Fear Inoculum (CD)


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Amoeba Review


It’s fitting that Tool should prelude their fifth album with the release of a labyrinthine, 10-minute long song as a single. The band has, by this point, long elevated their stature from the '90s alt-rock radio rotation into a genuine prog-metal cult sensation with one of the most devoted followings you’re likely to find of any band, ever. For a fan base that has waited 13 years for new material, patience is a virtue. Thus the title track of Fear Inoculum takes its time, introducing the band’s signature elements piece by piece: the syncopated rhythms, the exotic percussion, the intricate and high-pitched bass guitar. As time has gone on, Tool’s song lengths have gradually grown longer and longer, and the band’s music has grown increasingly ritualistic and hypnotic. Inoculum is no exception, as all but one of these 7 songs stretch past the 10 minute mark. These extended movements unravel slowly and methodically, inducing a trance-like effect liable to be snapped at any moment with dramatic shifts in time signatures and volume. For the band that once structured a song around the Fibonacci sequence, it’s relieving to find they’ve not tempered their ambitions in the slightest. Fear Inoculum doubles down on the band’s intricate alt metal methodology, as Tool continues to perfect that DMT-soaked pathway straight to the deepest depths of your lizard brain.

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