When Tool released their most recent album — 10,000 Days — in 2006, no one expected the band would not release any new music for over 13 years. The wait finally ended this week, as the band released a new song called "Fear Inoculum" and revealed details about a studio album of the same name set for release on August 30. Listen above, courtesy of the band's YouTube.
After the long break, the band sound fresh while staying true to their classic sound. The epic 10+ minute track is reminiscent of 10,000 Days and 2001's Lateralus, with Maynard's familiar vocals over hypnotic riffs between guitar, bass, drums, and tablas in complex time signatures. "Fear Inoculum" is quite timely, with creative melodies and open-ended lyrics about "inoculum," "immunity," "contagion," and "delusion" that seemingly reference vaccination and the anti-vaxxer movement which has become responsible for recent outbreaks of illnesses like measles which were previously thought to be vanquished. As with great poetry, the message works on many levels — literal and symbolic, social and personal.
Drummer Danny Carey shared some insight about the band's creative process with Revolver, saying, "We're really hard on ourselves, so we don't pay much attention to people's expectations... I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart — but it works for us." The full article is currently available online, and watch for it to be released with the print edition of the magazine.
Pick up Fear Inoculum on Amazon. The seven-track, 80-minute album was produced by Joe Barresi, who also worked on 10,000 Days. The CD is priced at $37, but comes with a "special Limited Edition physical package that includes a CD in a tri-fold Soft Pack Video Brochure featuring a 4" HD rechargeable screen with exclusive video footage, a USB charging cable, a 2 watt speaker and a 36 page insert book and MP3 download card."
In related news, the band's back catalog of albums was uploaded to major streaming services like Spotify, Amazon, Google, and Apple Music on August 2. At this time, Tool's only scheduled performance is at the Aftershock festival in California August 13. For concert tickets and more, check out Tool's Zumic artist page.