- Tool: Maynard James Keenan (vocals); Adam Jones (guitar); Justin Chancellor (bass); Danny Carey (drums).
- Recorded at Cello Studios, Hollywood, California, The Hook, Big Empty Space and The Lodge, North Hollywood, California.
- "Schism" won the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance.
- Personnel: Art Bell.
- Audio Mixer: David Bottrill.
- Approaching Tool's LATERALUS with a casual ear would be a careless endeavor, to say the least. The sheer magnitude of the musical and emotional textures is as heady as it is primal. Standing out as one of the defining traits of the Tool sound is Justin Chancellor's hauntingly melodic bass playing, which often launches into a role reversal with the mountainous guitar work of Adam Jones. The best examples of said phenomenon are found in "The Grudge" and "Reflection." Drummer Danny Carey slips easily into the pocket, fearlessly tackling odd time signatures and tasty percussion like few contemporary metal percussionists (best evidenced in "The Patient.") Lyrically, LATERALUS crawls through the cerebral catacombs of vocalist Maynard James Keenan, exploring themes such as the fallout from failed communication ("Schism") and clutching to past pain in a desperate attempt at control ("Grudge"). LATERALUS is yet another art-metal tour de force displaying the collective mastery of Tool.
Rolling Stone (6/7/01, pp.109-10) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Drums, bass and guitars move injarring cycles of hyperhowl and near-silent death march....the cumulativ eforce of muscle, imagination and immaculately wrought suspense....In another era, this would have been considered prog rock..."
Spin (1/02, p.77) - Ranked #16 in Spin's "Albums of the Year 2001" - "...Spine-crushing dynamics and the best rock howl of the year..."
Spin (10/03, p.107) - "...Their first No. 1 album is also their spaciest and most technical..."
Entertainment Weekly (5/25/01, pp.76-7) - "...It's the sound of a giant beast slowly rousing from a slumber, raising havoc, and then settling back in again. LATERALUS reasserts their strengths....leaving you admiring their principles..." - Rating: B-
Q (8/01, pp.141-2) - 4 stars out of 5 - "...Extraordinary in every sense..."
Alternative Press (2/02, p.64) - Ranked #2 in AP's "25 Best Albums of 2001".
Alternative Press (7/01, p.57) - 7 out of 10 - "...A thick slab of art-rock..."
CMJ (6/4/01, p.15) - "...Staggerringly brilliant..."
Kerrang (Magazine) (p.53) - "Complex, depressing, uplifting, spiritual and arcane, LATERALUS is rock at its most epic and transcendental."
NME (Magazine) (6/2/01, p.38) - 7 out of 10 - "...Adds a little more color to their palette of chanting, drumming and high drama....They're the metal Radiohead..."