[[caption-width-right:347:Clockwise from lower left: Danny Carey (drums), Justin Chancellor (bass), Maynard James Keenan (vocals), and Adam Jones (guitar).]]
Influenced by:
+ Music/KingCrimson, Music/{{Melvins}}, Music/{{Metallica}}, Music/FaithNoMore, Music/MikePatton, Music/JanesAddiction, Music/{{Slayer}}, Music/{{Queensryche}}, Music/NineInchNails, Music/BlackSabbath, Clutch, Music/{{Helmet}}, Music/LedZeppelin, Music/{{Danzig}}, Biohazard, Music/PinkFloyd, Prong, Therapy?, Neurosis

Founded in Los Angeles in 1990, Tool is a ProgressiveRock/[[ProgressiveMetal Metal]] group mostly known for their use of unconventional time signatures and rhythms, [[EpicRocking long songs]], MindScrew-tastic imagery, and emphasis on personal interpretation of their music. Like many bands in the 90's music scene, Tool started out as an underground group, and was signed by a record company after only three months of playing as a group. On March 1992, their first EP ''Opiate'' was released. Since then, four studio albums have been released, all of which have gone platinum and have achieved widespread success worldwide.

Tool incorporates many different styles and influences in their music, but the one theme they keep constant is the importance of personal interpretation of their songs, making it possibly the only band that runs ''solely'' on TheWalrusWasPaul. To emphasize this even more, Tool does not release official lyrics with any of their albums, so that what the lyrics ''actually'' mean (or even ''are'') never gets in the way of what the listener ''thinks'' they mean.

Confused yet? Good.

A few factors remain constant throughout their work however. They love using weird time signatures that shift throughout the song, and one track ("Lateralus") even has the rhythm and syllables of the lyrics arranged in a Fibonacci sequence (1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13). The members of the group have unique styles, and Maynard James Keenan's vocals are instantly recognizable, not only for his voice but for his skill with the MetalScream. Danny Carey is also one of the most acclaimed contemporary drummers going, and Adam Jones's guitar tone on ''Opiate'', ''Undertow'' and ''Lateralus'' is just as iconic as Keenan's vocals. Not to mention Justin Chancellor's strong bass lines (and on ''Opiate'' and ''Undertow'', Paul D'Amour), which often make a Tool song instantly recognizable.

Another important part of the band's music is the inclusion of collaborated works of art and music videos that echo themes presented in their songs and albums. These pieces of art usually involve disturbing (if not straight-up horrifying) imagery, play with the UncannyValley, and aren't necessarily supposed to tell an actual story, but evoke certain feelings from the viewer. They [[MindScrew definitely]] [[DerangedAnimation succeed]].

Over the band's career they've addressed many diverse topics, such as religion, the music industry and media censorship, child abuse, drug use, transcendence, and even FanDumb ''from their own fans'' who started complaining that ItsPopularNowItSucks. This various subject matter has also made Tool the subject of much controversy and censorship, including one incident with their song "Stinkfist", which was renamed and edited to run on MTV, due to "Offensive connotations", as well as Walmart not selling their first LP ''Undertow'' with the original cover art. Despite (or possibly because of) that controversy, they have remained a hugely successful group and continue to actively tour both in the United States and internationally.

Three of the group's songs ("Schism", "Parabola", and "Vicarious") also appeared on ''VideoGame/GuitarHero: World Tour'' as playable tracks.

They are working on a fifth studio album [[WordOfGod according to the band members]]. The album has had [[DevelopmentHell numerous and ''very'' tumultuous release dates over the past couple years]], much to the confusion and ire of their fans. On July 15, 2014, Danny Carey finally explained in part what was causing the delay: an ongoing lawsuit, and familial commitments. Adam Jones later added that any new music of theirs won't be released unless they are satisfied with the final product.


* 1992 -- ''Opiate'' (EP)
* 1993 -- ''Undertow''
* 1996 -- ''Ćnima''
* 2000 -- ''Salival'' (box set with an 8-song CD and a DVD or VHS with the videos for "Sober", "Prison Sex", "Stinkfist", "Ćnema", and on the DVD version, "Hush")
* 2001 -- ''Lateralus''
* 2006 -- ''10,000 Days''

'''Grammy Awards'''

* 1998 Best Metal Performance ("Ćnema")
* 2002 Best Metal Performance ("Schism")
* 2007 Best Recording Package (''10,000 Days'')

!!"Why can't we not be troper..."

