Can an album 13 years in the making even hope to live up to the hype? It remains to be seen but the absolute furore that surrounds new Tool music suggests its a near impossible task. However, we now have our first new track from their upcoming album, Fear Inoculum.
The self titled track has been out a little while now, dropping the same time as the band’s entire back catalogue appeared on streaming services. Which, according to some corners of the internet was akin to the second coming of the Jesus.
That might sound like I’m being salty. As though I’m not a Tool fan but that’s not the case. I love Tool…just not as much as some! I also believe anything this hyped will inevitably disappoint even if it’s a great album. It feels like this has to be the best Tool album ever otherwise it’s not good enough and that’s unfortunate.
Still, I went into this new track with hope and some degree of expectations. Over 10 minutes long, Fear Inoculum is a slow burn of a track. It builds on effects, slowly bringing in more and more elements that will put many a Tool fan at ease. The eerie melodies growing in confidence, Maynard’s dream-like vocals entering softly and it transforming bit by bit into a much more intriguing listen. It’s very Tool but certainly shows a willingness to not adhere to their own rulebook (if they have such a thing).
This is not a ‘heavy’ Tool track, instead taking its sweet time bringing us up and down with some welcome tempo shifts here and there to keep it ticking along nicely. Then it shifts gears and suddenly we’re looking at a bit of a different beast, one that sees the guitars add a bit more flair and complexity to proceedings. There’s a little bit of fuzz sticking to things and it seems to get a little more frantic and uncomfortable.
It’s a good track. A great way to reintroduce Tool after 13 years away. If the rest of the album is anything like this, we could be on to a winner.
Fear Inoculum by Tool (Fear Inoculum)
The Final Score - 7.5/10