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Tool - Fear Inoculum CD (album) cover

FEAR INOCULUM

Tool

 

Experimental/Post Metal

3.70 | 323 ratings

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pzurden
3 stars The first thing i tried to do is to put aside the tremendous amount of hype that had around my head over this new Tool album to get a more objective listening. It was really difficult though, because 13 years have passed and we diehard fans were really excruciated by this wait.

On my first listening i only liked "Culling Voices" as i thought that it was the only song that didn't really reminded me of any previous material from the band. And then on my second listening, a couple more songs were appealing like for example 7empest but nonetheless the feeling that predominates over and over again in this record is pretty much the same: I've already heard this.

The opening track is the homonymous one, and for me is a really bad start to the atmosphere because it never resolve the progressiveness although it is 10 minutes long. The riffs and melody changes as also the addition-substraction of instruments in the melody is confusing and doesn't really act cohesively. It sounds as if Tool is trying to make one song out of Parabola, Rosseta Stoned and Right in Two altogether.

The second track, Pneuma is an overall Jambi and Lateralus wannabe. The band reproduces perfectly the dense and time complex atmosphere of these anthems but as hard as they try, it doesn't add any new flavours to the recipe. Also, in the case of Lateralus, there is a tone preparation with the previous tracks that added to the mysticism around the sound, that doesn't seem to happen in this case. Every song in this album seems to exist by itself, as if no album concept existed.

Then we have Litanie Contre le Peur that acts as an Interlude. It is a 2 minutes track in which Adam Jones emulates a continous synth tone with tremolo using his guitar. The atmosphere that he creates is very immersive but i think it is something that every guitarist can do when playing with the effect pad possibilities. When comparing it to other tool famous interludes like Message to Harry Manback or Lipan Conjuring it really stays out of reach. In this aspect, the second interlude of this album Legion Inoculant is much more serious and convincing in creating auditive context and subjective rest for the remaining part of the record.

Invincible and Descending are very similar tracks and thats why I put them together. The first one is a perfect copycat of Right in Tow's tone, instrumentation, song scheme, and overall vibe but with a Lateralus-esque sustained solo almost at the end of it. Descending is a little bit longer and one of the things that I liked about it is that it starts and ends with wave sounds, an intro a little bit different from the hindi arpeggiated ones that Tool uses as a common resource. Then it becomes a Schism-like bass line but with a Vicarious flavour that contains really juicy guitar lines but in spite of this, the songs are really another Tool songs.

Culling Voices and 7empest are my favourite tracks of the record, because they try effects and melodies unused before by the band and in the case of Culling Voices it is clear that the punkish riffs and clean distortion is a shot-out to Tool's first EP Opiate (Hear the song Hush for example). As far as it goes for 7empest, i think is the most organized and better orchestrated piece on this project. It reminded me to APC's "The package" specially in the sudden contrasts and agry moods. It also has specks of The Grudge and Forty Six & 2.

Chocolate Chip Trip is the worst track of the album in which we can hear that in spite of the always excellent performance of Danny Carey and electronic experimentation the band fails to create this chaotic instrumental tune that, in the end, seems more like a bad Zappa tribute than an experimental odissey.

The ending of the record is carried out by Mockingbird, a mediocre outro if compared with Viginti Tres or Faap the Oiad but that nevertheless gives a nice vibe with the bird samples and stuff.

To finish with this long and dense gibberish, and more in terms of the album as a whole i really think it's good, but non-essential. It is It is not a record that i will come back later very often, as Tool has another projects that are highlighted with excellency that i'd rather revisit .It definitely didn't worth the 13 year wait, as it never reaches the mystic and mathy lyrics and harmonization of Lateralus and AEnima for example (that were made 5 years apart). In spite of this, it is not a bad record, and has every piece of the Tool's essence that fans love.

pzurden | 3/5 |

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