For a while, it seemed almost silly that a new tool album would actually happen. The band talked about one and played some new stuff live, but for years they kept the conversation very vague, tripped their fans and contradicted each other. Even when they actually announced the album, I had to wonder if it really would go as planned. And yet we are right on schedule with a new tool album in the world. It's the first time in 13 years, and as is always the case when a beloved band waits so long, the reactions will be tricky. It is likely praised either as a "masterpiece for the years to come" or rejected as a failed comeback. (And, in fact, the reviews have been positive so far.) And especially if it's a band like Tool that writes deep, long songs ̵
As we've already mentioned, tools were often falsely grouped with cheesy nu and alt metal groups, and many of them, because they probably share more fans with Nu Metal bands than they do with Radiohead, for example. But Tool has always had so much more to offer than the headbanger-friendly songs. Their psychedelic, atmospheric parts have more to do with Radiohead (or Pink Floyd or King Crimson) than Metal. So it makes sense that people like the bassist of Parquet Courts and Grimes are big fans. The more atmospheric Art Rock site of Tool moved below the surface at Ænima was quite heavily adopted at Lateralus and repeatedly outstripped 10,000 days but Fear Inoculum is the first time Tool has created an entire album focused on this page. There is not a single song that can really be called Metal until the very last track, "7empest". Instead, the tools prefer clean guitars, clean vocals, psychedelic electronics (courtesy of Lustmord), and meditative passages that draw you in more gradually than you beat with instant satisfaction.
It's not very surprising – Maynard James Keenan has previously talked about playing less metal material, and Tool has done music like this before – but there's still some kind of trouble the tool would avoid their most disturbing elements on the album, which they kept their fans waiting for over a decade. However, it does not feel like trolling, it just feels like Tool is making exactly the album they want to do, no matter what anyone expects from them. There are some types of albums that artists do after a long wait: sometimes they return to their most classic and popular sound, sometimes they pick up where their last album left off, and sometimes they make an album so bad, wondering why they bothered to return, and sometimes they make the album as if they wanted to do most of their careers, but for whatever reason, they never did. Fear Inocolum feels like the latter. One can deduce Lateralus that Tool wanted to make an album like this, Lateralus however, did not capture the clean ambient sounds as well as Fear Inoculum does. This album still had enough of a radio-friendly old metal page to maintain Tool's status as a force in mainstream rock, but at Fear Inoculum they do not sound as if they were take care if Rockradio plays any of these songs or not. Especially if every song, except for the psychedelic, instrumental interludes between some of the songs, lasts more than ten minutes.
Fear Inoculum is Tool's ambient album without sounding too sleepy and psychedelic to sound album without exaggeration. And though these songs are anything but radio-friendly, and it's necessary to leave everyday life behind and listen more closely than any other tool album, they turn out to be almost as catchy as Tool's biggest hits. The hypnotic riff and the satisfying refrain of the title track, the little "Become pneuuu" in "Pneuma", the "Warrior …" in "Invincible", the round guitar patterns in Chorus of "Descending" – they're all about this deafening as the biggest hits of Tool. And it's amazing how naturally these songs deserve their long runtimes. They are not exhausting to listen to or overcrowded. They each have more than 10 minutes because they take so long to convey their arguments, but they will never exceed their greetings. If you approach the metallic album "7empest", which is by far the most accessible song on the album, it does not seem to be the climax on which Fear Inoculum was built. it feels more like a satisfying addition to an already great show.
It's probably natural for a tool album, but in case of doubt all four styles of members are clearly audible and all four show a way above average musical level. Danny Carey's drums are as thumping and tribal as ever, Adam Jones's guitar riffs and Justin Chancellor's basslines are always mesmerizing and Maynard's voice captivates you even in the most intoxicating, least accessible parts. He's one of those singers people love or hate him for, and if you love him, that typical mockery will cast a spell on you. Fear Inoculum also finds Tool, which offers sliding guitar solos and rush-like math-prog, without breaking into overly nerdy, technical terrain and moving away from the actual songwriting. It's hard not to notice how successful the album is on a technical level, but that does not seem to be the main point. Fear Inoculum is what happens when four virtuosos of heavy music attempt an album of light, meditative music; It is clearly the work of Tool, even if it does not sound like the average person thinks about Tool, and that's the interesting thing about it. Tool sounds like herself, even if they make an album that sounds like no other album in their career.
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