I have been a Tool fan for some time now. The CD that got me into them was, like most other people’s, 1996’s AEnima. And I thought that was a great album. Little did I know. Their most recent album “Lateralus” is a departure from the more traditional metal sound of bands such as Staind, Cold, and Limp Bizkit. The album’s first track, “The Grudge”, sets the tone for this mind-expanding record. About nine minutes long, this song will do nothing less than cause a massive coronary heart attack, epileptic seizures, a few tears, and a big smile. The CD continues with both songs and interludes that add to the flow of the album. Among my favorites are “The Grudge”, “Schism”, “The Patient”, and “Ticks and Leeches”. If you are a musician and understand time signatures, prepare to be amazed. Danney Carey’s drumming will make any prospective or experienced drummer cry. Maynard’s voice is much more powerful this time around, pulling off a straight scream at the top of his lungs for 25 seconds straight in “The Grudge”. Adam Jones’ guitar mastery is both haunting and introspective. As for Justin Chancellor, the bassist, listen to the beginning of “Schism”. ‘Nuff said. In my opinion, this album far exceeds “AEnima” and “Undertow” because it flows much smoother as an album and is much more musical and imaginative. If you are a fan of Tool, then you should already have this. If you are new to the band, then I would suggest “Undertow” or “AEnima” as first albums simply because they are easier to digest. Simply put, this is an incredible album that should be used as an example of what hard rock music should really be: hard-hitting, musical, and emotional. Bow down to the king.