It’s been 3,653 days since Tool released their monumental 10,000 Days, yes that’s right one of my favourite bands unleashed one of my most loved albums of all time 10 years ago today. So while we continue to wait patiently for their next monster to be let loose, let’s relive this masterpiece shall we.
Tool formed back in 1990 when the soon to be band mates were introduced to one another through mutual friends and the line-up hasn’t changed much with Maynard James Keenan (Vocal) Adam Jones (Guitar) Danny Carey (Drums) and only Justin Chancellor (Bass) taking over from Paul D’amour in 95. The group has had much success leading up to the release of 10,000 Days (2006) with 2 EP’s 72826 (1991) and Opiate (1992), before the full length albums Undertow (1993), Ænima (1996) and Lateralus (2001) which really solidified them as the masters of their genre.
Enough of the back story, 10,000 Days was and is an absolute gem of a recording. As I explained to my girlfriend the other day, I can go months or a year without listening to it, then put it on and know the words still. It has that much staying power. ‘Vicarious’ is first off the mark and it immediately sets the pace and tone, it opens with a brief instrumental before the riffs start and Keenan’s cynical lyrics of all of humanity being voyeurs and living through others when we watch TV. Tool started dark and kept it going with ‘Wings for Marie (Pt1)’ and ’10,000 Days (Wings Pt2)’ a two part 17 minute ballad dedicated to Keenan’s mother Judith Marie, with part 1 as her eulogy and part 2 her journey to the pearly gates to meet St Peter, while calling attention to the hypocrisy within the Christian Church. My final top pick from this amazing piece of art is ‘Right in Two’ and it’s my personal favourite, it’s a quieter track, except for the bridge where the band kicks it up a notch, telling the story of angels watching monkeys (man) being blessed with free will and reason. Instead of living together in peace in the garden of Eden (Earth) they kill one another over everything.
That was hard for me. I really and truly love this band and album and picking only 3 tracks to cover was a bit of a push, everything on this record is amazing and tells its own story with its own themes. 10,000 Days has kept us occupied while we STILL wait for the next LP, but while Tool is known for taking their time between releases as they are perfectionists, this time it was a court case that has kept them away from the studios, while the side projects have been good, they just don’t come close to proper Tool activity. Fortunately, the court case is over and the band have more or less completed the musical side of the next to be named album, they seem to be waiting on the ever busy Keenan to lay the vocals before finishing production. While everyone keeps hoping for a 2016 date, I personally think it’s going to be 2017 before we get anything substantial from the band, oh well back to their back catalogue which has done us well so far.
Written by Dan Harlond