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Tool - Fear Inoculum CD (album) cover




Experimental/Post Metal

3.73 | 300 ratings

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Isaac Peretz
3 stars Fear Inoculum is Tool's fifth album, it sounds like a simple statement but considering it came out 13-Years after 10.000 Days... It's a pretty important statement. After 13 years, you would expect a fresh Tool with new ideas and ways to impress people right? After all it's been thirteen damn years.

What Fear Inoculum presents us is eighty minutes of the same ideas over and over again. That doesn't necessarily mean it's bad, Danny Carey is still a beast, Justin made some awesome bass work, Maynard impregnated his trademark Tool voice and Adam Jones was an incredibly boring guitarist as usual, so nothing really changed that much. To be honest this album is pretty good for any die- hard Tool fan that enjoys any of their songs, I am one of those fans. The problem comes in how dull the music itself is.

Take as an example the title track. Odd time signatures, Danny Carey using percussion instruments (Like in reflection), Justin Chancellor providing something nice bass, some atmospheric segments around the middle of the song... this is all great, but the thing is that these characteristics can be applied to every single other song in the album. Aenima, for example, had songs like Stink Fist that were serious head banging material, Eulogy which felt like four songs in one, Third Eye which would send you to another world with its Trance-ish vibe.... all those songs have unique characteristics that the rest of the album didn't have. In Fear Inoculum, all songs feel like one. You could've merged all those six songs into one and it would literally feel like one. Not to forget how even the points that are meant to be a climax aren't that impactful. Pneuma's climax which is at the end, is the same verse that you had been hearing throughout the rest of the song, same with 7empest and Descending. Invincible is the only one with a climax unique compared with the rest of the song, but then it just gets ruined by the album's mixing, which is the next point.

Nothing sounds too heavy. One of the things Tool is pretty known for is their capability of banging your head with an incredibly heavy odd-time-signature riff, take as an example Forty Six & Two, Vicarious, The Grudge or Ticks & Leeches. When Fear Inoculum throws you a climax that's meant to punch you towards the sky, it gets softened by the albums mixing: It's way too polished and it removes the raw emotion of the track and album itself. Finally, the four interludes of the album are a colossal waste of time. Boring, uninteresting, un memorable, and annoying like Chocolate Chip Trip. Doing a full listen of this album is almost impossible because of these tracks.

Overall: It's good, but more of the same, and overly dull. I still find enjoyment in it but honestly? It's Tool's worst album.

Isaac Peretz | 3/5 |


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