“For their third release, Tool explore the progressive rock territory previously forged by such bands as King Crimson. However, Tool are conceptually innovative with every minute detail of their art, which sets them apart from most bands. Make no mistake, this isn’t your father’s rock record. Sonically, the band has never sounded tighter. Long exploratory passages are unleashed with amazing precision, detail, and clarity, which only complements the aggressive, abrasive shorter pieces on the album. There is no compromise from any member of the band, with each of them discovering the dynamics of his respective instrument and pushing the physical capabilities to the limit. Topics such as the philosophies of Bill Hicks (eloquently eulogized in the packaging), evolution and genetics, and false martyrdom will fly over the heads of casual listeners. But those listening closely will discover a special treat: a catalyst encouraging them to discover a world around them to which they otherwise might have been blind. If these aren’t good enough reasons to listen to Ænima, then just trust the simple fact that Tool deliver the hard rock goods every time the band chooses to release something.” RT
“The title Ænima, according to guitarist Adam Jones, is a combination of the words ‘anima’ (Latin for ‘soul’ associated the ideas of ‘life force’ and a term often used by psychologist Carl Jung) and ‘enema’ the medical procedure.” WK “Themes of the album include Egyptian mythology in a seven-pointed star symbolizing Babalon, and sacred geometry in dividing the planet into grids related to chromosomes. Also the band claimed this album to be partly inspired by Bill Hicks (a comedian who the band felt was going in the same direction as them).” WK
As for themes regarding specific songs on the album, “The song Third Eye contains samples of comedian Bill Hicks. The title may be a reference to Hicks’ saying that psilocybe mushrooms were being used to ‘squeegee [his] third eye clean.’ The third eye is a metaphysical concept that may have to do with evolution of the human brain. A goal of the album as a whole was to ‘open people up in some way and help open their third eye and help them on a path’.” WK
Elsewhere, “Danny Carey labeled L. Ron Hubbard as the subject of Eulogy.” WK while “Pushit is about an abusive relationship” WK and “Hooker with a Penis refers to a fan who accused the band of selling out after their first EP. OGT is taken to stand for ‘Original Gangster Tool’.” WK
“Speculation has surrounded the song H. The ‘meaning’ of this song has not been detailed by the band,” WK but singer Manyard James Keenan has said, “‘This song is about choices’” WK and has, in concert, referenced Warner Bros. cartoons with an angel on a character’s shoulder and a devil on the other. WK
“The segue Die Eier von Satan has a heavy industrial guitar played over a reversed drum beat with an unusual, irregular time signature. The lyrical component of the song is in German, performed by Marko Fox, a member of ZAUM. He is backed by a sound that resembles a hydraulic press, and crowd cheering and applause that increase in volume as the lyrics are read with increasing ferocity. These combined effects make the song sound like a militant German rant or Nazi rally. While the sound and the word ‘Satan’ in the title may suggest to listeners that the lyrics feature aggressive or even violent content, the speaker is merely reciting a cookie recipe, for hashish or Mexican cookies.” WK
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Last updated March 28, 2011.