Opiate is an EP by American rock band Tool. It was produced and engineered by Sylvia Massy and former Minor Threat bassist Steve Hansgen. Released in 1992, it was the result of some two years of the band playing together after their formation in 1990. "Opiate" preceded Tool's first full-length album, Undertow, by a year. It is named after a quote by Karl Marx: "Religion [...] is the opium of the masses". The EP was certified platinum by the RIAA on April 1, 2005. As of July 7, 2010, Opiate has sold 1,155,000 Copies in the US.
Opiate features six tracks, two of which are live recordings. Some versions of the EP feature a hidden seventh track titled "The Gaping Lotus Experience". The song is hidden at the end of the last track of the EP, "Opiate", and begins approximately 6 minutes and 10 seconds into the song. Vinyl copies of the EP featured a double groove on the second side; one which contained "Cold and Ugly", with the second containing "The Gaping Lotus Experience" and a small period of silence. Both grooves led into "Jerk-Off".
"Cold and Ugly" and "Jerk-Off" were recorded live at the Jello Loft on New Year's Eve 1991, the band's second public show. These two tracks, along with "Hush" and "Part of Me", were featured on the band's debut demo recording, 72826. "Jerk-Off" and "Cold and Ugly" have never been recorded in the studio except for in this demo. All four songs were re-recorded for this EP.
In the original CD inserts of the EP, there is a collage of tiny photos of the band members as children, and also includes a picture of someone engaging in necrophilia with a well-decomposed cadaver. In reality, it is a friend of the band joking around in prop maker Stan Winston's studio. A black and white music video was made for the track "Hush". The Canadian music channel MuchMusic played it regularly.
Many fans consider Opiate to be Tool's heaviest album (along with Undertow) The EP lacks several progressive traits the band became known for later on in their career. In a 2013 interview, guitarist Adam Jones stated "I love metal, but I love the other stuff that's been contributed by the band. When we started out, the record company said that we had to pick our heaviest songs, because that's the impact - you're metal and that's really important."
Lyrical subjects explored on Opiate include censorship and organized religion.
On March 26, 2013 the band released a special 21st anniversary limited edition package of the album, It includes bonus features, such as new artwork. It was limited to only 5,000 copies. The packaging was done with an old fashioned Heidelberg Cylinder Press.