Tool – “Fear Inoculum”

ToolFIWords that I never thought I would say or type: Tool have a new album. “Fear Inoculum” is the long awaited album, 13 fucking years to be exact. Before I get into the music, there are a few things that need to be said. I think it sucks that Tool releases their first album in 13 years but makes no standard CD version available. The limited deluxe version which costs almost $50!

[Edit: I broke down and bought a copy…]

<!–Now that it’s sold out, assholes are selling it for even more on eBay. Making matters worse, the digital version of the album has 3 extra tracks! Since CDs only hold 79ish minutes, 3 filler tracks were left off the CD but included with the digital version. Granted you get the digital version with the deluxe version but why not just make the deluxe version a two CD version? There’s another filler track on the second CD that comes with the limited deluxe edition so that brings the full total to like 90 minutes. But enough of my bitching!–>

Okay so now what about the music? It sounds like Tool. HAHA! That really should be the review. What do you think they would sound like? They have expanded their sound even more. The songs are longer, have more atmosphere and really build. The title track is a bit subtle at first listen and really I think it’s the weakest track. Although I do like the song. Things really get going with “Invincible” and “Descending” which were already played live.

But the two songs that put the album over the top for me are “Culling Voices” and “7empest.” “Culling Voices” builds up to a point and then erupts toward the end. LOVE that track. But the near 16 minutes of “7empest” are some of the best music that Tool have ever laid down. On the CD version, “Chocolate Chip Trip” is the only filler track. It’s essentially a drum solo with a synth loop. It’s fine but really not needed. You wouldn’t miss it if it weren’t on the album.

While I know that “Fear Inoculum” didn’t take 13 years to write and record, since Tool admits they really didn’t start seriously until 2013, it will never live up to a 13 year hype. Nothing really could. That said, had this album been released 10 years ago, it would have sounded just as great as it does now. It’s a great album but with the size and magnitude of the music, it will take more listens to know it’s full impact.

Tool are back. It’s a shame that the album is marred with this limited edition bullshit. Hopefully they release a standard CD version soon. And let’s hope they don’t wait another 13 years for another. Though I sense that this might have been to prove a point as much as anything else. “Fear Inoculum” is the band’s FIFTH album. I think that’s all the perspective you need. Tool have somehow remained relevant despite it’s dormancy. That’s a true testament to quality over quantity.

Rating: 9.5/10 (standard physical edition)

Physical Edition
1. Fear Inoculum
2. Pneuma
3. Invincible
4. Descending
5. Culling Voices
6. Chocolate Chip Trip
7. 7empest

Digital Edition
1. Fear Inoculum
2. Pneuma
3. Litanie contre la Peur*
4. Invincible
5. Legion Inoculant*
6. Descending
7. Culling Voices
8. Chocolate Chip Trip
9. 7empest
10. Mockingbeat*
*-digital edition only

Label: Volcano, Tool Dissectional
Release date: August 30, 2019

About Rob

I have been a fan of progressive metal and progressive rock for most of my life. My music collection is insanely large. My passion for life is music...progressive music!
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6 Responses to Tool – “Fear Inoculum”

  1. Matt Tilson says:

    I agree with you, Rob. I’m one of the lucky ones to get this CD. I can do without the bullshit that it comes with. Just give me some music!! I’m also getting annoyed at the lack of vinyl from these guys. Wtf??!! Anyways, the whole album is killer. And I enjoyed 7empest too! Great piece of music!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Andrew San Miguel says:

    This review is awful. You really didn’t say anything about anything. I could write a more interesting review on fuckin pancakes.

    Track 2, Pneuma, may be the strongest track on the album which you failed to mention, at all, so allow me…

    Pneuma – Fear Inoculum
    Channeling his introspective chordal genius, Chancellor chooses again to set us back on the spiral with his syncopated bass chord progression. All while there’s no shortage of polyrhythmic mastermind Danny Carey. After waves of what seems like ancient geometry folding and unfolding in our ears, the attention is drawn to a point in the middle of the song, I’d say around 5:30. The guys break and Danny draws up some precise tabla rhythms leading us to what I’m calling, Adam Jones’ most rewarding solo of the album. The emotional progression from Justin and the surprisingly slow rhythms followed by relentless, but oh so accurate, fills from Danny, all roaming in the polyrhythmic, ancient rooted, chaos of TOOL’s nature, set an incredible backdrop for Adam’s, over the top expression, in the last minute. Adam brings a fantastic song to an inconceivable peak… Distortion, chords, tones, and reverberated drums all ring out for what seems like a lifetime, and the song seems to have ended. Then TOOL decide to lay the main rift down one more time before gracing us with the perfect outro of gentle tabla and guitar effects. During my first listen, when this song had finished, I knew this album was going to be something that would take me ages to wrap my head around. Tool have done it again and I’m suggesting to all fans that their six week tour is a must!

    That’s how how you write a review ya nerd.

    Like

    • Rob says:

      Thanks for the tips. I got bored reading the first few lines of that and stopped. Sounds like all of the other blow hards that write reviews. Get a site now!

      Like

    • Senor Whippy says:

      Andrew San Miguel – that’s one of the most embarrassing things I’ve ever read on the internet. You know nothing about music and you write like you’re 12 years old.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jon Fritzsche says:

    I agree with Andrew that Pneuma is probably the best song on the album. I would definitely advise playing it a few times on repeat. It’s rather entrancing.

    Like

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