Home Music 30 years ago, Tool created their first greatest hits album with Undertow

30 years ago, Tool created their first greatest hits album with Undertow

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Among other trends, the early 1990s saw grunge emerge as the dominant rock scene, leaving the hairy metal bands that had dominated the previous decade in the dust.

At the same time, though, the burgeoning subgenre of progressive metal found Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, Shadow Gallery and Dream Theater delivering elaborate concepts and vibrantly complex instrumentation. However, there was room for expansion, particularly in terms of fusing soaring track lengths and cultured ideas of prog with harsher woods and an industrial and alternative metal theme.

Enter Tool, a rag quartet formed in 1990 consisting of two men working in the film industry (guitarist Adam Jones and guitarist Paul D’Amore) and up-and-coming musicians (vocalist Maynard James Keenan and drummer Danny Carey). A series of serendipitous commonalities brought them together, and they soon signed to Zoo Entertainment; toured with White Zombie and Rage Against the Machine; A strange injection of fierce and confrontational views in 1992 opium EP.


A year later, on April 6, 1993, they released their full-length debut, Underwater. While not as cerebral, sophisticated, or exotic as later LPs, it clearly showcased the band members’ gifts as songwriters, composers, and operators.

Specifically, Tool built on influences like King Crimson, Judas Priest, Tom Waits, and Yes amid better balancing sophomore humor and starting auditions for what Keenan once described as “some real ugly stuff straight out of nightmares”. On that note, they tap into a shared interest in lacrimation, with Damour saying ax In 1994: “[It’s] Like a life philosophy of dealing with yourself and dealing with the pain or whatever bullshit is inside of you.”

thirty years later, Underwater deserve credit for launching the career of perhaps the most provocative, experimental, multifaceted and enduring metal band of their generation. (Of course, it also stands out for being Tool’s only LP with D’Amour, who left due to creative differences and was replaced by 1996’s Justin Chancellor.) Anima).


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