Josh Freese returns (but briefly) to Perfect Circle

A Journey Inside Pain by Maynard James Keenan

On May 2, 2006, a few days after being published in Europe, it was released in the United States “10,000 days”the fourth album by Tools Of Maynard James Keenan. We remember its publication by taking up the review of the album that he did for us Ercole Gentile.

Ten thousand days is the long period of agony that Judith Marie Garrison, mother of Tool singer Maynard James Keenan, had to spend. Following a stroke, in fact, the woman remained paralyzed for 27 years until her passing to a better life in 2003. And this new Tool album is dedicated to her (and to her pain). 1825 is the number of days that fans of the American band had to wait before they could have a new work by their favorites in their hands. “Lateralus”, the previous (and acclaimed) studio album, dates back five years ago: in the meantime Keenan was able to dedicate himself to his side-project A Perfect Circle, deciding to write the new Tool album with all the calm and the necessary attention.

Every time you listen to a Tool album you discover nuances that you hadn't noticed until that moment, because Tool hide their art beneath the surface, placing emotions in inaccessible places, to be found in the heart of their music .

“10,000 days” is a record that is divided between more angry and powerful moments and long painful and psychedelic episodes. In the first “faction” we can find “Vicarious”, a powerful nu-metal attack on the media exploitation of pain, “Jambi”, a song centered on Keenan's voice and Jones' guitar and “The pot”, in which the band lashes out at those people who point the finger at others accusing them of crimes that they themselves have committed (a certain president of a certain nation comes to mind…).

Of the second section, the progenitor (and masterpiece of the album) is certainly “Wings for Marie/10,000 days”, a seventeen-minute suite (divided into two songs to make it more digestible), an ode to the mother, a cry of pain, the the infinite agony of a woman who finds the wings to fly in her religiosity: musically it is a pure sound journey, guitars that delve into the human psyche and words that leave their mark (“You never had a life, but sure saved one” or “10000 days in the fire is long enough, you're going home”). Creepy. Joining this section are “Lost Keys” a song about the inventor of LSD Albert Hoffman, “Intension” and “Lipan Conjuring”, a traditional American Indian song.

In the middle flow “Right in two” with tribal rhythms suddenly sheared by guitars and drums and “Rosetta stoned” (the Rosetta stone) with a first metal part and a second soft-psychedelic part, focused on a traumatic encounter with supernatural entities. The album closes with “Viginti tres” (twenty-three), a demonic suite with unspecified noises and diabolical voices. The package deserves a note, a cardboard box with attached lenses for 3D vision of the lysergic and disturbing booklet.

Anger, pain, psychological introspection are the themes that recur in this new work by Maynard James Keenan and associates. The ideas, skill and artistic honesty of these musicians are truly from another planet. This is not a record created to sell, as it is not suitable for superficiality and for those who want substance immediately. Before listening to “10,000 days” be willing to take a deep journey into music, into the emotions of the human mind, and why not, into your pain. And only great records have access to this intriguing, but scary, tour.