Lateralus either, but I do think it is put together better than Aenima.

11-28-2002, 08:49 PM
I think the thing about the Tool albums is that each of them has a different feel. Personally if I'm in a darker mood Undertow or AEnima usually do it for me. Lateralus is more of an inspiring album to me, and Opiate is just hard and faster.

11-29-2002, 04:25 PM
I've always viewed tool albums as a large cycle... a continuation of ideas from the last one, and depending on the type of person you are, and where you are in your life a specific album will appeal to you ( yet another reason why tool stands out among all the bands i hear). not counting opiate, which is really just a precursor to what came on undertow, you start of with undertow a very dark album, talking alot about the downward spiral ( thinking nine inch nails =P) the fall into darkness, wallowing in guilt, pain and all that fun stuff. then on to aenima where ever since i started listening to it, it felt kind of medical in the way it was presented. almost methodical. there was emotion in it, and yet it felt distant. as I've listened more that kind of faded as i empathized more with the songs but i still feel like the whole ketamine, dissassociative liner notes were important to the album. its an introspective album even though it's angry in places. for me that album is that turning point where you starting to decide what you want to keep and what you want to throw away. stinkfist, trying to feel again, eulogy about following others and nothinking for yourself, H is to deep for me to sum up but suffice to say continues the idea from stinkfist. 46&2 which is about metamorphisis, etc etc. it continues. and then you hit aenima which is nominally about the shithole LA is but seems to be alot more about the useless mindsets so many people put themselves in. ( as you can see aenima is my personal fav >=)
then you have lateralus which is the next step... mending bridges, reconnecting with the world around you further. I wont go into every song but specifically the grudge, parabol/parabola, lateralus and reflections all seem to be part of those ideas.

anyway i guess what I mean to say is that it depends on where you are in your life, and the mood your in... and that certain ideas reoccur over and over from different perspectives and depending on which perspective you identify with, that's the one your like the most. I love flood, but i think aenima is yet another flood ( not to say its repetitive) but a different perspective on the same concept. anywhoo enjoy

11-29-2002, 06:31 PM
I love Undertow, but I don't think it has the same musical depth compared to ÆNIMA or especially Lateralus. Sometimes it seems like just another 4/4 rock album when you're coming down from a ÆNIMA or Lateralus binge.

11-29-2002, 10:40 PM
As far as i'm concerned, it goes like this.

Aenema > Undertow > Lateralus > Salival > Opitate

Undertow is a marevllous album, but you can't beat perfection. I always thought Lateralus was just a bit overrated (depth before substance), although it's an excelent album as well. Salival and Opiate are both good, but Opiate is last, simply because of it's lack of length.

11-29-2002, 10:58 PM
I have loved each album as I have heard it for the first time.

Undertow > Opiate > AEnima > Lateralus > Salival

they are all excellent and i don't think you can really compare them because they almost all have unique sounds to them.


12-01-2002, 01:29 AM
i love them all and it is interesting to see the change tool goes through techniquily as well as creavtivly, i play guitar and love learning tool song and they do get proggessivly harder with each new album but that a good thing.

12-01-2002, 02:23 PM
This is my favorite Tool album.

12-02-2002, 05:59 AM
getting away from the sequencing of favorites and back to the original thought, i would have to say that, as of now, i disagree. likely it's that i'm less familiar with undertow than ænema or lateralus, but also factors are the complexity of the music and variety in sound presented in later albums. the imagery in undertow is interesting, the army and water relative ones in particular to me, but the sinister eloquence of ænema (specifically h., ænima, pushit, and 3rd eye) make it much more of an artistic feat. lateralus, i think, is even more complex musically, and some of the lyrics baffle me when i'm not paying very close attention, but the feeling is something gentler than that of its predecessors and it consequently has a somewhat lesser impact. also the lyrics are much more mature, not so much because they're "cleaner" but because they transcend the more common themes of anger evident profusely in younger musicians. i am currently delving deeper into undertow, though, so maybe given some time i'll come to see more plainly its potential for favoritism.

12-02-2002, 03:33 PM
Although Undertow is darker and has more of a metal tone to it, the emotional quality of the lyrics hits deeper than than the other 2 albums. It seems to tell a story and takes me on a spiritual journey through the darkest corners of the human mind and back out again. At a time in my life when i was depressed and angry, this album helped me rediscover myself through the messages in the lyrics and the haunting melodies. Music affects the emotions. Be they good emotions or bad ones, it doesnt make it any less musical than happy ska music.

12-03-2002, 09:31 AM
well this album is definatly a bit more better put together than i guess i would say Ænima, but NOT lateralus, not by a long shot, but Undertow is just personally a better album.

12-06-2002, 02:41 AM
i feel it and Ænima are superior to lateralus from a song-based point of view...

the 2 are focused and very cohesive, every song has variety but discernable structure...the music is truly classic

lateralus is way too loose to be classic in my eyes, there seems to be a lack of focus musically...

lateralus has incredible moments, gorgeous, ethereal melodies, completely overwhelming dissonance (the grudge) and some triumphant lyrics...but as a whole i don't feel i really stands the the test of time the way Undertow and Ænima have...

