Enlarge Photo Credit: Travis Shinn

Ten Random Thoughts on Tool’s New Song “Fear Inoculum”

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Tool just dropped their first new song in 13 years, the title track from their forthcoming album Fear Inoculum.

Let’s take a listen together and share our thoughts, shall we? Press play below, then proceed with my stream of consciousness…

1. Atmospherics! Sound effects! Tribal-sounding congo drums! Oh yeah, this is Tool. Justin Chancellor’s percussive, pounding bass with a giant, slap-back delay, and Adam Jones meaty guitar tone. This is just the intro, and it’s going on for minutes.

2. Maynard sounding all Maynardy, whispering, whining and doing his Maynard thing over the band’s noodling. (“whining” and “noodling” not meant pejoratively!)

3. It’s nearly four minutes into the track before the drums enter in full. And even that’s a head-fake! Soon we’re back to tribal rhythm stuff. Danny Carey is really keeping it reigned in here intensity-wise despite the complexity of what he’s playing.

4. Good God, Adam Jones’ guitar tone. So thick yet so clear. Please make me one with it in an endless orgasm-inducing singularity.

5. The entire mix sounds fucking phenomenal. God-level clarity — EVERYTHING is crystal clear, balanced and perfect. All hail Joe Barresi.

6. This song is LONG. Over ten minutes long. It’s not a traditional radio single by any means. Are radio stations going to play this? Will there be a radio edit? Frankly I can’t imagine how a radio edit of this tune would even work.

7. The track switches gears around 6:30. I’m doing my best to count out the time signature and I think there’s a pattern in 7 going on here. Must’ve been what Adam Jones was talking about.

8. The riff at 8:45 is distinctly TOOL. Longtime fans are going to love this part.

9. The track builds and builds and builds… but never really gets to that full-on RELEASE you’re expecting. I can only imagine that comes on the next track of the album as I’m pretty sure this is the opener…

10. Need to listen to this again. Immediately. Lots to digest! Here we go:

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