TOOL's second album—perhaps the best heavy metal album of the entire '90s—is the magnum opus of TOOL's first decade, the ambitious, spiritual peak of alternative nation's crew of sensitive, reclusive cynics. This 77-minute piece of metaphysical metal explodes with everything from churning radio singles ("Stinkfist," "Forty Six & 2") to a syncopated 13-minute prog-metal epic ("Third Eye") to a rumbling electroacoustic headphone head trip ("(-) Ions"). It contains everything that makes TOOL unlikely hard rock heroes: rhythmic trickery, ridiculous chops, art-sludge riffs, and a sense of humor. All of the above are available on the album's most evocative song, "Ænema," an apocalyptic, sardonic number about California sinking into the sea based on Bill Hicks' venomous "Goodbye You Lizard Scum" routine.

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