Tool Fear Inoculum

7.5/10 A true return to form with some great evolution in their sound.


Tool Fear Inoculum is a highly inspired hard rock album with psychedelic progressive rock style which is already historically significant in several ways. The music involves the most interesting poly-rhythms on the planet which is so complex I feel like it is enhancing my DNA. The interaction between master drummer Danny Carey and Bassist Justin Chancellor is magnificently interesting and challenging. Adam Jones lays down classic tool guitar tones with some incredible guitar solos and outstanding rhythmic complexity and precision.

Maynard James Keenan is the legendary vocalist of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Pussifer whose is known for his rocking voice, strange comedy, unusual stage presence and as an inspired lyricist. On this album his vocals are insightful hopeful and lack the sarcasm from past songs.


The opening lyrics from the title track and first single “Fear Inoculum” begins with heavy drums and guitars in heavy rock mode:

“Immunity, long overdue
Contagion, I exhale you
Naive, I opened up to you
Venom and mania
Now, contagion, I exhale you”

The song continues to express how the venom inoculated and how it is time to remove it and to rewrite your own story and become something new and better a song about personal transformation.

The intermission tracks are awesome with vintage synthesizers and far-out effects. “Legion Inoculant” has echoing vocals, “Bless this immunity”. The sound is very extraterrestrial and out-of-body. It seamlessly transitions to “Descending” which stays atmospheric for several minutes before the 4 piece band brings the listener back to the ground.

Tool is back after more than a decade with Fear Inoculum which soared to number 1 album on the Billboard charts dethroning Tyler Swifts record breaking album. Tool also had the longest song to ever appear on the billboard top 100 singles with Fear Inoculum. The album features new artwork from Alex Grey and Adam Jones and was released in a Deluxe limited edition packaging with built in video and a 32 page booklet with a CD.

The album opens with the single title track Fear Inoculum Which is the heaviest song on the album

The album was developed over many years following their victory in court over their former record label , a more than 10 years long battle. Maynard James Keenen continued making music with Pussifer and A Perfect Circle. Danny Carry started a side project which played a few shows, Adam Jones and Justin Chancler laid low.

Fear Inoculum is not as aggressive as their previous albums and the vocal styles never reaches the screaming hard rock style of yesteryear. The essential sound of the band is shockingly similar to their previous releases with certain riffs being nearly identical to previous arrangements. That said, the new evolution in the album is in the softer side of the band and their love of progressive psychedelia. The arrangements have more breathing room and the musical environment is more expansive with synthesizers. The album is less chaotic and distorted than previous albums and this seems to follow the trajectory of the band over the years.

Blog by: Temple Rose

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