An Analysis of “Schism” by Tool

To understand what Schism means we must understand what the word is. A schism is a split or separation from a larger part, usually from a religion. So already we can figure out that this song is about a separation from a religion or from spirituality in general.

“I know the pieces fit…fall away” the narrator has the full perspective. They are watching as the whole tower crumbles. Do you know of any towers that have fallen? How about the tower of Babylon? Babylon was the city in which everyone understood each other, no matter what language they spoke. But the narrator is not talking about a literal language, one that is spoken; no, the narrator is talking about an fundamental understanding between souls. This is the “communication” they keep on referencing.

“The light that fueled our fire…burned a whole between us so”. What made us fundamentally similar actually ended up tearing us apart. Light is usually a reference to a God figure. Looking for religion or a sense of transcendence has actually caused us to distance one another. Religions battle each other over superficial differences, they “point the finger, blame the other, watch the (other religion’s?)  temple topple over.”

“There was a time the pieces fit….” And “…strangled by our coveting” Maybe the narrator believes that all religions were once one super religion and eventually split into different sects. Then each coveted their own sect (Islam, Christianity, Judaism).

The narrator leaves with a warning: “Doomed to crumble unless we grow, and strengthen our communication.” Unless we come back to our original understanding of spirituality, we are doomed to fall spiritually and physically (kill off our entire spieces)

The last stanza “cold silence…brothers” tells how this separation will kill off any sense of compassion between parties that are supposed to be brothers. I feel like this is another reference to the superficial differences between religions. All promote peace yet have extremists that cause huge amounts of harm (the Crusades, Terrorism, and nailing Christians to crosses).

Disclaimer:  I feel i should state the Maynard isnt apart of any of the ‘main’ religions (i think he is New Age maybe?).

I have no idea what was going through his head when he wrote this, but i feel i did a decent job of understanding the lyrics. Lyrics mean different things to different people; this is just what i find them to mean


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