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Rosetta Stoned

"Rosetta Stoned"
Song by Tool
from the album 10,000 Days
ReleasedMay 2, 2006
RecordedAugust–December 2005
GenreProgressive metal, experimental metal
LabelTool Dissectional, Volcano Entertainment
Songwriter(s)Danny Carey, Justin Chancellor, Adam Jones, Maynard James Keenan

"Rosetta Stoned" is a song by the American progressive metal band Tool. It was released on May 2, 2006, as the eighth track off their fourth studio album, 10,000 Days.

Structurally, the song contains complex fast-to-slow drum fills, performed by the band's drummer Danny Carey.[1] The song uses 4/4, 5/8, 5/4, 11/8, 3/4, and 6/4 time signatures[2] and is characterised by its aggressive riffs.[3] The song also features unconventional percussion instruments[4] and polyrhythms.[5]

The name of the song is a reference to the Rosetta Stone.[3] Lyrically, the song deals with a man's encounter with aliens, spiritual realizations and his state of a coma after a DMT trip.[6] The song is written in a stream of consciousness style.[3]

The preceding track on the album, "Lost Keys (Blame Hofmann)" serves as a conceptually synchronized prologue for the song. It depicts a conversation between a patient (Albert Hofmann), a nurse and a doctor (R. Gordon Wasson), which occurs after the event in Rosetta Stoned.[6]

The song generally received positive reviews by the critics. Nevertheless, it was criticized by some for its lyrics (which include extensive use of profanity) and Maynard James Keenan's experimental vocal delivery.[4] It was also praised for its arranging and performances,[3] especially due to Danny Carey's "multi-limbed" percussion skills and creative drumming.[1][7] Critics also likened the song to The Grateful Dead's works.[3] The similarities between this song and another Tool song, "Third Eye," also have been noted.[4] Nick Cowen from Drowned in Sound gave a positive review to the song, appreciating its narration, intense mood and guitar work.[6] The song was also musically compared to an extensive jam.[7]



  1. ^ a b Lachowski, Rich (2008). On the Beaten Path Progressive Rock: The Drummer's Guide to the Genre and the Legends Who Defined It. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 0739056719. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  2. ^ Bennett, Dan (2008). The Total Rock Bassist: A Fun and Comprehensive Overview of Rock Bass Playing. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 105. ISBN 0739052691. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e McIver, Joel. Unleashed: The Story of Tool. Music Sales Group. ISBN 0857120409. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  4. ^ a b c Butler, Nick (May 3, 2006). "Tool 10,000 Days". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Mojo, Issues 150-153" (150–153). the University of Virginia. EMAP Performance Limited. January 22, 2010. Retrieved December 1, 2012. Check date values in: |year= / |date= mismatch (help)
  6. ^ a b c Cowen, Nick (May 12, 2006). "Tool - 10,000 Days". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  7. ^ a b Begrand, Adrien (May 5, 2012). "Tool: 10,000 Days". PopMatters. Retrieved December 1, 2012.