After the Chocolate Chip Trip madness, we slowly relaxed to 7empest, while a plucked Jones riff is complemented by Carey’s extravagant chimes. Although the two do not fit initially, both adapt and merge, before the clean touch becomes a wah-wah riff and Keenan growls (for the only time on the album) “Here we go again.”
It is as linear, as metal if you wish, since Tool has sounded or will sound in Fear Inoculum. After Keenan spits out the verses, we get a Meshuggah-style polyrhythmic riff that most bands would rely on for a complete song. Jones plays it for a few bars and then drops it.
As Jones’s solo approaches the six-minute mark, you feel that this is the closest that Tool has been to a more traditional compositional structure on this record. The fact that the guitarist gives us a beautiful three-minute advantage gives us an indication that the second act of the song will not behave that way.
Each musician is in a dazzling way, and they take turns adopting the lead role in each song. But in 7empest, Jones leads us clearly. His tone, twists and personality dominate the entire track. When Keenan finally resurfaces, he does so with a staccato bark that recalls the first days of Tool. But again, his contribution is brief.
Once again, Jones dives and grabs the track by the neck. Turn from more polypyrmic explosions to harsh, sharp and screaming notes, before closing the song when it began: with its clean touch and Carey’s delicate peal.
It is the longest song on the disc with a runtime of fifteen minutes and forty-five seconds, and it is definitely the most diverse song on the disc, jumping loudly from one end to the other.
It could be the greatest achievement in an exquisite quality record. And, perhaps, even one of the best songs of the band’s entire career.