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14 Best TOOL Songs of All Time (Greatest Hits)

January 3, 2024
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I’ve compiled a list of the best TOOL songs of all time, delving into the intense and intricate world of this groundbreaking progressive metal band.

This selection highlights TOOL’s complex musical arrangements and thought-provoking lyrics, offering a journey through their most compelling and innovative tracks that have captivated fans for decades.

Top TOOL songs of all time

  • “Lateralus”
  • “Sober”
  • “Schism”
  • “Third Eye”
  • “Forty Six & 2”
  • “Opiate”
  • “Pneuma”
  • “Prison Sex”
  • “The Grudge”
  • “Jambi”

1. “Lateralus”

Tool’s 2001 classic, “Lateralus”, is an ambitious and emotionally charged exploration of human consciousness.

The track’s winding structure, packed with eclectic instrumentation and dynamic vocal harmonies, is a testament to the band’s progressive spirit.

Its piercing guitar riffs and thunderous drums juxtapose with its dreamy interludes, creating a captivating soundscape that pulls listeners in.

The lyrical content of “Lateralus” is exceptionally poetic and thought-provoking; themes of fear and mortality are explored in depth, providing the listener with powerful insight into the human condition.

Tool’s ability to seamlessly blend musical complexity with profound lyricism makes “Lateralus” one of their greatest achievements, an iconic song that continues to enthrall fans two decades later.

2. “Sober”

Moving from the intricate and mind-bending complexity of “Lateralus” to the more mellow and melancholic emotion of “Sober”, Tool manages to create a perfect segue between two disparate styles.

The song’s pulsing yet gentle guitar work provides an emotional anchor, as Maynard James Keenan’s lyrics explore themes of addiction and personal growth.

With its emotive vocal melodies and complex arrangement, “Sober” is an example of Tool at its most affecting – a reflection on the struggles that many of us face in life, told through a beautifully crafted musical tapestry.

It stands as one of the band’s most memorable moments and serves as a reminder that even in our darkest times, there can be beauty.

3. “Schism”

Schism” is a timeless classic, embodying the best of Tool in one epic track.

The song’s lyrics and music swell around you like an ocean wave, bringing with it a powerful emotional intensity that never fails to capture the heart and soul of its listeners.

Its sweeping instrumental passages are masterfully crafted, combining metal riffs, prog-rock complexity, and dark ambiance with a symphonic beauty.

It’s no wonder this song has remained popular for decades – “Schism” is truly one of Tool’s crowning achievements.

4. “Third Eye”

“Third Eye” is one of the most influential songs in Tool’s discography, a heavy and powerful anthem that truly encapsulates the essence of their sound.

Its complex instrumental arrangement, featuring a sludgy riff that ebbs and flows over mesmerizing drums and haunting vocals, creates an atmosphere of both dread and beauty.

Lyrically, it tackles themes of self-reflection and introspection, making it a timeless classic that stands alongside such other classics as “Schism” and “Parabola”.

“Third Eye” is an essential listen for anyone looking to understand the enormity of Tool’s musical legacy.

5. “Forty Six & 2”

“Forty Six & 2” is one of the greatest songs ever written by Tool.

It’s a complex and brooding track that pushes the boundaries of progressive rock, with its intricate guitar riffs and pounding drums.

Maynard James Keenan’s vocals are mesmerizing as he waxes poetic about self-awareness and spiritual evolution.

The song builds to an explosive climax, where all of the elements combine to create a truly powerful sonic experience.

It’s easy to see why this classic track has become a fan favorite over the years; it really encapsulates what makes Tool so unique and special.

6. “Opiate”

The ending track of Tool’s 1992 EP, “Opiate” is a dark, ominous dirge that sets the tone of the album.

Its simple and repetitive guitar riff conveys a feeling of unease and dread, which is perfectly matched by Maynard Keenan’s howling vocals.

This fantastic song encapsulates all of the hallmarks of Tool’s sound – heavy riffs, aching lyrics, and an overall atmosphere of despair.

It’s no wonder this track has become one of their most beloved songs over the years, and it will undoubtedly remain a fan favorite for many more to come.

7. “Pneuma”

There’s something undeniably powerful about Tool’s song “Pneuma”, and it’s easy to see why it’s become a fan favorite.

From the hypnotic opening riffs to the ethereal vocal melodies, this song is a sonic masterpiece that blends technical mastery and emotional depth.

The lyrics explore themes of mortality, humanity, and spirituality, painting an unforgettable portrait of existential dread.

It’s a truly captivating experience that will stay with you long after its final notes have faded away.

8. “Prison Sex”

Tool’s classic “Prison Sex” is a track that has stood the test of time and become one of the band’s most iconic songs.