12-29-2002, 04:13 PM
To me this is their best album because it catches them between their raw beginnings (Opiate) and their fully developed sound (Aenima). There's a kind of raw innocence into the musical approach of Intolerance and Prison Sex, but later on, as the album draws to a close, the sound becomes more and more uncompromising and creepy, ending with the deeply disturbing Flood and the perverse, twisted Disgustipated. It also has the best intro of all time (Flood), the best use of acoustics in metal (4 degrees) and the best ending of an album (8 minutes of cockroaches followed by a mysterious and weird answering machine message).
It always strikes me that the end of every Tool album (including Opiate and Salival) leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. They always end on a big Fuck You.

12-30-2002, 12:47 AM
I think Tool always completely overshadows their previously release. Each one is three times better than the one that came before it IMO.


Salival doesn't count.

01-17-2003, 04:05 AM
I cant say that a particular album is better than any other, but what you say about Lateralus not standing the test of time, well, for me that doesnt make sense, firstly, it hasnt had that much time to be tested by, and secondly, more importantly, I was never able to lose myself in an album the way i can with Lateralus. I have heard it so many times yet even now I can sit down and just listen the whole way through and just listen, i dont know if that makes it better or worse, its certainly not passive, but I do love it the most. Undertow for me wont be ever quite what Aenema managed to be, but thats not the point, each Tool album has been something beautifully distinct and seperate.

01-17-2003, 02:18 PM
I had liked this album the best for a while, but now I'm getting more into AEnima. Although I can never really have a favorite anything because my opinions on things change often.

01-27-2003, 05:50 PM
I would have to agree that there is not one album that is the greatest. It has greatly to do ,with myself at least, with what mood I am in or just what I want to hear. That is a great thing about Tool though, no matter what kind of mood your in there is an album to match it.

02-04-2003, 11:58 PM
My order

AEnima / Lateralus / Opiate / Undertow / Salival

Undertow used to be my favorite album out of them all, but I guess I wouldn't say that any longer. After countless listening of AEnima, I realize the genious in the messages and composition. Eulogy is also my favorite song, so it's hard not to gravitate back there.

Lateralus is composed so intricately, and unless your some "old school band banger" like the many critics who can't enjoy anything new produced by ANYONE, you realize just how genious songs like the grudge, parabola, lateralus and d/r/t are.

Opiates only fault is that they gave us 6 songs! More would of been better, but I love the 6 they gave us.

Undertow is magnificient as well, but I just like the others better.

Salival is great for understanding the method and layers of music that goes into songs such as Pushit and 3rd eye.

02-17-2003, 05:32 PM
This is my list for the time being...

09-29-2008, 03:42 PM
great, absolutely.

uber-pwning, a matter of opinion...

09-29-2008, 05:22 PM
This thread took off mysteriously...

Also, it's not my favorite Tool album, but that doesn't stop it from being made of titanic quantities of awesomeness.

10-01-2008, 09:27 AM
undertow's great, a groundbreaking work that uber-pwns 10kd and lateralus, comes in a close second to aenema.

Gotta love how dumbass n00bs respond to threads that died years ago

10-08-2008, 05:42 PM
Personally--and I would like to emphasize that so I don't hurt anyone's feelings thru the intertubes ;),

I don't really *want* to choose a favourite Tool album, but if my life depended on it (and my will to live was up to the trivial task) I would choose Undertow as the best album.

Strange because, technically (at least in my mind), it is their first album (Opiate being an E.P.), and I generally (as a rule of thumb) like a band's second album best. Go figure.

Cool, waffle done, now to real explaining... hehehehe...

I think that it defines the feel of the rest of all their music in a way that is very influential, yet also very subtle. I myself am a musician, and I think that (for better or for worse) a trained ear can discern more layers, dichotomies, contrasts, skill, timbre, etc. in music than an untrained one (whether or not that is self-trained is not important, I mean 'instrument trained'). Just my opinion (suspicion, really).

There's something about Undertow that is very subtle, and the way that it is subtle is what makes it so good. I can't tell you what it is exactly. It's more experiential than my vocabulary allows for.

I never used to like Undertow, until I listened to it constantly for about three days (well not literally non-stop), and then... a 'penny dropped', if you will.

Just to give you an example of this ephemeral 'subtlety' (executed in classic Tool style), play 'Disgustipated', and when the 20 minute long 'constant frequency never-ending' note is playing, put the volume REALLY loud (no, it's not dangerous and won't break anything unless you go louder than your ears or speakers can handle, and I don't mean THAT loud), and listen for a while. It will teach you to 'look closely' in life a little bit more, hopefully.

It's about the 'Undertow mindset' for me I think. That's its greatness.

That having been said, I think it's great that everyone can find their own reasons for liking/not liking certain music, it's the way it should be. Aweh! from South Africa (apparently Tool *might* be dropping us a visit soon, patience, I musn't be greedy...)!

