Tool's 5 Most Influential Songs from "Undertow"
Tue, 07 Apr 2015 08:42:39
Tool broke new ground with Undertow. The album just celebrated its 22nd birthday, and its influence continues to expand with each passing year. When it first arrived, the record broke the mold, redefining what heavy could be. You didn’t need traditional distortion and effects or fleet-fingered soloing. “Heavy” became a mood, texture, and color. You could say that Tool brought vibe to hard rock on Undertow. We’re talking “vibe” in the Miles Davis sense where instrumentation evokes feeling. At the same time, Maynard James Keenan’s lyrics remained as raw as could be. Certain other albums in this genre touch on catharsis, but Undertow was catharsis of the highest order. It still is.
Even though Opiate (EP) gave the band their introduction, it was Undertow that established their importance. The album has since gone multi-platinum as well as affecting the course of rock ‘n’ roll to come. The group would go on to play Lollapalooza in support of the album as well as countless headline shows not to mention some provocative music videos. However, everything kicked into high gear during Undertow.
In this feature, ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino counts down the five most influential songs from Undertow.
The 5 Most Influential Songs from Undertow
5. ”Flood:” Long before The Walking Dead and all of today’s other apocalyptic pop art (it was a world without a Mad Max remake), Tool wrote “Flood,” a tidal wave of Adam Jones’ buzzing guitars, Danny Carey’s rapturous percussion, Paul D’Amour’s rumbling bass, and Maynard’s own exploration of the end. At nearly eight minutes, it gave audiences an indication of the epic scope to come later on. Also, how many songs have you heard about the end of the world since?
4. ”Bottom” featuring Henry Rollins: Rollins gives a chilling spoken word in the middle of this track, adding an eerie calm in between the infectious and incisive instrumentation. Hearing that gave a stark reprieve, and it’s a technique we’ve seen quite a bit since.