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 Tool - Fear Inoculum 
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Post Tool - Fear Inoculum
Dear Adam Jones, you aren't Steve Vai mate, calm the fuck down with the 10 minute riff masturbations.


Dear Maynard - Tool ain't A Perfect Circle bro, where'd all your testosterone go?


Dear Danny Carey & Justin Chancellor: fuck yes


Album is a gnarly beast of a thing; a self-conscious construction of musical self-indulgences. Maynard's voice moved well and truly off-frame - now just 1 of 4 necessary instruments - to afford an unusually democratic-seeming instrumental blend and to continue Keenan's weird ego-avoidance thing of removing himself from the foci of the general band dynamic, which he's been doing in their live acts since at least 10,000 Days was released (usually remaining at the far back of the band as a silhouette in front of the visual production...to the consternation of anyone wanting to see the stage energy he was renowned for in the 90s.)

It's probably better to compare this to the current market than other Tool albums. Maynard's been ramping up his Puscifer and Perfect Circle acts over the past 13 years since their last release, and the milder creative energy of those bands has apparently overwhelmed his more aggressive side.

In a nutshell, the rest of the band are shitty decision-makers, and took way too long laying down the instrumentals. There's less fusion of thematic vision between them all - songs are more like second or third cousins, than siblings. Things have drifted a little: everybody more or less does their own thing, the overarching cohesiveness the previous 3 albums nailed is mostly gone, and far more energy has been put to individualistic expansion. Leading to an average track duration, not including the short harmony-corrective interludes, of 12 minutes or so.

But it's weird, how albums can grow on you. Some tracks are pretty much every Tool fan's wet dream, even without Maynard's earlier Stinkfist/Hooker With a Penis/Vicarious vocal energy being as prominent: Pneuma, Descending and 7empest are instant prog-metal classics if you ask me, Descending in particular will probably end up as a staple in live performances. Song has some serious electronica energy about it, which is well suited given it's basically Maynard (through lyrical climaxes) and Adam Jones (through guitar falsettos) telling the listener to "rise", curb the descension - and to not kill themselves. How many other bands at the moment write to inspire their fans away from suicide ideation (which recently rose above car accidents and all forms of violence to become America's second biggest killer next to drug overdoses)?

Theme-wise things aren't as mysterious or esoteric as they once were, which is good in a sense, but some of that is just because the lyrics aren't as inspired. These guys are seriously obsessive with their craft, such that the biggest issue through production was a constant second-guessing of everything. Whatever manic wheelhouse it was that shat Aenima out so fully formed has been rebuilt by autistic perfectionism. Things don't storytell and connect as much as they used to. But I'm thinking it doesn't make a difference, all the analytical crap like this, if the album's replay value runs deep enough. 15+ listens in, nothing sounds stale. And fuck me is it awesome gym music.

Could be that it indicates the kind of Magnum Opus everybody hoped for after Aenima came out - the talent chassis is there - but its interior is strangely larger than the externalised product: they're too wrapped up in their own instruments, for their usually unified voice. But I kind of don't give a fuck.


Tue Sep 10, 2019 3:27 am
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The Kramer
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
I'd have it above 10000 Days, which is pretty boring outside of the 3 singles, and I think I've already listened to FI more times in full. Far below Undertow, Aenema and Lateralus though. All six of the real songs (and Chocolate Chip Trip) are really good, but they're all also 3-5 minutes longer than they need to be. "10 minute riff masturbations" is a more accurate description than it has a right to be.

I wanted it to be their version of Death Magnetic, where they just make a bunch of new old songs. It was not an apt comparison though, since Tool never really changed their sound like Metallica did. This is familiar but also much different, though I can't yet say if it is for worse or better.

1. 7empest
2. Invincible
3. Pneuma
4. Fear Inoculum
5. Descending
6. Culling Voices


Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:45 pm
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Lick my balls
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
You didn't like Wings of Marie 1+2? I guess it's slow to get moving but far out was it awesome live: they had this green laser gradually grow and spiral and hit a set of mirrors laid throughout the whole amphitheatre, turning the atmosphere into a psychedelic orgasm. Vicarious, Jambi, The Pot, Rosetta Stoned, Wings of Marie make up most of the album - and Rosetta's at least as good as 7empest don't you think? 10,000 Days shits all over Lateralus (imo), but Aenima's still their masterpiece.

I listened to those live recordings of Invincible and Descending a bunch before the album came out, and they probably work better live than in studio. Just the lyrics of Invincible shit me a bit: "Warrior...struggl-ing...to remain...consequen-tial" -- almost worth a facepalm. The music is way more interesting than the poetry this time around, I reckon.

Forgot to mention Chocolate Chip Trip. How awesome is it? It's like a joke aimed to benefit drummers: everyone goes on about how drummers "get to hang around with musicians", so Tool made a song where the melodic aspect is as sterile and banal as humanly possible, thus accentuating Carey's virtuosity. Probably the whole album is less serious than they used to be, kind of like your last line about how its familiar but different: they're successful enough to experiment without worrying about singles. I mean, the mix of vocals and melody in Pneuma is fairly genre-less, and weird. Wouldn't be close to metal without the hat-tip to Metallica and Jones' distortion.


Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:14 pm
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The Kramer
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
I saw them for the first time last year and the only 10000D song they played was Jambi. Going again in November!


Tue Sep 10, 2019 11:06 pm
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Lick my balls
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
Hell yeah!!! Post pics here if you take any :yes:


Wed Sep 11, 2019 1:29 am
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The Kramer
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
We weren't allowed to take pictures. They had signs all over about how cell phone use was grounds for ejection. :funny:

Amazing show from them once again though. The new songs sound so good live and it really makes you appreciate what they were going for.

Set was: Fear, AEnema, Pot, Parabola, Pneuma, Schism, Jambi, Vicarious, Intolerance, Forty Six, Chip, Invincible and Stinkfist.


Thu Nov 07, 2019 3:44 pm
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Lick my balls
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
Fuck yes!!

What was the highlight?? How'd the crowd react with Pneuma?


Fri Nov 08, 2019 6:54 pm
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The Kramer
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
I think that Forty-Six and Two is their best live song. It feels unreal being in the arena when they are playing it. Lures you into this hypnotic trance and then relentlessly turns it up and tears the house down. Just everything I love about them.

Highlight #2 was Intolerance, both because that song is awesome and because they had been swapping it with Descending and Part of Me. Those songs are great, but I would have been bummed to not have any Undertow songs in there.

Invincible is also incredible live. I was kinda/hoping they would swap it out for something else but it ended up being one of the best.

I had a great time with Pneuma. Seems like a lot of others did too, it's a slow song that continuously amps up. But I think you're asking because you fear people are using it as a bathroom break song and that is 100% true. Which is fine though, the song is twelve minutes long, you can pee and get back for the second half. I think new songs get treated like this by all big artists though, and that any one of them would have gotten the same treatment in its midshow position.


Last edited by Flava'd vs The World on Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:27 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:12 am
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The Kramer
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
All three of the new songs sounded much heavier live, and that's one of the big things I was missing from the album. It was fucking loud and I loved it.


Sat Nov 09, 2019 12:14 am
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Lick my balls
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Post Re: Tool - Fear Inoculum
Good for you man. :D That riff in Forty-Six is one of their best, for sure. Can't tell what you mean w/r/t Pneuma but was asking because it's probably the most popular track off the new album, even a bunch of reaction clips with people losing their shit to it, lol. Wasn't a huge fan at first but it's grown on me a lot - build-up at the end is almost as good as a dutch-rudder from grandma.


Mon Nov 11, 2019 8:42 am
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