Author's Choices, Metal, Progressive Metal

Tool – Fear Inoculum (Author’s Choice)

Album: Fear Inoculum
Genre: Progressive Metal
Country: USA
Release Date: 30th of August, 2019
Released via Tool Dissectional
Cover Artwork © Tool 2019

(Submitted by Patrik Transcended)

As Author’s Choices, every one of our authors gets the chance to pick one album that the rest of the authors need to listen to and write a short comment about.


I can say without doubt that the release of 10.000 Days in 2006 exerted a huge influence on the way how I would consume and experience music from that point on. I was overwhelmed by its complex and demanding song structures, never losing track of great and catchy melodies and vocal lines. There is so much to experience in Tool’s music in general that you need to take your time to discover everything in its entirety. So here we are, 13 years later, the hype for Fear Inoculum has been huge. What will it sound like? What will it look like? Can the band again meet the listeners’ expectations? No matter how your answers and thoughts to these three questions will look like, do yourself a favor and do something that seems to have become a rarity nowadays… take your time to discover music. Enjoy listening!


I must commit, I never really heard anything by Tool. Not that I didn’t like them, I just didn’t pay them any attention regarding my ears. Fear Inoculum was the first Tool album that I heard in its entirety, and I must confess – a lot of my friends are right, this is something special. In my opinion, it’s nothing I would choose for my Top 10 List of 2019, but I see, or better hear, this band has some qualities a lot of bands don’t have or achieve. They give their songs time to evolve to tell us something and they know how to surprise. I think this album is the beginning of my journey to discover this band.


When the idea of this blog came up in January, as far as I know it was already clear that there was a new Tool album to come in 2019. Before even getting acquainted with the band, I immediately shoved it away and luckily enough, Steven turned out to be quite a Tool fan (although the review eventually ended up in Thomas‘ hands). Fortunately, Patrik used his first joker for the author’s choice to pick Fear Inoculum, which forced every author at the TMB to listen to this album and write a short comment. Thus, I had to journey through over an hour of Tool‘s latest release in order to briefly sum up my thoughts about the album. I already listened to the track “Fear Inoculum” before the release of the album and was quite ok with what I heard. First and foremost I favored the drumming and soundscapes that were constructed on the album combined with the overall feeling that is conveyed. However – as I expected – I still did not get into the album and the band in general again. The problem I had with the album was the missing momentum – probably because I’m coming from a pretty Punk-ish background, which means that I need a certain driving force. Although the progressions on the album are quite interesting, I was eventually waiting for an actual “start” of the album for about an entire hour – which was quite annoying. Thus – the album definitely has its qualities – but I still do not get into the band ( which forces certain members of the TMB to tell me that I call everything above one riff ‘proggy’ ).


Thomas already lost some words about Fear Inoculum in his recently published review.

Rocko F.

Alright, I listened to the album a few times now and yeah, after all these years the guys released a new album Tool album. Each and every song sounds like Tool, the production is Tool… So far, so good. My problem is that I feel as if I know most of the licks, some of the riffs and some drum parts already from other Tool tracks. Furthermore there is this meditative flow, which always reminds me of some of these “3 Hours of Japanese Zen-Garden Sounds to Sleep”. I tried it with the new Tool album instead of one of this once, and it actually worked really great. But I’m sure that this was not the goal of the band, was it?

Don’t get me wrong, I like the music, but it’s different from the songs I like most by Tool – such as “Sober”, “Schism” or “Aenima”, where especially Mr. Maynard’s singing is more aggressive, pissed off and with more attack and power in the voice. There I can follow the feelings, I can hear them, I can feel them, and not just fall asleep with them. In my opinion, none of these songs are on the latest release. So, if I want to listen to the Tool I like, I’ll take one of the older songs again, but there won’t be one from the new album so far… Too bad

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