* AlienAbduction:
** Addressed... sort of... in "Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)" / "Rosetta Stoned"; see TheChosenOne below.
** "Faaip de Oiad" also mentions it, as part of a subversive societal takeover.
* AnythingThatMoves: The second friend described in "The Gaping Lotus Experience," up to and including inanimate objects.
* AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence:
** Sort of the point of "Forty Six & 2", which combines Jungian philosophy with an eccentric take on human evolution.
** ''Lateralus'' as a whole is heavily influenced by transcendentalism.
* AwesomeButImpractical: [[http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p193/ironcobra8/drum%20department/paiste%20kit/kit_side.jpg Danny Carey's all-bronze drumkit made completely out of recycled cymbals]]. They may look cool, but they can't be used for overseas travel due to the sheer weight of the shells. According to TheOtherWiki, the bass drums themselves weigh ''93 pounds''!
* BilingualBonus:
** "Die Eier von Satan" features vocals by Marko Fox delivered in an angry tirade of German. It features a heavy industrial production and a roaring crowd in the background, bringing to mind something resembling a Nazi rally to a non-German speaker. The lyrics are actually Fox's grandmother's recipe for cookies made with Turkish hashish. She called them ''die Eier von Satan'', which means "The Eggs of Satan", with "eggs" being common German slang for testicles. With this in mind, one could alternately translate the title as ''The Balls of Satan''. The singer also frequently quotes "und keine Eier,"("and no eggs)". So basically, The Eggs of Satan contain no eggs.
** "Message for Harry Manback" features a lot of extravagant swearing in Italian, though you can assume as much based on the rest of the message, delivered in English.
* BizarreInstrument: Pianos... being shot with shotguns and smashed with sledgehammers in "Disgustipated," a hydraulic press (or something that sounds like one) on "Die Eier von Satan," a breathing tube in "Parabol," and Maynard's cat in "Mantra," possibly among others.
* CaliforniaCollapse:"Ćnema" is basically a wish that this would happen out of disgust with the culture of Los Angeles, with inspiration from Creator/BillHicks.
* TheCameo:
** Singers: Music/HenryRollins in the breakdown of "Bottom", Marko Fox on "Die Eier von Satan", Statik on "Disgustipated" and "Triad" and Lustmord on "10,000 Days (Wings Pt 2)".
** Musicians: On ''Salival'', additional musicians include: [[Music/{{Melvins}} King Buzzo]] on "You Lied", Vince [=DeFranco=] playing synths on "Third Eye", Alotte Duka playing tabla on "Pushit", producer/keyboardist David Bottrill on "Message to Harry Manback II", and the DVD version contains a live version of "Hush" with additional vocals by Music/ToriAmos.
* CantLiveWithThemCantLiveWithoutThem: "H", on the surface, is about a relationship which is poisonous to the subject but which he/she can't bring him/herself to leave.
* TheChosenOne: {{Subverted|Trope}} in "Rosetta Stoned"--the narrator describes being abducted by aliens, who have chosen him to deliver a message to the human race... but he forgot to bring his pen to write it down.
* ConceptAlbum: Regardless of whether or not the band views any of their records as such, ''10,000 Days'' is cited as an example all the same.
* CoverVersion: "No Quarter" by Music/LedZeppelin, "Demon Cleaner" by Music/{{Kyuss}}, "You Lied" by Peach[[note]]Justin Chancellor's previous band[[/note]], "B'Boom" by Music/KingCrimson.
* ClusterFBomb: Several songs, especially "Hush", "Hooker with a Penis" and "Ćnema". "Rosetta Stoned" alone should have earned ''10,000 Days'' a Parental Advisory label, but the heavy distortion and layering on the vocals may have fooled the ratings board.
* EpicRocking: A large percentage of their discography consists of this; notable examples are "Pushit", "Third Eye", "Reflection", "Wings for Marie" (both parts), and "Rosetta Stoned".
* FreudWasRight: [[invoked]] "Tool" is slang for penis. WordOfGod is that this is only one interpretation, but some of the licensed artwork [[InvokedTrope definitely goes down that particular route]].
* GoMadFromTheRevelation: "Lost Keys" / "Rosetta Stoned" has a lot of fun with this. The subject may have had a sanity-breaking encounter with aliens, or he may have just OD'd on hallucinogens. The lyrics make either completely plausible.
* GoodFeelsGood:
** "The Patient" suggests that being a kind and loving person is its own reward, even when it's difficult.
** Most of the ''Lateralus'' album appears to be hinting that the alternative (choosing to be bitter) won't make things any better.
* GratuitousItalian: "Message to Harry Manback" (both versions) feature a lot of Italian swearing.
