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Fourtheye Readers Top 10 albums of 2016

The votes have been counted for the Fourtheye Readers Top 10 albums of 2016, and without further ado I present you the list!

1. Deftones – Gore

The Deftones are a firm favorite with Tool fans and typically perform very well in Fourtheye polls.  This time around they have claimed the number 1 spot with the excellent Gore.  Probably one of their more mellow releases, this album gives us a diverse range of sounds from these nu-metal stalwarts.

2. Gojira – Magma

Interesting to see French Metal band Gojira at number 2.  Speaking anecdotally with fans suggested this album was a little disappointing, though it appears to have made the top 10 list of many readers none the less – a testament to their increasing popularity, or possibly a sign that 2016 was a weak one for records?

3 Meshuggah – The Violent Sleep of Reason

Meshuggah are another favorite of Tool fans and it’s no real surprise to see them in this years top 10.  In fact I think The Violent Sleep of Reason is one of their best since Nothing.

4 Russian Circles – Guidance

Instrumental Rock is pretty popular with Tool fans, and former touring buddies Russian Circles are at the top of their game.  While I didn’t think Guidance was quite up to the standard of Memorial, it was still a very solid and atmospheric record.

5. Opeth – Sorceress

Swedish Prog Rock outfit Opeth have put out another 70s themed album along the lines of their last one, and it seems to be pretty well received by Fourtheye readers.  I guess the lack of death growls isn’t a big deal after all?

6. David Bowie – Blackstar

Released days before David Bowie passed away, his strong musical legacy was left intact by a powerful final album.

7. The Swans – The Glowing Man

I can’t say I was a fan of this album, but the Swans remain and popular choice among Fourtheye readers.

8. Cult of Luna & Julia Christmas – Mariner

I actually haven’t listened to this album yet, so it was a bit of a surprise to me that it made the top 10.  I like Cult of Luna so really should have a listen, especially since many of you hold it in high esteem!

9. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

The highly anticipated new album from Radiohead came out early in 2016, and seemed to get some mixed reviews.  Despite that, it easily made the top 10 which shows how much Tool fans enjoy their music.

10. Dillinger Escape Plan – Dissociation

Dillinger Escape Plan announced their latest album Dissociation earlier this year, and also announced that the band would be calling it quits (though some think it might be a hiatus).

So there we have it – maybe not a whole load of surprises in that top 10, but they are a range of excellent albums.  Stay tuned as over the next couple of days I’ll post my top 10!

 

Tool to headline Governors Ball in NYC

Turns out the rumours of Tool headlining the Governors Ball in New York were correct with the line up confirmed this week.  Overall it’s an interesting lineup full of acts you wouldn’t typically expect Tool fans to show a lot of interest in.  Despite that, I expect it’d be fun day.

Tickets are already on sale, and it appears only 3-day tickets are a thing for now (which I expect isn’t going down well with everyone).

No word yet on any other Tool shows, but the rumour mill seems to suggest there might be, I haven’t heard much personally though (possibly since I’ve been offline for the last 10 days).

Tool December 2016 Newsletter

Just in time for Xmas is Blair‘s December 2016 Tool Newsletter (you can find it in the newsletters section on Toolband).  It takes a Q&A format this time around, and doesn’t contain any info that typical Blair detractors need to know – save yourself the effort this Xmas Day (or Boxing Day if you’re an Aussie like me)!

If you are interested in Blair’s writings, then it contains some of the Santa Code that he talked about at previous Xmas’.  He also speaks about the curveball, and gives the following analogy:

Q: “Curveball, curveball, what ball, where is the ball?”

BMB:

All I can say is that I am standing in the batter’s box kicking at the dirt near home plate. I’ve got my helmet adjusted and have tightened my gloves. I’m wearing both shin and elbow guards, and there’s lots of pine tar on my piece of lumber. Although the pitcher can reache speeds in the 90s, I’m still looking for that wicked curve…

So more of the same in that regard then.  I suspect one day Tool will eventually tell Blair “ok, you can tell people about xxxx now” and we’ll get it.  Until then the wait continues with no clearer picture of when it’ll actually arrive.

