"I like all kinds of music, but Tool is my favorite band by far. When I heard of this string tribute, I pre-ordered it with high hopes. Well, after listening to it today, I think it's pretty good. It is a *very* good interpretation of Tool's songs (if you ask me), and it is a good listen. It certainly gives all the songs a new ring to them.However, I think they may have interpreted Tool's obscurity a little too closely in some cases. Sometimes it almost seems like the song is unbalanced. Additionally, some songs seem a bit choppy, but that again may be more of the interpretation.There's no doubt that the creators of Third Eye Open had a challenge, and while this album can be a little awkward at times, overall it is interesting and I'm sure one of those things that grows on you. I wouldn't recommend it to the typical metal-head who is looking for intense guitar riffs and tortured vocals, but if you enjoy the intellectual qualities of Tool's music and expressions, you may find Third Eye Open an entrancing listen, as it puts those intellectual qualities under a whole new light.Oh, and Aenema could have done without the "hey" sounds. :)"
Very interesting, but with little lasting appeal
eac666 | Plano, TX United States | 01/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is quite an interesting take on the music of Tool. These songs were never written for strings, but it seems they can be adapted at least somewhat well. And it's an honest effort, but it leaves a lot to be desired.The higher points of the CD include the tense and dramatic harmonies of "Sober" as well as the chaotic rendition of "Push It". Sometimes these songs seem to have been written with strings in mind (but who really knows; it's Tool).Unfortunately the album does have some shortcomings, the worst of which is the poor translation of Maynard's vocals to string. I understand that violin and voice are two different things, but it seems like most of the vocal dynamics that are so prevalent in Tool songs are lacking in these string-overs.Those looking for a new definition of Tool probably won't find it here. This is a very good idea, but it never seems to make it all the way off of the page. Worth listening to, but there's not enough present for it to steal the stage."
Jennifer Counts | Houston, TX United States | 10/23/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Tool is one of my favorite bands, so I decided I had to have this CD. I bought it primarily out of curiosity, wanting to see how Tool songs work as string arrangements. I think the musicians did a very good job interpreting Tool's music. The string arrangements give the songs a new feel. It brings a more melancholy note to some of the songs. The album has its awkward moments, but I think that is simply a problem of strings trying to duplicate a rock band--it doesn't always work as well as one might hope. However, these moments are far outweighed by the truly beautiful music that comprises the rest of the album. Tool's music is artistically strong enough that it translates well most of the time. I thought it a bit odd that they included "Ticks and Leeches", since that song is so percussion-dominated, but the arrangement was actually interesting, if for the most part unrecognizable. I would have like to see more from "Lateralus" on the CD, and maybe not so much from "Opiate", since the "Lateralus" work is more intellectually and musically complex than that from "Opiate". However, this is only a very minor gripe. On the whole, this album is a really interesting listen that has proven to be addictive."
Ausar | Pennsylvania | 02/26/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Its just a nice album. There are imperfections that sometimes make me want to figure out how to write music myself so i can correct it, but oh well. This and many of the other "Strings Tributes To..." albums are just perfect background music at work or when I'm cleaning the house, whenever I want a softer, subtler version of some favorites.
I also suggest the Strings Tribute To Led Zeppelin, Metalica (even though i'm not a big fan of them), Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Tori Amos, Pearl Jam, Marilyn Manson, and Nirvana. I don't have the Strings...A Perfect Circle yet, but I am positive that I will like.
They're all just as good, and fit a very specific mood that I find hard to describe."
Rich, beautiful, visceral, Tool.
Joshua Chandler | Springfield, MO USA | 04/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Most people who encounter the String Tribute to Tool (also referred to as Third Eye Open) will be crossover fans from Tool's original work, as opposed to fans of experimental string quartet music seeking out Tool for the first time (although this is theoretically possible). And as this CD is essentally a tribute to Tool, this makes sense, and it is not incorrect to want to judge this album in light of Tool's original recordings, which have a vastly different texture of sound. Thus, those seeking complete sonic replicants of the originals are bound to be disappointed, but so shall those who are looking for exploratory arrangements that obliterate much or all of the initial structure of Tool's songs in favor of even more abstraction. Rather, this album lays somewhere in between.
With the powerful opener "Sober", it's hard to see how anyone could discredit this CD. Each instrument really lays into the arrangement like a hot knife into butter. As the cello and bass come in on the song's ubiquitous bass root with a viola adding eerie structure behind, an articulate violin comes in to match Adam Jones' original guitar part with its own frenetic melody. The song continues to be a faithful, creative, and sonically rich interpretation of the original "Sober" for each second after and ends with a sense of true accomplishment, both for the listener and (surely) for the performers.
What fascinates me the most about this CD, though, is how difficult it must be to arrange small string sections to Tool's complex music and that in spite of that each of these arrangements seems to fit almost perfectly. Some songs certainly shine greater than others: the aforementioned "Sober" is one of the best, blooming with energy and sensation. "?nema" is another, featuring slight altercations and juxtapositions in the rhythm and groove as the song continues, as well as a headlong commitment to the grandiosity of the original in spite of the immense difficulty. And besides adding some new solos and phrasings throughout the songs, the performers also took time to include their interpretations of some of the original non-instrumental intros to Tool's music, as on "Intolerance" and "?nema".
While the CD waxes intense for many of the tracks in another display of faith to the original recordings, the mood here is actually somewhat diverse. My personal favorite, "Pushit", is a beautifully melancholic performance that perfectly captures the mood and intent of the original song. "Ticks and Leeches" broods quietly, spending much of its time in the interlude section of the original. Even "Hush", which one might guess would be rendered much less meaningful without lyrics, seems to have retained all of the cynical humor of the 1992 recording.
The flip side of this is that non-Tool fans are sometimes attracted to the band through this CD. While this is certainly not the rule, hearing the Tool's music in such an unusual format often allows people to judge them more objectively. Only a few years after its release, I already know a handful of people who say that they would never have listened to Tool were it not for this CD or its companion (Metamorphic, or Volume 2).
For some, this CD will take just as much of an open mind to understand as Tool's music alone does for so many others. But it is completely worth the adjustment: each interpretation is a rich, poetic blend that can stand amazingly (read: surprisingly) close to the original in musical strength."