* HeartbeatSoundtrack: The opening of the studio version of "Third Eye."
* HiddenTrack: "The Gaping Lotus Experience" at the end of ''Opiate''.
* HumansAreBastards: "Vicarious"[[note]]humanity uses TV as a tool for {{schadenfreude}}[[/note]], "Right In Two"[[note]]two angels bemoaning our violent nature[[/note]], the demo version of "Rosetta Stoned".
* IndecipherableLyrics: A lot of "Rosetta Stoned"'s lyrics are heavily layered and electronically slurred, and are only comprehensible after multiple listenings. The first lyrics of "Forty Six & 2" and sections in the middle of "Stinkfist" and "Eulogy" are buried underneath the music, also making them difficult to decipher.
* {{Instrumentals}}: The interludes on ''Ćnima'', ''Lateralus'' and ''10,000 Days'' are this, plus "Triad" for a normal-length tune.
* IntercourseWithYou: "Maynard's Dick", the hidden track on the CD of ''Salival''.
* [[LastNoteNightmare Last Song Nightmare]]:
** "Disgustipated" from ''Undertow'': Maynard relating a ''very'' weird dream about an angel allowing him to hear the terrified screams of carrots facing harvest leads to a harsh sort-of song leads to 7 minutes of ChirpingCrickets leads to a ominous-sounding voice message.
** "Faaip de Oiad" from ''Lateralus'': A harsh, droning wall of electronic noise with Danny furiously drumming in the background and accompanied by a frantic caller to ''Radio/CoastToCoastAM'' rambling about the government being taken over by aliens.
** "Viginti Tres" from ''10,000 Days''.
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: ''Self-admitted'' in "Hooker with a Penis," which then [[TakeThatAudience mocks the listener for assuming otherwise]].
--> I sold my soul to make a record, dipshit, and then [[SchmuckBait you bought one]].\\
Shut up and buy - buy - buy my new record // Buy - buy - buy - send more money!
* MadnessMantra: From "Rosetta Stoned," we have the "Don't know, won't know..." chant at the end of the song.
** "Schism" ends with multiple repetitions of "I know the pieces fit".
* MaybeMagicMaybeMundane: Did the narrator of "Rosetta Stoned" just have a particularly bad trip, or did he really have a sanity-shattering encounter with aliens?
* MetalScream: Maynard really likes this, particularly the 25-second scream in "The Grudge" and pretty much all of his singing in "Ticks & Leeches".
* MindScrew: A ''lot'' of their songs, and just about all of their videos ("Hush" being the notable exception), employ this.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: Generally a 6 or 7, but they can also go as low as 4/5. Or as high as an 8, on a few occasions. Not often, though.
** "Lateralus" is all over the place with just one song. It starts calmly, as a 1. Then, once the guitar kicks in, it becomes around a 7, before tuning down to 5-6 range with the vocals. The chorus is about a 7 again, twisting down to a 2, and building up again all the way to 8. It fades out at 7 again.
** "Schism" is also a little wacky when it comes to this, bouncing between 1, 7, and every level in between; it's a high 3 or a low 4 overall.
* MoodWhiplash: Can be induced by the middle tracks of ''Ćnima'', from the introspective "Forty Six & 2" to the head-scratching "Message to Harry Manback" to the venomously snarky "Hooker With a Penis" to the bouncy, cheerful "Intermission", which is the main guitar riff of the next song, the rather somber "Jimmy", played on an organ.
* MushroomSamba: {{ZigZagg|ingTrope}}ed in "Rosetta Stoned". The subject first attributes seeing the aliens to "the [[Music/TheGratefulDead Deadhead]] chemistry", but later in the song he says "See, the Dead ain't touring / And this wasn't all in my head".
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: Tool is notoriously difficult to classify due to the sheer amount of genres they cover. ProgressiveRock, ProgressiveMetal, post-hardcore, MathRock, PostRock, NoiseRock, {{ambient}}, AlternativeMetal, art rock, and more all blend together to create something that really can't be conveniently labeled. "Progressive rock" and "progressive metal" are the most common labels applied to them, but even those are spotty at best.
* NonAppearingTitle: "H", "Jambi", "Ćnema", "Hooker With A Penis", "Lateralus", and many other songs.
