Tool’s latest album, Liminal, is certainly the type of thick, melodically heavy body of work fans come to expect with each release. Unfortunately, it lacks the dynamics and mysticism that made long players like Aenima intriguing. Gone are the twisting, multi-movement dedications to sacred geometry, Aleister Crowley and Bill Hicks, replaced by a newfound sense of brevity and simpler song structures. Perhaps Keenan has even rethought his disposition toward Christianity, as the chorus of “Swing” asks a certain someone to swing lo to me, chariot. This new, reborn version of Tool, while categorically more positive, have lost their chops, mystique and, most importantly, their imagery — all facets that have defined the group’s ethos since their inception almost two decades ago.
Wait, this isn’t the new Tool record? Then what is this? Who? Mungus? Nah, never heard of them. Local bros, eh?