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A Tool Conversation on Fear Inoculum

Here is a conversation that took place on the 30/8/2019 when Tool released “Fear Inoculum” their first album in 13 years.

Tom: 

So have you been cranking the new TOOL yet?

Pete: 

Yep and you.

Tom: 

Kids had a fathers day thing at the school this morning.

Anyway, I’ve just started cranking it.

Onto “Descending” now. Song 6 of 7 and 66 minutes in. Lol.

Tool don’t really edit their songs to fit a radio playlist or whatever. And their progressive style of rock is very different to say Dream Theaters prog Rock as Tool sits on a groove for a long time before they change.

Pete: 

What did you think of “Invincible”?

Or what did you think of certain sections in “Invincible”?

Tom:

Was gonna say that was tough. Man, they didnt like editing this time ay.

Pete

Not really…(my response to the editing statement)

I listened to two songs coming into work this morning. All up 24 minutes worth.

Tom

So far they have had mad grooves and build ups but there has been an absence of climaxes.

Some cool solos though.

The solos in Tool are like riffs played in the higher register.

Pete

In “Descending”, I like how they end it with the drums doing the off beat that the guitar did earlier.

There is a section in “Invincible” when the guitarist just plays this open string groove and the drummer actually plays a stock beat.

Tom

So far “Descending” has been the one that kicks the most.

Before I heard “Descending”, I would say “Invincible” would have been it.

The songs sit on a groove for a long time.

Pete:

Did you hear the riff in “Invincible” that was from “H”?

Tom

The “H” riff didn’t pop out on this listening. I will keep an ear out for it next time round

“Descending” is dragging on, but its a lot more exciting.

Pete

What?? Its the main riff of “H”.

I felt like rippping the steering wheel off when I heard it.

It’s like a nice little throwback and it was one of the first riffs i learnt from em.

Tom

lol

“H” is still my favourite song, its the first song I remember hearing from them on JJJ.

Pete

“Culling Voices”

Whats your thoughts on it?

Actually just fast forward to the 6 minute mark.

The first six minutes dragged on for a bit too much for me.

Tom

“7empest” seems a little old school like the “Opiate” and “Undertow” era.

I guess this is the one with the 5 minute solo.

Pete

I don’t recall a 5 min guitar solo at all on the album.

Well not a guitar solo like how I call a guitar solo.

Tom

“7empest” is the one with the guitar solo.

Pete: 

Ignoring Tom’s review of the last song, I was back listening to the album from start to finish.

So “Fear Inoclum” is a pretty cool song.

“Pneuma” continues the tone set and the way they jam that bass riff from about the 1.20 minute mark is pretty cool

That riff from about 9.20 in “Pneuma”. As if it doesnt make you want to break the desk. And it just keeps building until the end.

Tom

There isn’t a song with Maynard in the climax, coming in screaming “VICARIOUSLY I, LIVE WHILE THE WHOLE WORLD DIES, MUCH BETTER YOU THAN I.

Pete comment: Tom is right here that Maynard’s absence in the endings is missing.

Pete

Well he is a WARR-I-OR.

STRUGG – I – LING.

The above is a lyric from “Invincible”.

Tom

I have to admit, its definitely a TOOL album.

They didn’t go all weird or anything like that.

Pete

That open string riff from the 8 minute mark in the song “INVINCIBLE”. First its just the riff, then some keys, then Maynard starts with “tears in your eye” then the drums come in mimicking the guitar.

Tom

Yeah man, the only criticism I have is the lack of Maynard power vocals in the climaxes of the songs that are traditionally there.

It’s missing in all the songs otherwise everything else is pretty epic.

Tom is still on about the lack of the vocal climaxes. And if you remember our “Justice For All” conversation, the bass was a big issue for him as well. Lol.

Pete

Then at 9.40 in “Invincible”, the drummer plays a stock beat.

This will be head banging section of the concert and the last 2 minutes.. Those riffs

Actually those last 4 minutes of “Invincible”…. x 13 years wait = ??

Tom

For me its “Descending” from 5:54 to 6:50, the vocals are epic. They just needed to be repeated at around 10:53 over the new riff, I have to find a way to do it.

And Tom over that weekend downloaded some editing software and did it. And it sounded better.

Pete

“Invincible” over “Descending” for me…

I always saw the vocals as an extension of the instruments. Maynard sang like he was a lead guitarist instead of a lead vocalist. His melodies are like guitar melodies. And as a lead vocalist he normally hid behind screens live, so it was more about the sound than the look and words.

So lets talk about “7empest”.

Tom

Like I said it has an early Tool feel for me.

I don’t mind it, more rocky and the solo isn’t bad either

 Pete

What solo?

I always poke fun at the term solo mixed in with Tool. To me they are cool melodic riffs.

Tom

The 5 minute one.

Pete

Lol

Tom

It’s a solo man, the closest we will ever get from Tool

Pete

Petrucci – Live at Budokan for “Hollow Years”.

Now that is a solo.

Tom

If emotion is what you are after then “Lines In The Sand”.

Pete

I’m still listening to the 5 minute guitar solo. I forgot it was a guitar solo.

It feels like a riff played on the higher strings.

Tom

Thats the trick.

Pete

Take a riff and play it on the G, B and E strings and call it a guitar solo, that goes for 5 minutes.

Tom

Your right about the last bit of “Invincible”.

It kicks but still missing Maynard going top gear.

Maynard’s vocals is one of the reasons why I love Tool.

And him not being in the climax’s makes it feel like it is missing something.

Pete

Nah for me it was the grooves. The jams.

And obviously the lack of editing.

I felt like with the first APC album, Maynard’s vocals are brilliant.

I saw some comments online about how the long songs will only pay for one stream when they could have done three 4 minute songs and gotten paid for three streams.

These people don’t get it.

Tool don’t care about the per stream payment.

Why do you think it’s taken em this long to come onto digital services?

They got the upfront payment and the rates they want.

Final Note:

It’s good to have Tool on streaming services and back in the music scene with a new album.

They held off long enough to get a deal with Spotify on their terms and their rate.

They’ve always done things their way and even in this era of social connections, Tool is still the outsider. And outsiders win.

And the album is long which will be ignored by a lot of people, but there will be enough old and new people tuning in.

I enjoyed listening to their jams and how Tool seems to be the only big act who doesn’t care about what’s happening in music, how it’s become a hit game and how streaming monies saved the record labels. They live in their own world.

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5 thoughts on “A Tool Conversation on Fear Inoculum

  1. I never really connected with Tool unlike other bands in the past. I tried and did like a lot of their music. But I listened to FI twice yesterday and it’s just a perfect soundtrack for the times. And you’re spot on that they just exist in their own world, like a Pink Floyd or Zeppelin. Great stuff!

  2. My buddy out west that I went and seen Maiden with loves these guys!
    I heard it and it’s quite good and I’m not a huge fan period. I will need to check this out oat some point.

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