Lateralus

  • Record Label: Volcano
  • Release Date: May 15, 2001
Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 15
  2. Negative: 1 out of 15
  1. It is dense, it is long, it is complicated. It is also a magnificent triumph of artistry over blind anger.
  2. A 79-minute sonic sojourn of hard rock delivered with an arty, fusion-conscious sensibility rooted most obviously from the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, and Jane's Addiction.
  3. Lateralus takes the L.A. band over the edge with elongated musical movements that simmer under heavy-duty distortion, Middle Eastern percussion and freakish guitar-and-drum time signatures that will make musical mathematicians (i.e., prog-rock dorks) as excited as the kids in the mosh pit.
  4. Q Magazine
    80
    Ultimately, it's Tool's experimental, borderline progressive, edge that proves most rewarding. [Aug 2001, p.141]
  5. So much of Tool's third full-length studio album makes so little sense at first. But that is one of Lateralus' most endearing qualities: It rolls out its pleasures and coherence slowly, even stubbornly.
  6. 80
    Tool has made an album that's undeniably its own, yet one which adds layers of subtlety, texture, and meaning that move its sound forward into complex new territory.
  7. The band continues to rock in the Rush/Metallica eight-minute flexathon tradition: it may impress you with individual lines, but in the end, it excels mainly at musical gymnastics.
  8. "Lateralus" is primarily a collection of puzzling time changes, haunting vocals and beyond-intricate percussive patterns that create a theme rooted more in Eastern philosophy than in rock and roll.
  9. Tool's songs are long because the band takes its time, resisting show-offy displays of speed in favor of texture and minimalist mood, borrowing key elements from Far Eastern music and industrial rock along the way.
  10. Research has led me to conclude that the correct, and possibly only, way to fully appreciate this album is at extremely high volume on a decent hi-fi whilst massively stoned out of your gourd.
  11. They're the metal Radiohead. Though it's definitely a million times more metal than anything the Oxford miserablists have recorded, 'Lateralus' still easily contains the same amount of misery and self-obsessed navel-gazing.
  12. Alternative Press
    70
    Lateralus could have been released four years ago, for all the sonic progression that's contained (or not contained) within its 79 minutes. [Jul 2001, p.57]
  13. Entertainment Weekly
    67
    The music has a clean, fluid flow but sounds thin-blooded and far less visceral -- freeze-dried -- next to newer, younger Ozzfest regulars, like Staind, who have followed in Tool's wake. [25 May 2001, p.77]
User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 545 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 17 out of 315
  1. JoeH
    Mar 21, 2009
    10
    This is the album I keep coming back to over and over and over again! My CD collection would never be complete without this album and to this This is the album I keep coming back to over and over and over again! My CD collection would never be complete without this album and to this day, it is the only album to which I continuously listen. Each and every song is a testament to how talented Tool is. Listen to this album! Full Review »
  2. Jan 31, 2011
    10
    I couldn't stop listening to Tool for an entire year. This album is a favourite. The poly-rhythms, intense guitars yet a farI couldn't stop listening to Tool for an entire year. This album is a favourite. The poly-rhythms, intense guitars yet a far mellower-than-before sounding Maynard, give you a life long's worth of spine chilling, introspective, life-changing music. Full Review »
  3. Jan 20, 2012
    10
    My meaningless opinion, this is perhaps 1 of 8 perfect albums ever made. I don't understand the people who claim to hate Tool but spend theirMy meaningless opinion, this is perhaps 1 of 8 perfect albums ever made. I don't understand the people who claim to hate Tool but spend their time talking about Tool and their fans. I don't understand reviewing something you admit you have never even listened to. What a sad, angry life you must live. I don't dislike you, I feel sorry for you. Oh yeah and allow me to lecture you on the importance of respecting people's taste in music as I bash Tool fans because of their taste in music. You really don't get it. It's okay though. Full Review »