They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. That cliche is something that Tool’s rabid fanbase cling to as they anxiously waited 13 years for the legendary progressive band to release “Fear Inoculum”. Like a stalker, the fans watched every move and every post that the band made. In exchange for dropping “Fear Inoculum”, the fanbase handsomely rewarded the band by edging out Taylor Swift in first week album sales on the Billboard 200, along with having “10,000 Days”, “Aenima”, and “Undertow” all chart on the Billboard 200, I-Tunes, Spotify and any rock chart that you can think of. Let’s dissect this complicated album.
The album requires you to be patient and to open up your mind to take on this journey that’s a combination of entering a black hole with entering a whole new dimension that has been rarely tapped. By doing this, Tool added atmospheric elements of water and waves by Lustmord, while recruiting Alex Grey for “The Great Turn” concept, along with Evil Joe Barresi on 2” analog tape and transferred digital to Evil Joestools at JHOC, Henson Recording Studios, United Recording, and The Loft. This process is as complicated as detaching congenital twins that are attached to a vital organ. This is one of the most meticulous pieces of music I have ever heard.
If you’re expecting the more mainstream feels of their classics such as “Sober”, “Stinkfist”, “Schism”, and “Aenima”, you have came to the wrong album. We were expecting a fastball while choked up to the plate, but Tool doesn’t operate that way. In order to keep their mystique alive and relevant, they throw you knuckleballs with every pitch. They do this with the title track “Fear Inoculum”.
The lyric I absolutely love in this track is “My own mitosis, growing through division from mania”. The track certainly addresses on mental health concerns and how we can be made anew through our struggles and through our sins. The track is a slow build but suddenly it engulfs the listener like quicksand. The beauty of this track is that it doesn’t feel like it clocks in at over ten minutes long, but that’s Tool for you. Strangely enough, as much of an anomaly that Tool is in the rock world these days, people certainly identify with “Fear Inoculum”.
As the track of “Pneuma” states, we are otherworldly beings. Tool seems to tackle the topic of existentialism with this track, by questioning what happens to us after we die? Do we become another soul that floats in the galaxy? Do we go to heaven, purgatory, or hell? Do we become reincarnated? It has that concept of wanting to try this life again, hitting that reset button. The music is contemplative for that.
The interlude of “Litanie contre la Peur” is woven in neatly like fine linens to the next track “Invincible”. Without saying it, “Invincible” seems to be a jab at today’s political arena, using Caligula and Ponce De Leon as examples of a warrior/leader losing it’s power. The lyrics: “Beating tired bones/tripping through remember when/once invincible/now the armor’s wearing thin”. Again, Tool lulls the listener into a sense of security before hitting you hard towards the end. The guitars are especially hypnotic throughout this album.
“Descending” and “7empest”, really showcase the downward spiral that life can take you down. The arrangements make the listener feel like life is flashing before their eyes before “7empest” comes to a crashing halt after the climax in the middle of the song.
Needless to say, Tool made us wait 13 years for “Fear Inoculum”, it was well worth the wait. In today’s rock world, Tool is playing chess while 98% of the bands are playing checkers with their arrangements. Tool has flipped the script on progressive music once again. 9 out of 10 stars. Here is the track listing below:
- Fear Inoculum
- Litanie contre la Peur
- Legion Inoculant
- Culling Voices
- Chocolate Chip Trip
Tool will be touring in support of “Fear Inoculum” with Killing Joke. Check out the dates below:
Sun. 10/13- Discovery Park in Sacramento, California
Tue. 10/15- Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado
Fri. 10/18- Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah
Sun. 10/20- Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
Mon. 10/21- Staples Center in Los Angeles, California
Wed. 10/23- Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona
Fri. 10/25- AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
Sun. 10/27- Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
Tue. 10/29- BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma
Thu. 10/31- Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Sat. 11/2- Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana
Sun. 11/3- United Center in Chicago, Illinois
Tue. 11/5- US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio
Wed. 11/6- Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse in Cleveland, Ohio
Fri. 11/8- PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Sat. 11/9- Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan
Mon. 11/11- Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada
Tue. 11/12- Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada
Thu. 11/14- TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts
Sat. 11/16- Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey
Mon. 11/18- Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Tue. 11/19- Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
Thu. 11/21- Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut
Fri. 11/22- Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Sun. 11/24- PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina
Mon. 11/25- Capital One Arena in Washington D.C.
For tickets and further information, click here.
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