Tool – Fear Inoculum Album Review

Tool – Fear Inoculum  Review


One thing is to review an album, another thing is to review a Tool’s album. Fans of the band from LA tend to be very passionate and critical when hearing something about their favorite band. And I don’t blame them. Being a Tool fan requires time, but when you get there you’ll be very serious about the music, and boy, it’s no secret that Tool has released one of the best albums in the history of music.

Fear Inoculum, which is the name of the new album is their 5th LP, it took 13 years to been released, probably most of you already knew that.

It was released the 30th of Agust, and I’ve been listening to it a lot. I didn’t want to do a review just a few days after I got it in my hands. I preferred to wait until it grew on me.

Without further ado, let’s go to the song by song section. I only reviewed the 7 songs of the physical release without any bonus track.

Song By Song


1 – Fear Inoculum –  I’ve already reviewed the single of this album in my past video. As soon as you hear this track the first time you notice the production is first class. People say that this song reminds them of Lateralus, I agree with them but Danny is making spirals in the drums underwater, hear this part.

2 – Pneuma – Oh my God. Even that it’s not my personal favorite song of the album I must say that this is the best song of it in terms of… basically everything. Lyrics, song structure, musical arrangements, everything. I think this might be one of the best songs Tool have ever written. There is always something that characterizes a good song, this has many, but the one that stands out the most for me is this one. That riff is repeated in tons of parts in the playback and it’s a killer for me. Adam is contributing like a master. And this is just getting started!

3 – Invincible – One thing that I like about a song are changes. A regular good band releases good regular songs which an intro, verse, chorus, verse again, chorus and it’s done. A thing that I like about Tool is that they, obviously, don’t do this. Their songs are unpredictable. Invincible is a perfect example of this. I won’t show you all the changes, it would be better if you hear the whole song by yourself. But I’ll do show you my favorite (video) that must be the best sounding opening hit hat I’ve ever heard in my life. Ok, let’s hear it again.

4 – Descending – If there must be a king of Fear Inoculum is Adam Jones when things get chilly, he’s ready to wake you up with his strings. Tool is very good at putting strange effects and making the whole thing to sound good. This is an example of it (7y7) I also like this part, when the guitar solo takes you to a magical place (7y28)

5 – Culling Voices – This is definitely the song where Maynard stood out the most. For those people complaining about his singing, which by the way is a lot of people. They should listen to this song.

6 – Chocolate Chip Trip – This is by far the most experimental song of the album. Actually is that strange that it doesn’t seem to be hearing Tool. This is basically a drum solo performed by one of the best drummers in the world, Danny Carey. I will say something risky now. This song might be for me the Led Zeppelin’s Moby Dick of the 21st Century. Sometimes I think that Danny has more than two hands and two legs, that happens every time I listen to this song. I like how he finished playing with hitting the gong.

7 – 7empest – I’ve said previously that Adam Jones was the king of this album. Well, this song proves it for good. Try to keep on track how many guitar effects this one has. It’s unbelievable, it is the cherry on top of the cake, and the cherry has the shape of a guitar on this occasion.


My verdict

As I said before, I waited some time to release this review because Tool’m music is not at all predictable. It takes time until you familiarise with it. I will be frankly honest. I love this album, I like all the songs, some of them better than the other. But all in all, I think they have made an outstanding job.

People complain that it took 13 years for making Fear Inoculum, people complain that this album lacks the aggressive side of Tool, people like to talk like they know what they are talking about really.

What if they never released an album? An artist should release an album only when they feel like releasing it. If it’s every year, or every 20 years it’s up to them to decide. There are some bands that release records depending on the demand, but they are not really artist to be frankly honest, they are entertainers.

I do not think that this album lacks spicy tunes. I think that every song, except for “Chocolate Chip Trip”, all of them are over 10 minutes long, are stories. Every track flows, they’ll take you to an all leveled up place without you to realize it. In all songs happen this thing, except for 7empest, that is a heavy one from the 1st minute.

I didn’t like the interludes though. As I mentioned before, I think that the songs are very complete, very well built. I really don’t think that the interludes do something beneficial to the album. I mostly listen to the album in the physical format, were the bonus tracks (the three interludes) are excluded. So in the end that won’t affect me really.

If I have to say another negative thing about the album is that I would have liked some screaming (kinda like “The Grudge”) from Maynard. But! James Keenan did an excellent job on this record, even if he didn’t scream in any part, he performed some of the best melodic contributions of his career in my opinion. SO again, this is just me trying to find something bad on this masterpiece.

I have to talk just a little bit about the packaging. To me, Tool has five members, Alex Grey being the 5th one. The CD, which was only released in a deluxe packaging version to this date, comes with a lot of awesome artworks by the artist, the 5th member. There’s also an HD 4inch screen that displays a video made with Grey’s work. Things like this one make the experience of listening to an album more engaging. This is one of the real reasons that separate streaming platforms from the physicals formats.


My three favorite songs are

  • Invincible
  • Pneuma
  • Chocolate Chip Trip