Album Reviews

TOOL – Fear Inoculum (Bullet Point Review)

Tool - SAP Center. San Jose, CA.

Maynard James Keenan of Tool performs at SAP Center in San Jose. Photo by Clay Lancaster.

Hey folks! We’re going to try something new here at theFIVE10 called “Bullet Point Reviews”. Patent pending.

What it means: Quick, to-the-point opinions about stuff.

Why we’re doing it: For some artists and albums, every outlet seems to write a dissertation about the subject, and often times they dance around the actual point or the actual opinion. Let’s get to it.

We’re going to start with Tool’s 13-year comeback because of exactly what was just explained above. If you’re reading this, you probably already know Tool’s music and don’t need 7 paragraphs about their history and what this album means to fans.

Let’s get to it.

Tool – Fear Inoculum (2019)

Is it good?: Yes.

How is it different?: There are no singles. Don’t expect that. Every real song is 10+ minutes long. There’s nothing like “Sober” or “Stinkfist”, “Parabola” or even “Vicarious”.

What stands out?: Danny Carey runs the show, and it’s insane. If you like his drumming, you will not be disappointed. Adam Jones is also probably at the top of his game.

What is lacking?: Contribution from Maynard James Keenan. He sounds great, when he makes any sounds at all. He probably wrote 4 or 5 sentences for each 10 minute song. It’s ok though.

How does it feel?: Like a Tool album. But not a rehash. It’s fresh, precise, musically impressive, and heavy.

Is it worth the purchase?: If you have been a Tool fan, yes. It takes a few listens (like all of their work), but once you grasp the long song structures, you’ll feel right at home and it is important enough to not be overshadowed by their other releases. It’ll just depend on your mood whether or not you wanna throw this on, or Lateralus or something.

Is there a highlight song?: For us, yes. It’s called “7empest”. The riffs. Oh, the riffs. Plus, Maynard’s vocals in the first few minutes sound oddly like the Undertow era. That’s rad.

Do we love you as our reader?: Undeniably. Cheers folks. Enjoy the new Tool album.