Track Listing: Fear Inoculum, Pneuma, Litanie contre la Peur, Invincible, Legion Inoculant, Descending, Culling Voices, Chocolate Chip Trip, 7empest, Mockingbeat
Released on August 30, 2019, the first new release from Tool in over a decade features some of the bands most prolific writing, epic breakdowns, off the wall time signatures, and kooky rhythms which make this Tool’s most adventurous release to date.
The title track opens the record with a 10 minute adventure of sounds, dreary overtones, and drowning riffs; the song displays an adult side to the band and it’s musical journey cannot be reached from just one listen….this is a song you must experience several times in order to understand it’s genius.
“Pneuma” is an 11 minute opus with heavy riffage which is dampered by dark rhythms. This is my pick for best song off the record.
“Litanie contre la Peur” is a weird instrumental which leads into “Invincible”.
“Invincible” is ambient and dark. Maynard’s vocals are stripped down and simple. The slow build is worth the wait because this one rocks! This track sounds like old school Tool and will make casual fans as well as die hards quite happy.
“Legion Inoculant” This is the soundtrack to an alien abduction. I am joking, I made that up, but that’s my first impression of this track. It’s basically a 3 minute intro.
“Descending” - This sounds like an adult contemporary version of Tool, the vocals are haunting, the music is rhythmic with random chunky guitar riffs which flavor this drowning number. Heavy mood music and when the slide guitar solo kicks in at the 7 minute mark it’s the highlight of this track. The lead guitar work is quite impressive because it’s played in a David Gilmour style where less is more and everything is from the heart.
“Culling Voices” - The first half of this song sounds like it could have made it onto A Perfect Circle record while the second half is pure Tool.
“Chocolate Chip Trip” - Background intro noise
“7empest” - This song has a slow opening but once the 1:20 mark hits the tempo changes and the heaviness kicks in. This song is pure Tool.
“Mockingbeat” - pure outro, it’s essentially a random drum beat with birds chirping.
The new Tool record is impactful, inciteful, well produced, well recorded, and while there may be very few moments where a commercial radio hit can be heard, this is a definite record for the members of Tool as well as their fanbase because it delivers a slice of darkness to the masses. Tool rarely release full length records and this lengthy recording gives their fans a much needed new slab of music to consume.
The new Tool record is best described in a line from the track "7empest"; "Calm as cookies and cream, so it seems"