TOOL – 10 000 Days

TOOL - 10 000 Days


Release date: April 28, 2006

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An itch beneath the skin: inevitably scratching it feels incredibly relieving and terribly annoying at the same time. It’s impossible to ignore. It’s manic, massive, and marvelling. It’s Tool and they’re back with a new album!

The Music

There’s no arguing the uniqueness of this Californian quartet; defining their music is no easy task. Ever tasted frog legs? “Tastes like chicken” some say for lack of better words. Transferring this pale analogy to Tool, one could say, “Sounds like Metal.” But, apart from distorted guitars, pounding drums, and spanking bass, is it Metal? Apart from tempo and time variations, and songs way beyond the radio format, is it Progressive? Apart from the soundscapes and noises, is it Ambient? And, apart from catchy vocal lines, is it Pop? The answer to it all lies in the fact that Tool has successfully brewed a potion of their own, and used it to cast a spell over their albums since the 1992 debut. Oh well, some like to call it Art-Rock … nevertheless: the enigmatic outcome either travels over your head or enters the darkest, cob-webbed corners of your mind and sits there.

10 000 Days is no exception, as the opening figure in “Vicarious” eats its way out of the tiny plastic disc and into your head. Their fifth album further reeks of craftmanship down to the very last note. Very few bands are “allowed” to spend 3-5 years on each album, but there’s no doubt the effort pays off. There is plenty of brainfood to dig into, and there’s a fine balance between the demanding and more available material on the album.

The title 10 000 Days supposedly reflects on the fact that singer Keenan’s mother suffered a stroke 27 years before she died, with 10 000 days being approximately 27 years. The opus “Wings For Marie (Pt 1)” and “10 000 Days (Wings Pt 2)” is dedicated to her.

The Band

Except for replacing their original bass player in the mid 1990’s, the Tool line-up remains unchanged. The interactivity between drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and present bassist Justin Chancellor, is remarkable. The guitars often define the outline of the songs, while the drums and bass put on both a surging momentum and an unusual palette of colors. Most of their songs are molded likewise, yet with a different twist from time to time, always keeping the listener alert.

Completing Tool is singer Maynard James Keenan. Ever since the beginning, he’s offered a truly unique voice in Rock. And, he has not faded over the years, but instead sounds vital, fresh, and even still creative. He offers an admirable dynamic and emotional range to this album, perhaps especially in “10 000 Days (Wings Pt 2).” And, he means every damn word he sings.

The Cover

Not often does a cover deserve a paragraph of its own. For Tool, the cover designs have always been special and, it seems, a visual extension of the sonic experience. 10 000 Days is perhaps their most extravagantic cover design to this date. It’s in the shape of a DigiPak, with a pair of stereoscopic glasses attached. Through these glasses you can watch a number of three dimensional pictures and graphics. The pictures themselves are quite artistic as well, and you’ll find yourself shaking your head in awe.

The Verdict

If Tool hasn’t gotten to you yet, this album possibly won’t change anything; sorry for wasting your time. But, if you have seen the bizarre light in the church of Tool, you are bound to dig this album, too. And, if you’re open to a new encounter, give this album a couple of spins and chances are good you will be asking for more. Keep on scratching!


  • Frode Leirvik

    Frode was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Norway. His headbanging experience started when his brother-in-law gave him Deep Purple’s Fireball at the age of ten. Since then, he has also been a fan of and active in several other musical genres, resulting in a deep and profound interest in music. Some of his favorites, among all of those who have somehow managed to tap into the universal force of Progressive Music are (in no particular order): Thule, Dream Theater, King Crimson,Pink Floyd, Rush, Spock’s Beard, Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman, Ekseption, Focus, The Beatles, Deep Purple and Frank Zappa.

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