Fear Inoculum

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BARDAMU





  • #11
  • Posted: 5 days ago
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Wowie! I sure was excited for this new Tool™ record, and it did not disappoint!

Tool™ is based on an ingenious concept: what would happen if you mixed the guitar tones of Korn, the vocals of Enya, and a bongo. What results from this alchemical concoction is a brew too strong and, frankly, too intelligent for most people to understand.

10,000 Days was ofc the only record brave enough to make such thought-provoking statements as "tv bad," "legalize weed," and "people are basically monkeys when you think about it." With such an impressive brain trust running this band it's no wonder Maynard James Keenan was invited onto the Joe Rogan Experience.

Anyway, ofc the new record is fucking awesome (don't tell my mom I used a curse word or she'll take away my online privileges). What's particularly awesome is that the record is almost an hour and a half long, something I really appreciate. The length is well-utilized by all the songs basically sounding exactly the same so that, if need be, you can leave, get a sandwich, come back, it's all good! One of the things that always held Tool™ back was that their songs were surprisingly ear-wormy and full of memorable melodies in spite of their prog rock pretensions, but thankfully they've jettisoned all of that in favour of being as unmemorable as possible on this record. I can only hope their next album is even longer, slower, and less memorable. Basically I'm hoping for Tool™ to finally live up to their potential and become the nu-metal answer to Charlemagne Palestine.
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Gowi
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  • #12
  • Posted: 5 days ago
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lol

objectively wrong points in there with okay ones, but love the satire regardless
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BARDAMU





  • #13
  • Posted: 5 days ago
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I make only objectively good points.
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RockyRaccoon
Is it solipsistic in here or is it just me?


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  • #14
  • Posted: 4 days ago
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I listened to the album the other day. I've always enjoyed Tool, but I've never been a Tool superfan, and Fear Inoculum I thought was fine, but unspectacular.

To be honest, I feel like Tool could really use some self-editing. I don't have a problem with long albums if there's a point, but there was a lot of meandering in this album, and some stuff that really didn't feel like it needed to be in there.

As a result, a lot of the album felt pretty self-indulgent. I love prog, and I realize that prog generally seems pretty self-indulgent, but I think there's a sort of self-indulgence to prog that I personally find interesting sometimes (e.g. Yes doing an album based on interpretations of Hindu texts) compared to some of this.

That being said, I don't hate the album. I think it's fine, it's interesting at times, especially when Maynard gets out of the way and lets the band do what they do best. But I also listened to it and felt like "Oh, this is just another Tool album." Like, it didn't feel like there was any progression for the band as artists, it felt like they were doing their same schtick once again (could they have learned to play in a different key at least?)

Also, I really think Tool succeeds in spite of Maynard James Keenan rather than because of him. His voice is solid, but his lyrics are pretty bland at best, and they definitely are exactly that all over the album.
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19loveless91
dipl. kult.



Slovenia

  • #15
  • Posted: 4 days ago
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BARDAMU wrote:
words.

D-

Wasn't that funny when Pitchfork did it 18 years ago, and I guess putting less effort in it doesn't make it any better.


I'm not exactly a Tool superfan either, even if Aenima is floating somewhere on my overall, but I genuinely got annoyed by some of the backlash - relatively speaking, obviously it's selling well, and the reviews from critics are quite decent, but between Fantano's and p4k's lack of love, and this being Tool at their "proggiest" yet, it seems like it's never been more cool to mock the band.

Like, I get it. Prog (rock, metal, whatever) can be a self indulgent genre, where showing off musical skills comes in the way of any actual content, and as I said, this is Tool at its most "prog" yet. It's also easy to make fun of bands that take themselves too seriously, which Tool.. well, occasionally do. Counterpoint is that Tool haven't always relied on 10+ minute compositions (even when they did, I'd argue the length was usually justified by what they did to the song structures). Lyrically too, they are not always as vague and wannabe philosophical as they can get at their worst moments (including on this album). In fact I always thought one of Aenima's main appeals was in its lyrics. Sure, the message is not generally more complex than ~~society~~, but there's good and bad ways to convey that. And I always thought Maynard's cynicism sold it, whether he's singing about fisting and how he'll "keep digging to finally feel something", or pleading on the (almost)title track's for LA to be destroyed by natural disasters. So tbh I'd disagree with the comment above, that Tool are "bland" lyrically. Or that they succeed "in spite" of Maynard.

