10,000 Days

Tool’s first album since 2001 offers darkness, mystery (just what we expect) and a little bit of light (what?). The two standout tracks here are “Vicarious” and “The Pot,” both of which feature Adam Jones’ trademark distorted guitars, Danny Carey’s odd-timed drumming and Maynard James Keenan’s unmistakable voice. But while the album remains dark and heavy, many of the lyrics talk of, well, goodness. In “Jambi,” Keenan sings, “The devil and his had me down / In love with the dark side I’d fell … But you changed that all for me.” The following two tracks, actually a song in two parts, “Wings for Marie” and “10,000 Days,” also speak to an angel of sorts, a righteous woman. It’s strange to hear such optimism from these guys. But don’t worry, the darkness is still there. In typical Tool fashion, the CD is peppered with weirdness. One song consists entirely of wailing guitars and creepy chanting; another is a dialogue between a doctor and nurse about an unresponsive patient. Skip over the creepy stuff though, and the album is really good. One more thing: Don’t settle for a downloaded version of 10,000 Days—the 3D album art is worth the trip to the music store.