- 17 Sep 19
For just over a decade, a new album from the prog-metal heroes Tool seemed to be the stuff of fantasy. In fact, some even wondered if they were actually making the follow up to 2006’s 10,000 Days at all – maybe it was a ruse to further their already formidable myth.
After 13 years filled with lawsuits, side-projects and two scooter accidents – they never do anything by half measures – the four-piece finally unveil Fear Inoculum. While it isn’t quite worth the wait, fans will be dissecting it for decades.
In an era where everyone is used to bite-sized portions, serving up a mammoth feast is a vintage Tool move. This is a labyrinthine listen, loaded with poly-rhythms, primal riffs and powerful vocals. Featuring seven songs, plus three interludes, the 85-minute opus explores themes of growing older and wiser. Built around wah wah-wah guitars, ’80s synths, and one of the most magnetic vocals Maynard James Keenan has ever recorded, ‘Descending’ – despite the title – hits the stratosphere.
‘7empest’, the most metallic offering, is simply spellbinding, while the title-track is crammed with Middle Eastern drum patterns, crushing riffs and hypnotic vocals. In short, despite the considerable lay-off, Tool haven’t missed a beat.