It’s an intense, emotive offering that lyrically explores themes of child abuse, guilt, and shame.

Musically, it’s a slow-building rocker with some interesting production flourishes and a memorable guitar riff throughout.

The song also features some powerful vocal performances from frontman Maynard James Keenan and drummer Danny Carey.

While the song may not be for everyone due to its dark subject matter, there is no denying its impact on modern rock music as a whole.

Overall, “Prison Sex” stands out as one of Tool’s greatest hits and is sure to remain an influence for years to come.

9. “The Grudge”

“The Grudge” is a classic Tool song that has been immortalized in the annals of hard rock history.

It’s an intense, brooding track that builds to a powerful, cathartic climax.

The drums and guitars create an aggressive yet hypnotic soundscape, while Maynard Keenan’s unique vocal delivery adds another layer of intensity to the song.

The lyrics are some of the most cryptic and thought-provoking in Tool’s repertoire, making them open to interpretation.

This song is sure to get any crowd moving with its relentless energy and sheer power.

It’s a timeless classic that will never go out of style.

10. “Jambi”

“Jambi” is a testament to Tool’s technical mastery and captivating lyricism.

This searing song takes listeners on a sonic journey that transcends genre and expectations.

Its soaring guitar riffs, intricate rhythms, and soaring vocal lines are held together by Maynard James Keenan’s hauntingly powerful delivery.

It’s an epic anthem that will have listeners hooked from the first listen, with its hypnotic power lingering long after its conclusion.

An essential addition to any Tool fan’s greatest hits collection, “Jambi” is a must-have for all music lovers.

11. “Rosetta Stoned”

Following up on the brilliant “Jambi”, Tool gifted us with the mesmerizing “Rosetta Stoned”.

The song starts off with a captivating, looping guitar riff which is accompanied by a steady bassline.

This sets the mood for the ethereal and intense lyrics that follow.

Maynard Keenan’s voice gives an almost hypnotic feel to this song, as he sings about his alien abduction experience.

This track blends elements of psychedelic rock, progressive metal, and spoken word poetry in a way that is truly unique.

The complex time signatures throughout the song are masterfully navigated by Danny Carey’s drumming, keeping everything together and adding to the intensity of the music.

From start to finish, “Rosetta Stoned” is an unforgettable journey through one man’s extraordinary encounter with extraterrestrial forces.

12. “Stinkfist”

An anthemic anthem of angst, “Stinkfist” is a powerful and poetic slice of hard rock from the Tool catalog.

The track’s searing guitars and driving drums provide a canvas for frontman Maynard James Keenan’s cathartic vocals to soar over.

With its potent lyrics addressing themes of fear and personal growth, “Stinkfist” is nothing short of a timeless classic that remains as relevant today as when it was first released in 1996.

While the song may not be their most popular or commercially successful single, “Stinkfist” stands out as one of Tool’s greatest songs ever written—a powerful anthem that resonates with listeners across generations.

13. “Vicarious”

“Vicarious”, the fourth track from Tool’s album 10,000 Days is an epic-length song that transcends all expectations.

The song then builds towards its intense climax with soaring melodies and driving percussion, sending listeners into a hypnotic state.

It’s no wonder why Vicarious is regarded as one of Tool’s greatest songs – it masterfully combines melodic elements with heavy metal dynamics to create an unforgettable experience.

With its passionate delivery and powerful instrumentation, Vicarious proves to be a timeless classic that will continue to move listeners for years to come.

14. “The Pot”

Following the release of their 2006 single “Vicarious”, Tool delivered an unforgettable classic with “The Pot”.

This heavy-hitting track perfectly encapsulates the band’s signature sound, featuring a powerful blend of hypnotic rhythms and intense riffs.

It also showcases lead singer Maynard James Keenan’s unique vocal delivery, which ranges from haunting whispers to full-blown screams.

The song’s lyrics are deeply poetic and thought-provoking, tackling topics such as greed and hypocrisy with a powerful sense of urgency.

“The Pot” is an essential part of any Tool’s greatest hits collection and it remains one of the group’s most beloved songs.

Best Tool Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts

I’ve concluded that some of the best Tool songs of all time are “Lateralus”, “Sober, Schism”, “Third Eye”, “Forty Six & 2”, “Rosetta Stoned”, “Stinkfist”, and “Vicarious”.

These songs capture the essence of Tool’s unique sound and have become some of the most iconic rock anthems of our time.

From heavy riffs to hypnotic melodies and introspective lyrics, these songs showcase why Tool has become one of the most beloved bands in modern music history.

Each track is a timeless classic that stands as a testament to Tool’s musical brilliance.

It goes without saying that these 14 tracks will remain immortalized for years to come.

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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