Doubtful that within the past thirteen years since Tool’s last album ‘10,000 Days‘ you thought the prog-rock band would beat the record for longest song ever to crack the Billboard Hot 100, but these are surprising times. Finally off of their lengthy hiatus due to creative differences, personal debates, and legal issues, Tool has returned with something to prove in the form of ‘Fear Inoculum‘, an 85-minute LP opus of sorts. The title-track, checking in at ten minutes and 22 seconds, just beat David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar‘ Billboard length-record. Unsure of what to expect from a band who’s days we thought were probably behind us?

Guitarist Adam Jones has stated in recent interviews that the number seven was a recurring theme throughout the album; “I took a picture pointing to the number seven while we were recording, and a lot of the riffs Justin and I brought in were in seven. You don’t really go ‘I’m going to write a riff in seven!’; you just write a riff and you count it out and it turns out to be in seven. Without being too descriptive about the concept, the main thing is that the seven beat just kept coming up, and riffs in seven kept coming up. It was really weird! When we finished recording, I went to the guys and said, ‘I think we should called the record Volume 7’ because a lot of the songs are in seven and there are seven tracks on the record. Then Maynard told me about a whole concept he had about the number seven. We were all like, ‘Oh my God! This is too weird!’ Then Alex Grey basically said the same thing, and he has a concept that will reveal itself through video.”

This marks the third album to bear Grey’s visionary artwork. You can check out the artwork for ‘Fear Inoculum‘ below. As far as the other themes in the album go? Danny Carey states in an interview with Loudwire: “I suppose the main overview of it is getting older and more comfortable with yourself. It’s kind of an evolution in that way, getting through and getting over criticisms and our fears of various kinds.” Lead singer Maynard James Kennan is sure to warn listeners that patience is an important virtue in regards to listening to the new LP, as it’s like “a slow developing movie full of character development”, i.e. “There’s gonna be a lot of people who might not get this album because it does take engagement…It’s just what we do.” With that warning taken into account, give their first single, title track ‘Fear Inoculum‘, a listen to down below and be sure to find the entire seven-track opus out via the normal channels August 30th.

[photo credit: Travis Shinn]


Sarah Medeiros