- Released: October 1, 1996
- Label: Volcano
Rolling Stone - 12/26/96, p.190
"...Tool shove their iron-spike riffing and shock-therapy polemics right up the claustrophobic dead end of so-called alternative metal....the broiling, avant-metal ferocity of Led Zeppelin's PRESCENCE..."
Entertainment Weekly - 10/04/96, p.62
"...a jagged, brooding nightmare filled with roaring guitars, abrupt rhythm shifts, and jarring sound effects. One of 1996's strangest and strongest alt-metal records." - Rating: A-
Alternative Press - 1/97, p.843 (out of 5)
- "...The taut playing and icy production keep Keenan's emo tendencies in check while lending his vocals a sense of remote, lone-voice-in-the-machinery existentialism that Tool captures better than anyone..."
Kerrang (Magazine) - p.53
"Tool stepped into the void and upped the progressive rock ante with this multicoloured collection of thundering detours and dizzying left turns."
- 4.Useful Idiot
- 5.Forty Six & 2
- 6.Message to Harry Manback
- 7.Hooker With a Penis
- 10.Die Eier Von Satan
- 12.Cesaro Summability
- 14.Ions, (-)
- 15.Third Eye
Tool: Maynard James Keenan (vocals); Adam Jones (guitar); Justin Chancellor (bass); Danny Carey (drums).
Additional personnel includes: Marko Fox (vocals); Eban Schletter (organ); Chris Pittman (synthesizer); D.B. (keyboards); Bill Hicks.
Recorded at Ocean Way, Hollywood, California and The Hook, North Hollywood, California.
AENIMA was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award for Best Recording Package. "Aenima" won the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
Personnel: Maynard James Keenan, Bill Hicks (vocals); Eban Schletter (organ); David Bottrill (keyboards); Chris Pitman (synthesizer).
Audio Mixer: David Bottrill.
Recording information: Ocean Way, Hollywood, CA (1996); The Hook, North Hollywood, CA (1996).
Photographers: Fabrico DiSanto; Jeff Novack.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Danny Carey; Joel Larson; Adam Jones ; Justin Chancellor; Karen Mason.
On its second full-length album, this hard-rocking quartet delivers 15 tracks of unrelenting aggression and focused intensity. Rather than overwhelm with huge sonic washes of guitar and booming drums, Tool employs a propulsive, snaky approach that makes use of undulating rhythms and clipped, percussive guitar riffs. Maynard James Keenan's vocals follow suit, opting for a heavily processed slow burn instead of the post-grunge bellow favored by so many hard-rock bands. Instead of flailing uncontrollably in all directions, the group's raw, energetic sound is tightly directed for maximum impact.
On songs like "Stinkfist," Keenan rails against injustice while the band churns mercilessly behind him. There is very little humor or light in Tool's worldview (except for song titles like "Hooker With A Penis"); these are songs of painstakingly articulated angst, and they are delivered in an earnest, deadpan manner. These fierce rockers are dead set on making their point, and make it they do, with all the bloodshed and carnage that entails.