Ænima is the second full-length studio album by the progressive metal band Tool. It was released on October 1, 1996 in CD format and in vinyl format the week before. The album was recorded and cut at Ocean Way, Hollywood, California and The Hook, North Hollywood, California from 1995 to 1996. It was certified triple platinum by the RIAA on March 4, 2003.
Several of the songs are short segues or interludes that connect to longer songs, pushing the total duration of the CD towards the maximum of around 80 minutes. These segues are "Useful Idiot", "Message to Harry Manback", "Intermission", "Die Eier Von Satan", "Cesaro Summability", and "(-) Ions".
Themes of the album include Egyptian mythology in a seven-pointed star symbolizing Babylon, and sacred geometry in dividing the planet into grids related to chromosomes. Also the band claimed this album to be partly inspired by Bill Hicks (a comedian who the band felt was going in the same direction as them)
Danny Carey labeled L. Ron Hubbard as the subject of "Eulogy". However, Maynard has also said that his lyrics are always interpretations of the music, and it's therefore important to find your own meaning to songs . There has also been speculation that the lyrics could have referred to Bill Hicks, to whom the band had a close friendship , and also to whom much of the album is dedicated, in artwork and quotes on the song "Third Eye".
Speculation has surrounded the song "H." The "meaning" of this song has seldom been detailed by the band, as they do not regularly comment on such things. However on several occasions, specifically on November 23, 1996 during a show at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia, Maynard does grant some insight into the meaning of the song. Speaking to the audience he says, "Any of you ever seen those old Warner Bros. cartoons? Sometimes theres that one where the guy is trying to make a decision and he's got an angel on one shoulder and the devil on the other. Seems pretty obvious, right? The angel is trying to give him good advice while the devil is trying to get him to do what's bad for him. It's not always that simple though. A lot of times they're not really angels or devils but friends giving you advice, looking out for your best interest but not really understanding what's going to be best for you. So it kind of comes down to you. You have to make the decision yourself. This song is called H." The song was discussed live during a few other shows around this time, one example being on February 23, 1997, when Maynard introduced this song by referring to the shoulder angel and devil, and also said it's about a hurtful yet dependent relationship. in an interview Keenan gave in December of 1996, he commented, "My son's name is Devo H. That's all I'll say." It is also of note that the song's working title was "Half Empty", as it was introduced during a mini-tour of California by the band in December 1995. In the book, "Teachings of Don Juan, a Yaqui Way of Knowledge", the author refers to a character named H. Keenan.
"Hooker with a Penis" refers to a fan who accused the band of selling out after their first EP. "OGT" is taken to stand for "Original Gangster Tool". Keenan whispers in the left channel throughout the song. At 1:41, "consume, be fruitful, and multiply" may be alluding to Genesis, which contains the phrase "be fruitful and multiply" six times. During Lollapalooza 1997, a version of "Hooker with a Penis" remixed by Billy Howerdel in the form of lounge music played over the public address system between sets.
The segue "Die Eier von Satan" has a heavy industrial guitar played over a reversed drum beat with an unusual, irregular time signature. The lyrical component of the song is in German, performed by Marko Fox, a member of ZAUM. He is backed by a sound that resembles a hydraulic press, and crowd cheering and applause that increase in volume as the lyrics are read with increasing ferocity. These combined effects make the song sound like a militant German rant or Nazi rally. While the sound and the word "Satan" in the title may suggest to listeners that the lyrics feature aggressive or even violent content, the speaker is merely reciting a cookie recipe, for hashish or Mexican cookies. The song was originally translated by Gudrun Fox. According to Blair McKenzie Blake, the maintainer of the official Tool website, "Die Eier von Satan" originally were cookies that "Marko Fox's grandmother used to bake for him as a child, without using eggs as an ingredient. The substitution for eggs is a magical incantation from the worm-eaten pages of some moldering grimoire. This magical incantation ("sim salabim bam ba saladu saladim") is taken from the German children's song "Auf einem Baum ein Kuckuck saß". According to the lyrics, the special ingredient besides this "incantation" is actually "a knife-tip of Turkish hashish". The title literally translates to "The Eggs of Satan" or "The Balls of Satan," due to a German double entendre of "Eier", which means "eggs" and also serves as a slang word for "testicles". The experimentation in this song has been compared to that of Einstürzende Neubauten.
A slow version was performed live and appears on Salival.
The song "Third Eye" contains samples of comedian Bill Hicks. The title may be a reference to Hicks' saying that psilocybe mushrooms were being used to "squeegee [his] third eye clean. The third eye is a metaphysical concept that may have to do with evolution of the human brain. A goal of the album as a whole was to "open people up in some way and help open their third eye and help them on a path.
The special images used for the lenticular effect are:
|1996||"Stinkfist"||Mainstream Rock Tracks (U.S.)||#17|
|1996||"Stinkfist"||Modern Rock Tracks (U.S.)||#19|
|1997||"H."||Mainstream Rock Tracks (U.S.)||#23|
|1997||"Ænima"||Mainstream Rock Tracks (U.S.)||#25|
|1997||"Forty Six & 2"||Mainstream Rock Tracks (U.S.)||#22|