The quartet's highly-anticipated fifth album, which was delayed for 13 years, will be unleashed upon the world on Friday, August 30 on all streaming services and in the form of a “deluxe physical art object,” which includes a compact disc, four-inch HD rechargeable screen with exclusive video footage, charging cable, two-watt speaker, 30-page booklet, and a download card that includes bonus music.
The 85-minute record is already making waves. The title track, which was released on August 7, became the first song to hit Billboard's Top 100 chart to exceed 10 minutes. There will listening parties both locally and at Puscifer the Store in Jerome, which is owned by frontman and Arizona winemaker Maynard James Keenan.
Phoenix New Times has been adding to the hype surrounding the release. For our grand finale, we will be running five of Keenan's best columns next week in the lead up to Fear Inoculum's release.
But the question remains: is the album worth the wait? We are happy to share with you that according to the reviewers of the internet, the answer is a resounding yes.
Spin's Dimitri Ehrlich writes that "Tool have never followed the structures or strictures of pop music, but still, there is something surprisingly accessible about the album’s overall effect" and "the band prove they can still thrash."
Metal Injection's Frank Godla added that "the album picks up where 10,000 Days left off," and while it contains Tool's signature sound that "there are some groundbreaking changes to the band with this release, making it more of a career-encompassing opus than just the next album in their discography."
James McMahon from NME gave the record five stars. He states that "it’s a languid, blissful work, featuring perhaps the best collection of vocals that singer Keenan has ever committed to tape."
Finally, Consequence of Sound says that each track is "an opus unto itself." Danny Carey’s drums sound "significantly pronounced in the mix throughout the album, arguably more of a focus than Keenan’s vocals. It’s the one consistency throughout every non-segue track."
Of course, the only review that really matters is yours. Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on social media. We'll be waiting with you in line for the album next week.