While everyone has enjoyed the various hilarious "waiting for the new Tool album…" memes, that shit is over. In just shy of a month from now, Fear Inoculum is set to drop — on August 30th, to be exact — and this Friday the prog-metal titans' back catalog will finally appear across all digital and streaming formats. So this left us with a (perhaps) loaded and difficult question to pose to you, our readers: What is Tool's best song?
The poll results? Much like Tool themselves, you clearly love trolling. A lot of you picked Justin Bieber songs. And no, Deftones' "Passenger" doesn't count. Based on everyone who actually dug through the ol' toolbox and answered seriously, here are the top five vote-getters.
Unlike much of the jammy, psychedelic music on Tool's last album, 10,000 Days, "Rosetta Stoned" kicks off in a little more straightforward rock style, but sampled subconscious wanderings and spaced-out keyboards quickly introduce bizarre elements that make it sound solidly Tool. It doesn't hurt that the composition is ultimately well over 11 minutes long and explores the off-kilter time signatures, unorthodox sounds and wavering paces that we've come to love and expect.
Tool were a very different beast back in 1992 when they release the seething, to-the-point Opiate EP. Perhaps no cut on the record hits harder than the title track, which leaps off from the Marxist concept that "religion is the opium of the masses" and dives into truly dark territory, likening religion to rape and true believers to sheep who are "deaf and blind and dumb and born to follow."
First off, no, "Stinkfist" isn't literally about fist-fucking. It's actually about be willing to get your hands dirty and "choosing compassion over fear," as Maynard James Keenan would sometimes introduce the song live onstage. Surging, compulsive and relatively compact at just over five minutes, the cut opens 1996's Ænima with gate-crashing force and it understandably remains a fan favorite to this day.
The powerful, expansive title track off 2001's Lateralus sounds like a pot ready to boil over at any second throughout the verses, before it bursts into expansive choruses and meandering sections throughout its nearly 10-minute run. Tool fans are a patient and hungry bunch, and their desires were fulfilled with the band's first album of the new century.
With its slow build from Eastern-influenced, swirling tones into all-out explosive rock song, "Forty Six & 2" — the fourth single from Ænima — stands as perhaps the most quintessential Tool offering to date. Over six dynamic minutes, the band's full range of progressive, heavy and enthralling skills are displayed in perfect harmony, all narrated by the inimitable voice of Maynard James Keenan.