It has been five years since the last release by dark-rock kings TOOL. In that time singer Maynard James Keenan recorded the platinum album "Mer de Noms" and toured the world with his side project A Perfect Circle. TOOL also debuted the brilliant CD/DVD set "Salival," which is stocked with the group's stunning videos.
The new disc "Lateralus" expertly showcases a band that has matured and retained its classic signature sound -- the one that so many other bands have tried to capture but never seem to quite pull it off. The majority of the new tunes -- like "Reflection," which clocks in at 11 minutes -- are over the six-minute mark, pushing the limits of CD technology at an overall length of 79 minutes. The band also takes its packaging to extremes: Remove the black cover and reveal a clear booklet with a human-being graphic that loses muscle and flesh as you flip the pages, much like a college biology book.
That's TOOL's way of saying thank you to its fans.