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Opiate

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Average Rating
★★★★½
(214 Reviews)

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  • “Opiate” was Tool’s first release, and immediately pegged the band as metal, though they have attempted to defy that classification by releasing albums that are more progressive metal and perhaps alternative metal or even alternative progressive. Regardless of what they did later, “Opiate” is a crunchy hard rocker.”Sweat” kicks off with short line lyrics and heavy guitars that are a hallmark of the Black Sabbath school of hard rock. The riffs occasionally recall Led Zeppelin, and the topic of “Sweat” may also recall drug music of the 70s. In its own way retro, this song may be less than what you could make of it; it may just be a hard rock dream.The next song, “Hush”, is the perennial rebellion song. The message is short and to the point. You keep telling me what I can’t say, so I tell you to go do physically impossible things to yourself. The music is edgy, and the Led Zeppelin influence is clearly felt, though with an even harder edge.”Part of Me” is a song with personality, a song about a part of males that controls us, and yet we do not want that control sometimes. It’s amazing how a piece of you can be so much in control when it does only a couple of things. The drums lead this piece, but the guitar crunches are more Black Sabbath than Led Zeppelin. Solid metal.”Cold and Ugly” is another lyrically simple song, performed live, that starts out like thrash rock. The guitars crunch and wail, but the lyrics become quiet, drifting back to a grunge sound. Between the wails this song is about relationships and people, and how they are beneath the exterior they show the world.The next song expresses how many of us feel about certain people in the world. “Jerk-Off” makes no apologies for calling them like they see them. The rock is driving and driven, and fully emphasizes the point. A great song to relieve your stresses to.The last song, “Opiate”, is perhaps the most different of the group. This song feels like grunge, or at least blues-influence rock, and is calmer than the other songs on the CD. This song is also the longest song on the CD, and feels like progressive with occasional alternative influences in addition to metal. There are occasional flashes of thrash metal on this song, but it remains a harbinger of Tool’s later CDs where the progressive became more predominant. This song does have a somewhat acid-rock ending, which is fitting since Tool’s music often seems to have a strong retro influence.This short debut CD showed the promise of Tool, and the direction Tool would eventually head, though you had to find it amongst a variety of styles. This CD may be mild for those who prefer groups like Hatebreed, but for those who like their rock edgy and hard with a variety of styles and a clear musical artistry, this CD and Tool should be on their must-have list.

    Posted on November 25, 2009