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Fourtheye Readers Top 10 Albums of 2017

The results are in for the Fourtheye Readers Top 10 Albums of 2017.  The poll didn’t get a huge amount of entries this year (partially my fault, since I didn’t push it too hard) but also a reflection of lower traffic these days on Fourtheye (I think partly to to many now consuming Tool news via various Social Media channels rather than older style websites).

Anyway, without further delay, here are the results, as well as my thoughts on these albums.

1. Mastodon – Emperor of Sand

Seeing this as number 1 on this list wasn’t a huge surprise for me (in fact it’ll rate quite highly on my list as well).  Mastodon are a band that inspire plenty of discussion, mostly people lamenting that they’re not as good as they used to be.  While I don’t disagree, I the band aren’t trying to be that same band that recorded Leviathan.  Emperor of Sand is the best album they’ve put out this decade, and could well be the high point of modern-era Mastodon.

2. Queens of the Stone Age – Villains

Queens of the Stone Age are a long time favorite of Tool fans, and while I thought this album was pretty forgettable, it seems to be good enough that many of you nominated it.  QOTSA notably brought on a pop producer for this album, which added a subtle pop vibe to the album, but ultimately was let down by bland songwriting.

3. At The Drive In – In*ter*a*lia

Relationship of Command was an easy 10/10 album.  A few years back At The Drive In reformed, and as many reformed acts do wrote a new album, this time without one of their main songwriters.  The results were mixed I though, some great tracks, and a bunch of filler.

4. Code Orange – Forever

Another album that will be featuring in my top 10 – Code Orange delivered a great album full of hardcore punk with several surprising moments.  The album covers a range of punk moments, but also unexpectedly shifts into grunge, pop and even Nine Inch Nails sounding moments.

5. Pallbearer – Heartless

I’m not a huge fan of these guys, so only listened to this album once or twice.  Pallbearer seem to be pretty popular among Tool fans though, and they’ve featured in these lists several times before.

6. Primus – The Desaturating Seven

Primus delivered another concept album, this time based on a children’s book The Rainbow Goblins.  It features Justin Chancellor narrating on track 1 in case you missed it!  I really enjoyed this album, it was step in a more progressive direction, which I think suits Primus really well.  Only drawback was that it felt like a really short album.

7. Leprous – Malina

Never listened to this band before, and have it playing while I write this.  Wikipedia tells me Leprous are a Norwegian progressive metal band.  Based on what I’ve heard I’d categorise them a bit more as rock.  The album isn’t bad – if Karnivool (and the like) are your thing then you’d likely enjoy it.

8. Elder – Reflections of a Floating World

The last Elder album was pretty great, and while this one didn’t quite live it to that, it’s a really solid effort from a very talented band!

9. Converge – The Dusk in Us

Converge are one of those punk bands that are considered cool enough that they are automatic inclusions into many top 10 lists.  While I really like Converge, I didn’t think this album was anything special.  If modern hardcore punk is your think though, make sure you check it out!

10. Steven Wilson – To The Bone

Well know progressive rock artist Steven Wilson is one who often rates highly among Tool fans.  I listened to this album a few times earlier this year, and it sounds almost exactly like a Steven Wilson album.  You know whether or not you’re going to enjoy this even before you listen!

Weekly Update 21-Nov-2017

Long time no news!  Updating weekly appears to be a weak point of mine, but here’s the latest and greatest.  Highlights include:

  • Justin’s Goblin Master bit at Primus shows
  • Daily Grail discuss the importance of Occult Rock
  • A Perfect Circle release video for The Doomed
  • Tool Newsletters: Still a thing!
  • Albums of the last few weeks: Godflesh, Converge, Polaris, Merchant

Oh and in case you missed it, Adam said Tool have re-recorded Opiate.  We all knew this already though right?  I think it was recorded back in 2015 when the guys from Motorhead filmed Tool in the studio.

Justin as the Goblin Master

We all know that Justin featured on the new Primus album as the Goblin Master, but you may not know that Justin also plays this part in their live shows, albeit in video form.  For your enjoyment:

Occult Rock: The Influence of Magick in Modern Rock

Magic with a K is of great importance, and this article from the Daily Grail goes into a bit of history being the occult in modern rock.  It’s got quite a bit on Tool, so worth a read.  It’s got some good photos of the talismanic boards often present at Tool shows.

A Perfect Circle released The Doomed video

Here it is!

Tool Newsletters: Still a thing!

Blair says that Newsletters are still being written, and hopefully one day published!

Q: What happened to the Tool newsletters?  

A: Having first made sure that all of the archived newsletters were recovered during the transfer (initially I had some doubt), I have been checking on the progress of getting them posted ever since.  Recently, the earliest ones (going back to 2000) began to appear on the back end – at which time I was informed that the delay in getting the rest of them up is due to the developers having to import and edit all them manually as a result of the code that our old webmaster used.  Soon (again, according to the folks at Full Screen Direct) they will be displayed and archived in a separate section.  Once this is done, I will also add the newer ones that I have been writing (every month) but not posting until there is a dedicated area. Thank you for your patience.