* ParentalAbandonment: Several of Tool's songs are about Keenan's mother, who suffered an aneurysm and was partially paralyzed when he was still a child, and about his parents' divorce and the stress he dealt with when his mother re-married. Just about all of his endeavors reference her at some point, "Jimmy" is essentially Maynard's angst about his parents' divorce, and the Music/APerfectCircle song "Judith" is a scathing indictment of his mother keeping her faith in spite of her predicament. She died in between ''Lateralus'' and ''10,000 Days'', and "Wings for Marie" and "10,000 Days (Wings pt. 2)" are essentially his eulogy to her, praising her for being essentially the bedrock of his life and saying that after all she endured while still keeping her faith, it would be an outrage for her to not enter heaven.
* PunBasedTitle: ''Ćnima' is an allusion to Jungian psychology (the "anima" archetype, or the feminine unconscious). The song "Ćn'''e'''ma" is a pun on this, referring to the medical procedure, which is what the singer wishes would happen to L.A. (getting irrigated with water and flushing out all the crap).
* PrecisionFStrike: "Pushit", "Ticks and Leeches" (it's actually the only song on ''Lateralus'' that has any cursing), "The Pot".
* ProtestSong: "Right in Two," which is essentially two angels looking at humanity and pondering how such a fundamentally nasty race gained such favor with God, and "Hush", which is broadly about censorship.
* PunnyName: Harry Manback.
* QuicksandSucks: "Swamp Song".
--> My warning meant nothing\\
You're dancing in quicksand [...]\\
I hope it sucks you down
* {{Reincarnation}}: Arguably a theme to "H".
* RockMeAsmodeus: "The Gaping Lotus Experience" features Maynard singing "Satan, Satan" (foregoing any [[SubliminalSeduction backmasking]] at all), although the song itself is about people doing strange things while high.
* SarcasticClapping: Used tongue-in-cheek as the applause dies down at the end of "Pushit" on ''Salival''.
* SchmuckBait: "Hooker With a Penis" contains the line "I sold my soul to make a record, dipshit / Then you bought one!" This can be interpreted to mean that [[TakeThatAudience no true fan would ever believe in the band's stance against overt consumerism]] - because in order to have heard the song, ([[TechnologyMarchesOn presumably, as this was before YouTube]]) ''one would have first had to have bought the album!''
* ShoutOut:
** The most prominent is to Creator/BillHicks in ''Ćnima'': inner artwork, clips of Hicks in the intro to "Third Eye", and the song "Ćnema" being based on Hicks' "Arizona Bay" routine, with a TitleDrop in the chorus.
** The live version of "Third Eye" on ''Salival'' replaces the Bill Hicks material with clips of Timothy Leary.
** "Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)" is a nod to Albert Hofmann, the creator of LSD.
* SignatureStyle: Complex (and often polyrhythmic) drumming, heavy guitars and bass, and the PerishingAltRockVoice of Maynard James Keenan make up a lot of the band's songs, making them one of the most distinct bands in the metal community.
* SpokenWordInMusic: "Faaip de Oiad", "Disgustipated", "Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)", "Bottom" and "Third Eye" all use this. "Bottom" even drags Henry Rollins in for a cameo.
* SurrealMusicVideo: Among the reigning kings of this trope.
* TakeThat:
** A good chunk of their earlier catalogue is built on this ("Hush"[[note]]to media censorship[[/note]], "Eulogy"[[note]]to hypocritical demagogues[[/note]], "Hooker with a Penis"[[note]]to "selling out" criticisms[[/note]], "Ćnema"[[note]]to Los Angeles culture[[/note]], and others).
** The sheep bleating in "Disgustipated" references Maynard doing the same on-stage to the ChurchOfHappyology when Tool played at their Celebrity Centre in 1993.
* TitleDrop: Very few of their songs do this, but the ones that do make it mean something, such as "Eulogy":
-->You've claimed all this time that you would die for me.\\
Why then are you so surprised when you hear your own eulogy?
* TooDumbToLive: Not the bandmembers themselves, but [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-wE5LtDKPU&feature=related a fan]]. When you run onto a normal stage, security will take you down. When you run onto a stage where Tool plays, [[BewareTheNiceOnes Maynard James Keenan himself]] will take you down, ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome and keep on singing while he holds you down]]''.
* UncommonTime: Many of their songs, namely "Schism", which [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schism_%28song%29#Time_signature has up to 47 meter changes]].
* TheWalrusWasPaul: This is a fundamental tenet of the band's output, and one of the main reasons why they don't release lyrics with the albums.
* WordSaladLyrics: Most of their songs mean something, but it's usually pretty oblique.
* YouWontFeelAThing: "Stinkfist", which uses fisting as a metaphor for desensitization.
-->''Knuckle deep inside the borderline''\\
''This may hurt a little, but it's something you'll get used to''\\
''Relax, slip away''