Following up on their promising demo 72826, American Alternative Rock outfit Tool put together Opiate, an EP consisting of six tracks, four from the demo and two new songs. Its all recorded in a new studio however two tracks are actually recordings from a new years eve show. They sound fantastic in the live setting, giving a lot of charisma and energy to songs that previous sounded a little flat within that chromatic demo quality. Unfortunately these re-recordings don't add much to the experience. Hush and Part Of Me both sound mediocre on this recording. They have stepped up the overall clarity but things still have a sloppy demo sound, the bass guitar suffering the most.
The title track Opiate certainly raises eyebrows with its roaring scream of "We both want to rape you". The music aggrandizes this dramatic moment and a dive into the lyrics hides no secrets to its religious context. An exact meaning may be down to interpretation but it seems to criticize the evil that can be bestowed in the name of God. Its the records best song with a thunderous momentum of bustling tom drums and dramatic, sinister guitar work after pivoting from a more generic rock song. Eventually it fades out to a break of silence that reveals a "secret" track with some patience. This hidden music is a psychedelic jam of comedic musing and cried of Satan. Doesn't add much to the record, but it is its own experience.
The opening and other new song Sweat has crunchy rolling guitar riff work in its opening phases that sets the tone for some anxious lyricism. Its breaks to expansive, atmospheric driven guitar licks are appropriate but its far from a memorable song. So far Ive found myself understanding the music and picking up on the vibe but not feeling anything remarkable bar one or two moments. This rehashing of their demo was a little underwhelming but I am hoping for great thing with their debut Undertow.
Favorite Track: Hush, Opiate