Reviews Tool Fear Inoculum

Tool

Fear Inoculum

hype - Informal.
noun

exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
an ingenious or questionable claim, method, etc., used in advertising, promotion, or publicity to intensify the effect.

Let’s be real. 13 years is a long goddamn time between albums. Particularly for a band that didn’t even break up. There’s just no way on earth ANY band could hope to return to whatever glory cradled them in their fans’ collective bosom over a decade ago, is there? Well, is there??

Fear Inoculum says no. And proves it by being the best album Tool has ever released. It takes all the expectations, all the hype, and all the hyperbole, and spits them back in the face of everyone.

Is this Stinkfist Tool? No. That was 23 years ago. Vicarious Tool? No, that was 10,000 Days ago. Well, almost 4,000 days ago, but you get the idea. Matured isn’t the right word. The band have been operating on a different plane of existence beyond emotional chronology for a while now. But Fear Inoculum proves that Tool have evolved. Metamorphosed into something else. Between Keenan’s A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, and whatever the fuck Jones, Carey and Chancellor have been up to, a chrysalis formed and Tool have emerged as something else. Something more.

Most bands after a long hiatus want to make their return with fireworks. A huge bang to let them know they’ve returned with all the subtlety of Gozer the Gozarian,

But Tool return with a simmering portend in the form of the title track. A slow steady grove that builds and builds and lets things go with a slow, deep release.

Given the album’s foreboding start, the follow up track "Pneuma" sounds downright triumphant, and is the one of the highlights of both the album and the band’s live set. It’s one of those tracks that’s really almost perfect and proves that as good as these musicians are, and they really are exceptional. But what they’ve created together with the Fear Inoculum album is something far, far greater than the sum of it’s parts.

A personal plea from the writer: if at all possible, get the physical CD. Not for the collector’s aspect. Not for bragging rights. Get it because it’s fucking impressive. When was the last time any of us were actually impressed by anything? Let alone a compact disc. Treat yourself. You deserve it.

9.1 / 10Kevin Fitzpatrick
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RCA

2019

9.1 / 10

9.1 / 10

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