Friday, October 4, 2013

Stepping Through My Shadow

I'm in the midst of a love affair with Tool; an ongoing and long, torrid affair, at that. It's not like this is new to me, I've been a Tool fan for a long time, but right now, all I want to do is sink into the darkness that surrounds this mind-blowing band and step through on the other side of the shadow

What's weird about this darkness is the lack of depression found here. I am comforted instead. I am motivated. I am incredibly turned on. I am reminded of friends who have come and gone who loved this place too. I dream of this kind of peace - where you know that the pieces fit and that you can come out whole again. Where the high-octane bass attaches itself to my bones, and because they are hollow, borrows the path to the rest of me. The troubling treble finds solace in my mind, and I can't help but close my eyes and sing. Sing. I do not sing unless alone, but when in love with Tool, I want to sing everywhere. 

Nothing rewards the heart like knowing that you can take a moment to try and trade it all in for a little peace of mind. Sometimes, I'd give anything for that little space, and Tool gives it to me. With Tool, I can manifest my fears and release them from hatred onto a path of forgiveness. What other band offers that kind of freedom? Critics claim that Tool's debut album Undertow has a "nihilistic yet wistful mood," which may be why I relate to the band in general. I'm no nihilist, but life is a constant stream of existential crises that require looking into the depths of nothing in order to find something. 

How's that for deep? Seriously though, when the need for self-exploration presents itself, a soundtrack of Tool suites the journey. Aenima allows for a new bass exploration with a new member of Tool, but does not disappoint my bones. Both the original "Push It" and the slow jam version that appears on the box set Salival, is heartbreaking. The kind of sadness that you must recover from in order to ever love again. The duality faced in this album allows your existential crisis room to traverse both your dark side and your light side and come out as your true Jedi-self. Maynard believes in redemption, and you can too.

Once you listen to these two epic albums, be sure to pay homage to early EP Opiate, to fall head over heels into "Part of Me" and the title piece, "Opiate", as well as later albums Lateralus and 10,000 Days. Those albums came out in the days in which Tool toured extensively again, and I wish I had been able to find myself in the crowd at one of those shows with my friends that did. Though Tool is not interested in posting their albums for free listening on sights like Spotify, Rdio, or even iTunes, you can often find several of the complete albums on YouTube, which makes my day when I am sitting idle and have no access to my iPod and need to immerse myself to come through whatever shadow is lurking. Don't tell Maynard though, he is pretty avid in his fight to keep the profits of being a musician with the music makers.     

If you're not sold on this, try out this adorable and amazing video of really talented kids covering "Forty-Six & Two." The whole band will blow your mind, but goddamn if the bass player doesn't give me more hope that we can - and will - survive all shadows. 

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