Albums of the last few weeks!

  • Aussie doom band Merchant put out a stellar release last week.  If Yob is your thing, check this out!
  • Godflesh are a favorite of mine, and have a new album out this week called Post Self.  It’s not bad and worth a listen…
  • Converge are one of the best modern punk bands around, especially if you’re in the the heavier subgenres.  The Dusk In Us is another great addition to their discography.
  • Another Aussie band, this time Polaris put out a good if somewhat forumlaic progressive metal album called The Mortal Coil.

Legend of the Seagullmen debut with Primus

The Legend of the Seagullmen, a band featuring Danny Carey, as well as Brent Hinds from Mastodon will play it’s debut show at the Primus NYE Party in San Francisco later this year.  Going by social media posts recently it sounds like they’ve been recording as well, so expect some news on an album sometime eventually.

Primus will return to the Fox Theater in Oakland for a Goblin New Years on Sunday, December 31st, 2017. Joining Primus for their debut performance will be special guest Legend of the Seagullmen featuring Brent Hinds of Mastodon and Danny Carey of Tool.

There’s a presale for this on the 19th of October, then public sale on the 20th.  It’s a popular event, so expect it to sell out.

Weekly Update 4-Oct-2017

Slightly late update this week, but I’ve been busy!  In this weeks edition:

  • Justin the Goblin Master
  • Maynard – The Work of Art Part 3
  • Albums of the Week: Chelsea Wolfe, Propagandhi, Dalek & Primus

Justin the Goblin Master

Justin Chancellor features on the new Primus album The Desaturating Seven as the Goblin Master, which I believe you can hear on the first track The Valley.

Maynard – The Art of Work Part 3

The third part of the Art of Work videos featuring Maynard James Keenan is on the Revolver website.  Check it out!

Albums of the Week

Chelsea Wolfe – Hiss Spun

Not quite as good as the last one, but this doom album is not like many others you’ve heard

Propagandhi – Victory Lap

These guys are one of the best punk bands going around and have been a favorite of mine for many years.  This album is probably some way off their best, but still worth a listen if political punk is your thing

Dälek- Endangered Philosophies

Dälek supported Tool in the dim dark past, and have put out another album full of noisy, industrial sounding rap.

Primus – The Desaturing Seven

Primus go full prog on an album that is similar in vein to the last Charlie and the Chocolate Factory one.  It’s a much better effort, though feels quite short.

Weekly Update 18-Sept-2017

Only the second edition of this weekly update thing, and already I feel like I have bugger all to write about.  Strap yourselves in for a bunch of somewhat vaguely relevant “Tool” news!

In this weeks edition:

  • Aenima turns 21
  • Tool + Taylor Swift Mashup
  • Signed “Chet Zar: I Like To Paint Monsters” DVD Documentary
  • New music I’ve enjoyed this week!

Aenima turns 21

Moreso than Undertow, I think Aenima should be considered Tool’s breakthrough album, as it signaled to the world the direction this band would take in years to come.  It was released back on September 17 in 1996, and given that I became a Tool fan not long after it’s release, I guess 21st anniversary of Tool fandom is coming up as well.

No real fanfare from the band, no collectors edition re-issue (though Danny did hint a little while back that their old albums are going to be remastered/issued).  If you’re lucky enough to own it on vinyl, give it a spin for me.

Tool + Taylor Swift Mashup

Look what you made me do:

Signed “Chet Zar: I Like To Paint Monsters” DVD Documentary

A guy called OD emailed me today, telling me he had the opportunity to catch up with artist Chet Zar recently.  He says that the really liked Chet Zar’s DVD I Like To Paint Monsters and we should all go out and buy a copy.  It includes his relationship with Adam Jones and involvement with Tool and also his involvement with the “Hellboy” movies amongst other topics.  I’m yet to check it out, but it’s always been on my list to do so.  You can get signed copies for $25, so sounds like a good deal!

Music

The last few weeks have been good for music, here’s a few albums I’ve enjoyed, that perhaps you might too.  Have a recommendation?  Let me know!

  • 90s rock band Living Colour have a new album out called Shade – it’s great worth a listen!
  • Mastodon will be putting out an EP soon called Cold Dark Place.  You can check out the first track off it called Toe to Toes here.  Speaking of Mastodon, I think Emperor of Sand is one of my favorite albums from this year.
  • Aussie prog metal band Mish put out a great album earlier this year called Entheogen.  Check it out

  • Primus released the next song off their forthcoming album called The Scheme.  I really enjoyed this, as well as the first track.  Album is shaping up to be an excellent one!

That’s all for this week.  If you have anything to share, let me know!

Tool announce huge San Bernadino show

Most of us already knew that a San Bernadino show was coming, but Tool have made a big announcement this morning telling us that the support acts for this gig will include both The Melvins and Primus as well as Live DJ Sets from The Crystal Method + a yet to be announced guest.

