Tool is an almost mythological band; releasing albums when they want to, and not on anyone else’s schedule. The release of their new album “Fear Inoculum” shows their fantastic artistic prowess, and even if they aren’t treading any new ground it’s still a heart album.
For fans of this group, “”Fear Inoculum”” is another massive success. The band itself is seeing that success as well; knocking Taylor Swift off the top spot of the charts. This of course set off an internet backlash that we are still laughing about today.
The album consists of ten songs, a few of which are short interludes. Within this review we will touch briefly on each track, and hopefully you’ll find something that draws you into the music as you read. Up first is the album’s title track, “Fear Inoculum”, and it starts with a slow melody that really draws you in. The intro is almost hypnotizing with a seemingly snake charm like melody, and the guitars offer some tasty morsels of audio goodness.
The second song is called “Pnuema”, and it does have that stock Tool sound, which will take you back to the days of a simple time. The track gets a touch heavier with some sneakily heavy riffs, which are over the sultrier of the lead vocals. This track starts to lull you a asleep a bit, but about halfway through the sneaky riffs nail you like a blitzing safety in football. This was a very enjoyable track and it will be for those of us who enjoy a bit of heavy material. The album keeps projecting upward to legendary status and we roll on.
“Litanie contre La Peur”, which is French for Litany Against Fear, is less than 3 minutes long, and is a trip in more ways than one. The vibe seems very futuristic and washes a mellow vibe over you. This track does seem to be a bit of an intermission of sorts because other than a relaxed mood, there is really not a lot going on. Track 4 is titled “Invincible.” It continues the ride of relaxation. While listening to this we get a feeling of being on a beach watching the sunset. we did detect the bongos that gave a very raw feel to the track; this led to a slow buildup into very smooth vocals, which help supply an almost Jazz like feel. That heavy riff towards the end is amazing, and adds that special sounding aspect that helps close this track down beautifully.
“Legion Inoculant” follows “Invincible”, and we have to say that this comes off as a very futuristic track. The echo within this song gave it a space like vibe, and just listening to it gave us visions of a robot floating in endless space; forever lost in the vastness of the cosmos. This track, although not the albums best, is far from the worst of the record. “Descending” is up next, and it is very aptly named. The beginning sounds like a rushing waterfall over a bed of Rock, which we could see within our mind’s eye. This section then leads into a steady upbeat of guitar riffs. The heavy riffs come to a thrilling close to round out the track. Vocalist Maynard James Keenan supplies the vocal sound that only he can, with effects meticulously placed on them for full effect on the listener.Overall this is a fantastic track!
The beginning of “Culling” has an almost cinematic sound, which brings to mind the dramatic scene of a horror movie; as the unknowing victim walks down a shadowy street, stalked by a violent maniac. When Maynard begins his vocals that feeling subsided, and we are quickly bored. This is the part of Tool that we just don’t get into, and it makes this song completely repetitive. Eventually a new part kicks in, well over six minutes into the track. Thankfully this part is pretty heavy, and it almost makes up for the boredom of the first almost 7 minutes; almost.
Track 8 is called “Chocolate Chip Trip”, and this is one of the few bad tracks. This track offered nothing in the way of auditory pleasure, was just noise for the sake of Morze, and was a big let down in general. Second to last song, “7empest”, is the best of the album, and everything you’ve heard about it is true. This is by far the heaviest track, and those of you who pine for the Tool of old are not going be disappointed. The guitars tempt you with the heavy bass like sounds, the drums are amazing, and bassist Justin Chancellor shines as he always does. We will tell you that with this track you will have the horns and the head moving, absolutely great track. The final song is called “Mockingbeat”, and it concludes the album in a ride off into the sunset sound with what we describe as a rainforest setting. “Fear Inoculum” is a fantastic album and it’s no shocker that people are loving it; especially after the wait the band put us through. The Rock/Metal genre has gotten a huge shot in the arm thanks to the new albums from Tool, , and Slipknot!!!
Written by: Jacob Neaville and TC Mayhem