P.S. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Maynard sing "I was wrong, this changes everything..." in every studio release since Undertow?

10-09-2008, 07:36 AM
P.S. Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't Maynard sing "I was wrong, this changes everything..." in every studio release since Undertow?

you are wrong

10-09-2008, 08:53 AM
I like it because of the zwooshy highish things and gurgly lowish things that I never would have noticed 2 years ago.


10-11-2008, 06:15 AM
In a deep, dark forest there are two adult trees arguing about the genus of a sapling struggling to grow way below them.
One tree is a Beech, and one is a Birch.
Beech tree says, " I think it's a son of a beech."
Birch replies, " No. Son of a birch."
This gets repeated all morning, until a woodpecker comes along and lands on the sapling.
To settle the argument, the adult trees decide to ask the woodpecker his opinion.
They say, " Is it a son of a beech, or a son of a birch?"
The woodpecker, spitting wood chips, answers,
" You're both wrong! This is the best piece of ash I've had my pecker in all morning."
Ergot...my favorite Tool album is the one I've got my nose in right now.

10-11-2008, 02:49 PM
Even upside down, it still seemed to be smiling at him.

10-12-2008, 04:23 AM
Best enema that Ash ever got.
So far...

10-15-2008, 05:21 PM
This album would have been so much better with better sound engineering. It sounds like it was recorded in aunt Mable's pantry.

i like it, it works for me...

10-15-2008, 05:27 PM
yeah... the sound is much better in aenima

11-06-2008, 01:57 PM
I like the sound, it's one of the things that defines this album and I honestly can't imagine it sounding any other way. My favorite one as well, something about it's straightforwardness, rawness and intensity that still appeals to me a lot.

11-06-2008, 08:16 PM
This album would have been so much better with better sound engineering. It sounds like it was recorded in aunt Mable's pantry.

But this way you get to hear the band grow into their recording techniques at the same time as their musical density expanded. And their confidence and style grew because of it.
I like that they stayed with analog tape. It's warmer.
And furthermore, I heard Opiate the other night and loved it. It was raw. I heard the promise in it. And now I want to hear it more. Anyway, their sound is a aural journey. Enjoy it.
By the way, is aunt Mable a Hooker With A Penis?

11-07-2008, 10:35 AM
It's a toss up for me between Aenima and Lateralus....I mean they're both so damn good in their own right, it's almost like two different bands but both being masterpieces IMO.

11-07-2008, 10:40 AM
This album would have been so much better with better sound engineering. It sounds like it was recorded in aunt Mable's pantry.

If by that you mean it's not compressed to shit like every other major label rock album released since 2004, then sure.

Personally, Undertow is probably my least favorite Tool album, but I think it has the best mixing.

11-07-2008, 10:44 AM
Yeah, there's a very big difference in style between Ænima & Lateralus. Seems like Tool made a giant musical trun between those two albums.

When i listen closely to "Pushit" (Ænima) first and later the live-version on Salival, i can imagine them trying to make the switch right there.

11-08-2008, 07:06 AM
The compression that the recording industry uses now-a-days just makes me want to pull out my old records and throw them on a turntable. I prefer a warm mix over infused loudness. As far as the best, I still like Lateralus. IMO.

04-24-2011, 12:48 AM
Undertow is one of the best quality produced albums Tool has by far. It's got that perfect analog sound and its even sweeter listening to it on vinyl. The production quality alone makes it better than the more grainy sound of AEnima. Lateralus is Tools best album on a technical level, but with production quality and all things considered, Undertow is Tool at its core.

04-24-2011, 12:52 AM
also sorry for the double post but.... the bass on this album is at its absolute perfection, thats one thing I had to get out in the air. I just love the deep and angry sound of the Rickenbacker 4001 Paul used, and I think one reason why Tool started sounding more "soft" or "light" is because of Justin and his Wal, which is a deeper, more trippy tone but it sounds nowhere near as fierce as the Rickenbacker. No offense to him or anything because he's a musical genius and solid bassist, but he steered the musical focus away from that deep raw angry sound Tool had in the early days

10-20-2011, 09:29 PM
Best album are:
1. Undertow-
2. Salival
3. Opiate

11-15-2011, 07:43 PM
According to me the best albums are: Undertow, Lateralus, 10,000 Days, Aenima, Opiate and Salival.

07-16-2014, 02:47 PM
lately I find myself listening to undertow again. not saying it's my favorite, but it suits my palette these days.

Esteban Crespo
07-21-2014, 07:21 AM
The first Tool album I listened to was Aenima. In my country, it was the first Tool album to arrive. I'm talking '98 or so, when we didn't have internet. You had to dive into record stores to find out about bands. So I kinda have my heart on it. It takes me to that time and reminds me of my own mind blowing experience.

02-21-2015, 08:11 PM
I've recently rediscovered Undertow. I had it when it first came out, and it's amazing listening to it *cough mumble* years later how the album is a different experience. I've got utterly different feelings to the tracks, and at the same time there's that time travel throwback to when I was a teenager listening to the the first time around. Definite soft-spot for this one.