Sunday, April 29, 2018
Looking Back in Anger at Tool's "Opiate"
There is a stiffer militant anger to "Part of Me". The tightly chugged riff is a prophetic glance at what was to come on "Undertow". Danny Carey's drumming was not as nuanced as it would become on "Undertow". The taunt guitars are actually the song's strong suit, as Maynard's vocals hand really close to the riff. He does display a strong sense of dynamics, and though it's not his best performance on this album , it is more nuanced than the first two songs. Then comes the two live songs. "Cold & Ugly" reminds me of what my high-school girl friend said to me when she brought this album home from the radio station she worked at. "You'll like these guys they are like a more metal version of Soundgarden. I can hear the grunged out sinew pulsing on this song. Of the two songs "Jerk Off" is more like the sound they would further cultivate. Maynard's vocals are more melodic. Danny Carey also begins to really step up his playing on this as well. Not sure how a lyric like "maybe I should play god/ and shoot you myself" would sit with the p/c police.
Of all the songs the title track holds up the best against the band's current body of work. The vocals are the most melodically sung, and lyrically the stab at religion is well done. The production is a little dated in a few places earlier on in the album so I will give this one a 9.5 , it's more straight forward on a metallic manner which sometimes gives it more of a stiffness than the serpentine groove to come on future albums.