Enjoy some time off Tool fans, and don’t forget to submit your albums for the Fourtheye Top 10 of 2016!

 

Tool to play Governors Ball Music Festival in 2017?

According to Consequence of Sound, Tool will be headlining the Governors Ball Music Festival in NYC June 2017.  I believe there was some expectation this would be A Perfect Circle playing, but they now seem pretty sure it’ll be Tool.

The organisers of the festival have refused to comment saying “The full Governors Ball lineup will be announced early next year, at which point tickets will also go on sale.” so keep this show firmly in the rumours category for now.

Here’s Bjork playing a set at the festival a couple of years back:

A Perfect Circle confirm Hollywood show

A Perfect Circle have put out a press release that confirms a show at the Hollywood Bowl on May 7th, with the promise of more shows to come:

We are happy to announce that A Perfect Circle will return this Spring for our first North American tour in six years. A home town show May 7 at the Hollywood Bowl is the first of the dates we can share with you. Tickets are on-sale Thursday, Dec. 15 at 10 am pacific. More dates will be announced soon.

Previously announced festival performances:
April 29 Jacksonville, FL Welcome To Rockville
April 30 Fort Myers, FL Fort Rock
May 5 Charlotte, NC Carolina Rebellion

Tickets for the LA show seem to be via Ticketmaster.

Justin speak to Bass Player about the new Tool album

In what is one of the most revealing interviews in the last 10 years, Justin goes into a fair bit of depth into the progress and process behind the new Tool album.  Jon D’Auria from Bass Player speaks at length with Justin Chancellor on what is a insightful read.

While he didn’t want to be drawn into speculation as to when the album will be ready (based in my interpretation we certainly shouldn’t be expecting anything for a while yet) he does go into what and how they write, what some of the set backs have been and how he feels about the expectations of a ravenously loyal fan base:

How sick are you of people asking when it’s going to be done?

It’s understandable, and it’s a compliment that people are excited to hear it. But it’s difficult to hear that and not feel some kind of guilt. All I can say is that we’ll go back Monday and do our best to finish it for you, although that’s not really how it works. But we know the listeners will be happy with it when it’s finished.

How do you, Adam, and Danny typically write together?

Adam and I usually have the source material we’ve come up with together here. We’re playing pretty much nonstop right now, so a lot of ideas are coming out. Often, Danny and I will be playing something and Adam will rush into the room and tell us to record it, and then we’ll spend the rest of the day working on it to see if it’s worthwhile. And of course we have a whole treasure chest of ideas on our phones that we record on our own. Basically, Adam and I have riffs and Danny has rhythms or different time-signature beats, and we try to keep them basic before bringing them in to see what the other members will do with them. We establish a riff so we and the listener can identify it, and then we say, Okay, now how far away from it can we go on this journey?

Well worth the read, so check it out when you have the chance!

Justin Chancellor from Tool speaks to Bass Player about the next Tool album

A Perfect Circle added to US festival dates

In case you haven’t been following social media, A Perfect Circle have been added to a couple of festival dates on Eastern USA in May next year including the Carolina Rebellion festival as well as two Florida based festivals – Welcome to Rockville in Jacksonville and Fort Rock in For Myers.  Tickets for most of these are already on sale I think!

Acts joining A Perfect Circle on these festivals include Soundgarden, Mastodon, Dillinger Escape Plan, Gojira as well as others that appeal to me at least anyway!

We’re expecting more dates to be announced in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Carolina Rebellion!

Fourtheye Readers Poll: Best Albums of 2016

Time has come for our annual Fourtheye readers poll to determine the best albums of 2016.  The same rules as the last few years apply:

  • You can vote for up to 10 albums.  Feel free to vote for less than 10
  • Each vote is worth one point.  The order you enter the albums has no relevance
  • You can only vote for an album once
  • The album must have been released in 2016
  • It must be a studio album – re-issues, live albums, best of collections and such are ineligible.  EPs are ok though!

