An interesting comment on Rolling Stone website's review of Tool's Lateralus:
slashgnfnr206, most of rollingstone editors are still from the journalism major background. They cannot comprehend anything from any other perspective. Thats why you can see them still pining for the days of Bob Dylan where political lyricism pertinent to their youths long since past reigned supreme. They cannot understand heavy music, and write it off as showing off and little else. It is unfortunate, because they were so good at seeing what was great with the old songwriter/musicians of the 60s, but so bad at seeing the good in other styles of music. The soul and passion of groups like tool, led zeppelin and other great heavy artists goes unnoticed or at least misunderstood.
Thats why you see 4 star ratings for masterpieces like this. You have essentially prose criticism for raw and exposed music like this and it just doesn't work.