Review - TOOL - The Ritual Calls To Me I wrote last week that I'd heard, seeing TOOL was like a religious experience. Well I was raised Catholic and I didn't see any naked boys chewing snicker bars so, religion is out. However, TOOL live, can best be described as a 'ritualistic' experience. I won't spoil the stage or band members by describing either 'it's' design or 'their' camaraderie. As an acting member in the ritual I think 'that' is highly illegal but I will give you my analogy of the whole experience.
TOOL is not a band that feeds their audience nor do they feed off of them. In fact, there is a vast chasm (where Moses parted the Red Sea and every home has cable television) that separates TOOL from their audience and this is why: TOOL is the 'Master of the Ceremony' the 'Dark Priest of the New Order' bent on delivering you to self-destruction. TOOL has no desire to see the eyes of the self-sacrificing. Like the pied-piper: 'DEAF AND BLIND AND DUMB AND BORN TO FOLLOW...WHAT YOU NEED IS SOMEONE STRONG TO GUIDE YOU, LIKE ME.." What could there possibly be to see in the eyes of those who would follow TOOL to their own end. Like one lemming after another. Each the same. Like automatons they destroy themselves, because TOOL has asked them too.
The best way to describe this is to imagine yourself at the bottom of a waterfall. The waterfall itself is TOOL's music. At where the water crests stands 'Maynard'; and he beckons: "I AM JUST A WORTHLESS LIAR, I AM JUST AN IMBICILE, I WILL ONLY COMPLICATE YOU, TRUST IN ME AND FALL AS WELL, I WILL FIND A CENTER IN YOU, I WILL CHEW IT UP AND LEAVE, I WILL WORK TO ELEVATE YOU JUST ENOUGH TO BRING YOU DOWN...TRUST ME...TRUST ME...' As though Maynard were a Siren you begin to climb the waterfall. And TOOL's music rains on you like a flood; driving you back down the falls. The music pounding over you, driving you farther and farther down. Your strength will buckle and you cry, not in pain, but for deliverance: "IT'S NOT ENOUGH, I NEED MORE. NOTHING SEEMS TO SATISFY. I DON'T WANT IT...I JUST NEED IT...TO BREATHE, TO FEEL, TO KNOW I'M ALIVE" And the music ebbs, and again you begin to climb.
In the end where are you? This question does not matter. If you haven’t reached the top you've failed yourself. Somehow devastated that you couldn't find within you the strength to reach Maynard. Withered and crumpled you agonize in your failure. If you've reached the top you find that TOOL is gone and all that lies before you is a shallow riverbed. Unkempt and ragged, you're left with this hollow victory and like a salmon after spawning you sink to the bottom of the river, exhausted; trying to take in the air, but you've nothing left. A sinking shadow of self-destruction you lie at the bottom and wait to die. This is TOOL, Live!
Matthew Gilbert © 1999-2015 All Rights Reserved
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