Monday, September 16, 2019

Full Length Review: TOOL "Fear Inoculum" (Volcano/RCA) by Ghoul Shadows

Band: Tool
Location: Los Angeles, California
Country: USA
Genre: Progressive alternative metal
Full Length: Fear Inoculum
Label: Volcano/RCA
Format: CD, deluxe CD edition, digital
Release date: August 30, 2019
It’s 2019 and Tool’s new album is finally here with all the fun and excitement one can expect. After 13 years of waiting Tool fan boys can rejoice!
…Ugh, It’s difficult to dance around this one. So here we go…
It is an album that is neither here nor there.
Off the bat I am going to say it’s not a bad album – but it’s not a good album either. I don’t hate it like I do that movie Ghost Busters 2016. And it’s nowhere near as bad as that “Lars Ulrich’s Snare” fucking album. It’s not really bad at all. But it’s not that great either.
The whole album feels underwhelming, but why? People have been saying it’s going back to their old ways with being a prog band etc. etc. and I can respect that. But it still doesn’t seem to strike any chords – pun fucking intended. Then it hit me, - I have heard this before.
You may not have noticed it.
But, your brain did.
A lot of the tracks almost appear to me like they were leftovers from other albums. Bits and pieces that they have picked up off the cutting room floor and packaged into a new album to get money from the saps that call themselves fans. I will come back to how they strip-mine their fans of their hard-earned dollars later.
There is this nagging feeling of: I have heard this from you before, Tool.
Like, I get it, it’s the same band, but I can’t be the only one who is hearing this can I???? You practically raise the dead on this album, Maynard!
Justin Chancellor (bass) made mention that some elements of the album traced back to some ideas they had back in 1995 when he first joined the band. Which explains; in part; why it sounds like it does.
This album was made with the fans in mind. After 13 years this is probably the best direction to take with it. They wouldn’t want to alienate their hardcore fans on the chance of gaining new ones. Which in retrospect was a solid bet. Although for new listeners it’s a lower hit rate you are going to enjoy it as opposed to long time listeners. So, I think they made the right choice. They keep their fans happy and that’s half the battle won. So long as your fans are singing your praises you can sway others to your sound and it will grow. Many other bands have come out with a new sound and completely botched it and been attacked by their own fan base. But then not many bans as big as Tool have waited so long to put an album out. Between the two choices (new sound verses something tried and true) I am glad they went with what worked. Only for the fact it kept the fans happy, but as for me not so much.
I know Tool has some very talented individuals. Honestly, to me it sounds like they released this as soon as they could to shut the fans up about releasing an album. And after 13 years who could blame them?
With all the hype about the album what I notice is a focus on the attention on sales and how much money they have made and how many albums they have sold.
Is it really a big deal that Tool has beaten Taylor Swift on the billboard charts….really? I mean, Tool is obviously better than Taylor Swift hands down…we don’t need a bill board chart to tell us that. It is merely a “Tool money” vs “Swift money” thing. Really, does anyone think Tool fans give a flying fuck about what Taylor Swift is doing? Please. Fuck off and die in your hole Ms. Swift. I mean, why the fuck are they even comparing a band like Tool, who is unique and writes their own material against a Pop star who writes (and I use that term loosely in her case) a song every time she has a bad moment with a guy? Ugh, is this what music has become? Who makes more money? Can we go back to when it was good please????? When music was about what message you gave across and how fucking amazing you were at your instrument? Not the fact we waited 13 fucking years for an album to drop from people who think you wanna hear the same riff for the next 10 mins to make more money than a talentless bimbo?
But hey, Tool, at least you’re better than Taylor Swift, well done.
That’s not an accomplishment. Am I supposed to be impressed?
So the fans wanted to hear an album better than Taylor Swift? …Honestly tell me. Do you think the album was going to be better than Taylor Swift?
Do you think if Fear Inoculum had made less sales than Ms. Swift the album would have been worse?
Do you think with whatever Tool did - Fear Inoculum would have been better than Taylor Swift? Do you think Taylor Swift had any influence on what you thought about this album??????
So don’t try that fucking cry baby argument with me. Not gonna fly, chump.
Compare this album against Tool’s previous albums. Now there is a test. Is it better? Is it not? That’s the real topic we should be discussing. Think about it.
Some of their best songs from Tools past albums are Hooker With A Penis, Forty Six And Two, Sober, Prison Sex, Schism, Stinkfist and The Pot (?). I will just let you add to this list shall I?
Then there is Puscifer. Not Tool but still its Maynard-flavoured “sauce” nonetheless.
I could go on put you get my point.
I actually have a fond memory of “Sober” when it first came out. This song would always greet me when I got home on the TV without fail. After a night out on the town getting drunk it was always an awesome feeling to hear this. Great fucking song.
If I was going to be real about this and brutally honest, it took 45 mins of listening to this album before I got anything out of it. It actually just sounds like a bunch of guys who like Tool who know some of the riffs from some of their songs and decided to make their own songs in a garage band.
But who cares what I think. I am just a nobody who enjoys listening to music. Your music Tool. At least I did. Was this album worth the 13-year wait? No way.
I am more pissed off for waiting 13 years for a fucking album than the album itself. It’s mediocre at best. And yes, many of you will defend the time signatures. OH!!! BUT GHOUL!!! THE TIME SIGNATURES!!!!?!?!?! WARGARBLE!!!! But what about the time signatures!!!!
Listen, I don’t give a fuck about time signatures - I want to hear good music. And while I could get high off bath salts while eating my neighbor’s face passionately to this album, I don’t feel like it has the same bang for its buck like the old Tool songs. Coincidently, if I gotta be high to enjoy your music then your music really isn’t that good – period. That applies to any band.
The album sounds old and dated. You must have been so high, Tool.
For me it truly is a case of your old stuff is better than your new stuff.
Will the album grow on me? It might, but I seriously doubt it.
But hey, who am I to wave my finger?
After the third listen, I stopped listening at about the 25min mark and changed to a different band.
People wanna feel that rush the first time they heard a Tool album. They wanna experience the awesomeness of how cool they were. How listening to a Tool album will take them back in time, to a simpler time. To where listening to this band was in the minority and how they exposed their friends to Maynard’s dick.
This is the problem with taking too long to release new material from any source whether it be a movie or an album. People have expectations. We listen and watch everything related to what we like and start putting bigger and bigger expectations and when it finally gets here…oh…is that it…meh next.
Maybe their next album will be better.
I guess we will have to wait another 13 years and see.
Whether or not you like the album or not. Whether you enjoy it or not the thing is that you have an opinion and it is your opinion just like mine is. I am not a huge fan, I may not even be considered a casual bystander in the epic wait for this album but one thing, you, me Tool and Maynard and his penis can agree on is…
Fuck Taylor Swift.
Rating: 13 years out of a million Taylor Swift dollary-doos. -Ghoul Shadows

Maynard James Keenan: Vocals
Adam Jones: Guitar
Justin Chancellor: Bass
Danny Carey: Drums, synthesizer

Track list:
(Physical format)
1. Fear Inoculum
2. Pneuma
3. Invincible
4. Descending
5. Culling Voices
6. Chocolate Chip Trip (instrumental)
7. 7empest
(Digital format)
1. Fear Inoculum
2. Pneuma
3. Litanie contre la peur (instrumental)
4. Invincible
5. Legion Inoculant (instrumental)
6. Descending
7. Culling Voices
8. Chocolate Chip Trip
9. 7empest
10. Mockingbeat (instrumental)

Check out Ghoul Shadows’ horror stories at Tales of the Twisted on Facebook and Wordpress.

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