Lateralus (9:24)

Cover of Lateralus

From Lateralus and 30 other releases

Lateralus” is the title track of the 2001 album of the same name by the American band Tool’.

-Mathematical significance-
Counting between pauses, the syllables in Maynard James Keenan’s vocals during the verses form the first few Fibonacci numbers, ascending and descending:
(1) Black,
(1) then,
(2) white are,
(3) all I see,
(5) in my infancy,
(8) red and yellow then came to be,
(5) reaching out to me,
(3) lets me see.
(2) There is,
(1) so,
(1) much,
(2) more and
(3) beckons me,

(5) to look through to these,
(8) infinite possibilities.
(13) As below so above and beyond I imagine,
(8) drawn beyond the lines of reason.
(5) Push the envelope.
(3) Watch it bend.

The Fibonacci sequence shares a relationship with spirals, which are mentioned several times later in the lyrics.
The time signatures of the chorus change from 9/8 to 8/8 to 7/8; as drummer Danny Carey says, “It was originally titled 9-8-7. For the time signatures. Then it turned out that 987 was the 17th step of the Fibonacci sequence. So that was cool.”

-Interpretation-
In a 2001 interview, Keenan commented on the lyric mentioning black, white, red and yellow: “I use the archetype stories of North American aboriginals and the themes or colours which appear over and over again in the oral stories handed down through generations. Black, white, red, and yellow play very heavily in aboriginal stories of creation.”

Common Interpretations
You might want to re-listen to the song while reading the line-breaks to make sure you agree that they are legit ahead of time. Otherwise, you may have a hard time believing this…

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  • kyrosmetal

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [11]

    8 Apr 8:54pm Reply
  • Silent-Psycho

    Feed my will to feel this moment urging me to cross the line. Reaching out to embrace the random. Reaching out to embrace whatever may come. This is my mantra for this year

    24 Feb 12:32am Reply
  • YeezusSuburbia

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [10]

    20 Feb 10:37pm Reply
  • Thonydef

    beautiful

    20 Feb 8:29pm Reply
  • Caelin

    this is the best song ever [2]

    17 Feb 6:06pm Reply
  • StevenShadows

    Spiral out! Keep going!

    9 Feb 8:32pm Reply
  • rsalveti

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty. [9]

    6 Feb 8:51pm Reply
  • mauesndkj

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty.[8]

    5 Feb 5:42am Reply
  • lordcthulhu

    Perfection [2]

    28 Jan 11:37am Reply
  • TonyProtest

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty.[7]

    14 Jan 3:17am Reply
  • Gustavordc

    My favorite song currently, that's perfect

    10 Dec 2013 Reply
  • Ghedas-Iratas

    Song to play to aliens one day about humanity's capacity for beauty.[6]

    17 Nov 2013 Reply
  • JackHallton

    1 1 2 3 5 8 13...

    30 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Swanogt19

    Perfection

    25 Oct 2013 Reply
  • karmapolice41

    The end of this song is the very definition of "epic". I turn whatever I'm listening to it on all the way up for it, and it gives me chills every single time. The best TOOL song there is, and that says a lot.

    24 Oct 2013 Reply
  • infinity-inc

    This song comes on, and before I know it I've spent nine minutes zoned out at my desk lost in the layers.

    18 Oct 2013 Reply
  • Gabriel2896

    this is the best song ever

    11 Oct 2013 Reply
  • infinity-inc

    DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN DUN

    10 Oct 2013 Reply
  • antoniopedromp

    This is maybe the best riff I've ever heard in my entire life.

    30 Sep 2013 Reply
  • twelve_bvr

    song to play while i'm stoned during weight lifting work out... . .

    11 Sep 2013 Reply
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