TOOL Fear Inoculum gets 8/10


Fear Inoculum
Tool Dissectional/Volcano/RCA


Esoteric prog-metal quadrant, Tool, have dropped the first single from their highly anticipated album, Fear Inoculum, out August 30.

The first release by Tool in over 13 years, the dual title and opening track of the album signals to starving fans where Tool’s sound sits after such a prolonged period between material. Backmasked ambient drones and synthetic drum machines washed with reverb open the track at a leisurely pace, but it’s not too long before Danny Carey’s signature percussion pushes the BPM up a little for the core amount of the track, before going out on a bang.

Instrumentally, the band plays things quite safe. Justin Chancellor’s iconic bass tones set a rhythm and flow for the rest of the band to follow in tow. The sounds of middle eastern style percussions are also reminiscent of past Tool sounds, especially of Reflection from 2001’s Lateralus. However, Maynard delivers a sincere and therapeutic set of lyrics that muse on the unease of living in the current age of fear mongering.

While the style present in Fear Inoculum comes from a well traveled path in the band’s history, it’s a well played and calculated card. By the end of the 10 minutes, it sounds like things are only just getting started, with the feeling that this track serves as the prologue to the remaining body of Fear Inoculum. If the rest of the album follows this trajectory, fans might be feeling that 13 years is worth the wait.