Sounds like a great event – this time around there doesn’t appear to be a VIP session, or at least they haven’t announced one.

We are very excited to announce the unparalleled sonic and visual experience of TOOL LIVE IN CONCERT in the high-spirited setting of the GLEN HELEN AMPHITHEATER in SAN BERNARDINO, CALIFORNIA on JUNE 24, 2017.

Other bands on the bill for this monumental event in the Inland Empire include PRIMUS, the MELVINS, and the electronic spectacle of LIVE DJ SETS from THE CRYSTAL METHOD.

For the occasion, the band will also have an additional SPECIAL GUEST to be announced soon. Quite simply, fans of TOOL will not want to miss this SUMMER HAPPENING featuring critically acclaimed bands (and friends) on a stage where anything can happen.

June 24 – San Bernardino, CA @ Glen Helen Amphitheater

TICKETS

Tickets go ON-SALE on THURSDAY, APRIL 13 at 10am PDT.

Tool and Primus shows in Florida confirmed

Just in case you missed it, the two Tool shows in Florida that Primus posted yesterday have been confirmed – Orlando and Pensecola . Like the other recently announced shows they go on sale both the public, and to ToolArmy members as VIP tickets this week. Details are below:

TWO MORE TOOL SHOWS
TICKETS ON-SALE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4

TOOLARMY VIP PACKAGES ON-SALE
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3 at 12:00 PM PST

Thu, Jan 28: Orlando, FL @ CFE Arena (ON-SALE TIME: 10:00 AM EST)
TICKETS

Sat, Jan 30: Pensacola, FL @ Pensacola Bay Center (ON-SALE TIME: 10:00 AM CST)
TICKETS

Once again, as a salute to our distinguished COLLECTIVE, there will be a VERY LIMITED NUMBER of VIP EVENT TICKET SALES for the KANSAS CITY, ST. LOUIS and NEW ORLEANS shows EXCLUSIVELY available to TOOLARMY MEMBERS ON-SALE THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3rd at 12:00 PM PST. So, be ready to reap the benefits of your MEMBERSHIP. However, please keep in mind that these VIP PACKS are LIMITED to 2 PER CUSTOMER, and that this will be STRICKLY ENFORCED! Anyone who doesn’t follow this RULE will have his or her ENTIRE ORDER CANCELLED and REFUNDED!

HOW TO PURCHASE VIPS: TOOLARMY MEMBERS need to LOG IN to the TA WEBSITE on THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3rd at 12:00 PM PST and proceed to the SHOPPING BAZAAR and CLICK ON “TOOL SPECIALTY” and then SELECT THE PACKAGE. Remember the 2 PER CUSTOMER LIMIT RULE (that will be strictly enforced).

TOOL VIP TICKET PRE-SALE CONTENTS:
– One (1) VIP ticket for admission to concert show (to be distributed at the VIP event)
– Admission for one (1) to the VIP event in the venue
– Early entry into the venue
– Live Q+A session with Adam Jones*
– One (1) VIP merchandise pack (to be picked up at the VIP event)
– Tool’s tour merchandise available for early purchase and at a discount at the VIP event
– Photo opportunity
– Light refreshments
*Live Q+A session is subject to change with another band member or band members./

DISCLAIMER/RESTRICTION terms will be posted in the webstore, along with purchase details and other related information.

You can find all the dates for the Tool USA Tour 2016 on Fourtheye!

Tool play at the CFE Arena in Orlando on the 28th of January

Tool issue New Album update of sorts…

I take a week away from the world, and not only do bushfires come pretty close to my house, but Tool post some kinda-news about the new album. In their New Years message via Blair, they say:

Here we are ostensibly in a new year, and with it comes a clean slate to fill with not previously known noteworthy accounts and reports related to the band, TOOL. Having just returned from their individual holiday obligations, the band members will soon be entrenched at the Loft, diligently (as opposed to shoddily) writing and arranging new music for a much anticipated forthcoming recording.

It seems to suggest that the band are finally hitting their straps, which implies we may see some end to the ongoing “where is the new album?” saga.

Some of you will also remember that Danny played with Primus on New Years Eve. Here’s a nice video of Danny & Tim Alexander drumming-off in the time honored tradition:

Danny & Primus Uber Drum Spectacular

Primus have confirmed that Danny will join them once more at a special New Years show in Oakland, CA December 31:

Danny Carey will will join Les, Larry and Tim on New Years Eve at the Fox Theater in Oakland, CA. The Uber Drum Spectacular promises to be a one of kind performance to ring in the New Year.

Tickets will sell fast, so get organised!

Danny’s website updated

Danny’s website was a mess of Flash animation and poorly thought out menus, and today has been updated to a much easier to navigate WordPress based website. After a false start this morning, the site is now available. Upon a quick inspection there didn’t seem to be a huge amount of different content from the old site, just much easier to get too.

While visiting the site, you may be tempted to head to the store and pick up a signed DC drum head for $100!

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