Calling Tool the "thinking-person's metal band," to use that oft-cited quote, is frankly insulting to the sprawling world of metal, a vast genre with cave-like nooks and crannies.
Still, there has always been something obviously cerebral about the group, which has earned both mainstream success and underground props throughout its two-decade-plus career. From the beginning, Tool's tuneage has exploded with enough grinding heaviness for the '90s bangers and millennial metalheads while still boasting enough proggy instrumental flourishes and literary references to ensnare the chin-scratchers.
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It was a strategy that proved commercially viable for years. Although, over the past few, the group's future has seemed questionable. Infamously elusive though intelligent frontman Maynard James Keenan became deeply engrossed in his Arizona vineyard, Caduceus Cellars, and Tool faded into the background.
Lately, though, Keenan and crew have hinted that a new album is in the works. And the band's current tour, which brings it to the BankAtlantic Center Monday, marks its first in several years. Witness the return of Tool.