The poll will close on New Years Eve, with the final results available not long after.  Feel free to post your lists below, or come discuss it in the forum.  I know I personally get a lot out of reading peoples lists, and typically go and listen to many of your non-nu-metal related suggestions.

A Perfect Circle to tour in May 2017

According to a number of sources, Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan confirmed at last nights Q&A that A Perfect Circle will be touring in 2017, with a show announced for the 7th of May at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles.

There’s not much other detail at this stage, but word is it will be a decent sized tour and that new material has been worked on.  More details to come soon I expect!

Review: A Perfect Union of Contrary Things

Last week my copy of Maynard James Keenan’s biography – A Perfect Union of Contrary Things arrived from the US, and over the last few days I’ve read through it, and composed a few thoughts in a review of sorts.  If you haven’t read the book, below contains a few minor spoilers of sorts, but nothing that should ruin your enjoyment of it.

The first half of the book covers Maynard’s life pre-Tool.  It goes through his upbringing with his mother in Ohio, then father in Scottville, time in the military, Boston and eventually LA.  It talks about his various pre-Tool bands such as texA.N.S., C.A.D. and adventures with Green Jelly. I found this section interesting and insightful, and painted a great picture of how Maynard evolved into the man he is today.

Moving onto Tool, it covers the beginnings of the band quite well, recounting stories with Tom Morello (and how he considered Maynard for the singing role in Rage Against The Machine) and the coming together of the band with Danny and Adam.  It tells anecdotes of the first few Tool shows, as well as their dealings with record labels during the signing process.  We also get some good insight into his work on the comedy scene including the famous Cuntry Boner performance with Laura Milligan with Adam joining in.

We get to hear the story of Maynard’s move to Arizona, as well as the tale behind his time and self discovery with some local Native Americans.  It gives us a good feel for Maynard’s connection, not just with the land but with nature in general – it’s a theme that has been with him throughout his life.

From then on though the book becomes a bit of a blur – Lateralus and 10,000 Days don’t get much more than a couple of paragraphs each, same with A Perfect Circle post-Mer De Noms.  Even Puscifer gets squeezed into a single chapter.

Hi wine making exploits get good coverage, but there is no mention of Blood Into Wine and some of the topics (and personalities) contained within.  We don’t really get much insight into delays in Tool albums expect that Maynard doesn’t write his lyrics until the music is done (which differs quite a bit from the Opiate and Undertow it would appear).

Overall I was both pleased and disappointed with the book.  The first half I found quite interesting – surprisingly so since it really doesn’t cover much of what we Tool fans would expect.  It is well written, and paints a great picture of Maynard’s upbringing, and as well for me insight into the difference between growing up in the USA vs Australia.

This was tempered with what I felt was a somewhat disappointing second half.  Maynard’s “rockstar” career I felt was overly abbreviated, and was left craving more detail into almost everything.  Touring really isn’t discussed in any depth, nor is recording.  It wasn’t like he pushed one agenda over the other either – his recent work with Puscifer and wine making doesn’t get a whole lot more page space than his other projects.  I feel like there is more to be told and would come as no surprise if there were to be some kind of Tool biography, or even an MJK book that focuses on his music career – I (and I expect many here) would read this.

Negatives aside, I come away from the book feeling like I know much more about Maynard the person – and I expect this was probably the goal behind this story being told.  It’ll sound corny to some of you, but I do feel inspired by some of the words Maynard has had to say, and some of the philosophies behind how he works.  This book won’t change your life, but may challenge you to reconsider how you consider some aspects of life.

A Perfect Union of Contrary things is an authorised biography written by Sarah Jensen with Maynard offering frequent insights into her writing.  You can grab a copy from Amazon!

A Perfect Union of Contrary Things
A Perfect Union of Contrary Things

 

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