If there are any problems that I have with this album in particular is that.. yeah, they are shying away from any sort of "immediacy" (not sure this makes sense), either lyrically or musically - not bad in itself, but while everything is made really well, it feels like this is a band with not much to say. There also doesn't seem to be anything holding the album together; if you didn't tell me a new Tool album is coming out I'd have believed these were some outtakes from previous (post 2000) eras.

What I don't get is how criticism about this album so often comes back to describing it as.. "generic". "Samey". Or that "nothing happens". I think the drums and guitar work are amazing, shifting between different time signatures as seamless as ever, most of the songs are really well put together... Pneuma and 7empest in particular both have fantastic progressions throughout, and feel way shorter as a result. I get it if you're not a prog fan, that you might not be impressed, but come on, I really worry about some people's attention span if you can listen to any of the tracks here, and your takeaway is "yeah nothing happened here".


tl;dr it's pretty good, but not near their best.
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Jameth




United States

  • #16
  • Posted: 3 days ago
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I'll disagree with you on the drumming. What made the drumming on Ænima so incredible is the restraint displayed by Danny. It allowed him to underscore those songs in dynamic, dramatic fashion. And that restraint has slowly evaporated with each passing album, so that we're now at a point where he's playing at or near his ceiling for what feels like nearly the entirety of a 90 minute album. There aren't any startling, pupil-dilating licks, since he's left himself nowhere to go.

As for Adam's guitar parts, I don't think I have much of anything positive to say.

And I think the criticisms that this album is generic are warranted. There are far, far too many instances where some element of a legacy song is being rehashed, and verbatim at that. The rhythm from "Reflection" in the title track, the coda from "Eulogy" (which they've already rehashed), the opening riff from "Jambi", etc. The album's essentially a string of reprises of older songs. Maybe that's what they were going for, but I don't see the point.
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RoundTheBend
Was ich scheiße ist beßer, als was du je gedacht.



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  • #17
  • Posted: 3 days ago
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Gowi wrote:
oh my god they actually released something worse than 10,000 Days


Oddly enough, it's my favorite album of theirs. Possibly the most consistent in a higher quality at least... other Tool albums have a pretty decent high and low to them that makes me just want to listen to the highs on a playlist instead of the album.

As for the question at hand, haven't had the opportunity yet. Before I do, most bands that haven't worked together for a long period of time struggle to create something like "they used to" - the energy is dead... they stopped making music together for a reason, etc. Or sometimes it's the "old has beens" - meaning I made it, so I guess I'll be a musician the rest of my life... when really they probably should be real estate agents cause what really happened is they got lucky.

Then there's those surprising records by said "has-beens" which are actually fantastic... and everyone missed out on because they assumed it would suck. Randy Newman's Dark Matter or Is This The Life We Really Want(ed) by Pink Face... those were surprises to me.

I guess I wanna know from the Tool fans... is this one of those amazing things, or is it - hey that's cool Tool finally put out a record, but if I had my druthers, I'd probably really just put on an earlier release of theirs? Then of course there's those fans who just faint at anything X artist does, and that's ok too.
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BARDAMU





  • #18
  • Posted: 3 days ago
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19loveless91 wrote:
D-

Wasn't that funny when Pitchfork did it 18 years ago, and I guess putting less effort in it doesn't make it any better.


owie!!! you gave me a booboo!!!

I mean, once upon a time I was this website's premier teenaged Tool apologist, so I fit the role. The album did bore me to tears, however, and I don't think it's worth much effort in response. Tool is a joke. I hate to quote P4k directly after being accused of aping them, but they were write in lamenting that at least Tool used to be in on that joke. This is easily their most self-serious record to date, and I think the loss of that sense of humour about themselves makes them pretty intolerable. Ironically, I just don't think these guys are saying anything worth listening to or taking seriously anymore.

Maybe I'm just a lover of cheap novelty, but what I generally want in my prog is for it to be weird, and oft-kilter, and maybe a little gimmicky. If there's two poles, let's call them Frank Zappa and ELP. Tool was once floating towards the Zappa end of the spectrum. Now they're ELP. They used to sound exciting. This sounds like a drum circle. It's not fun anymore, and it used to be a lot of fun. Lyrically, the album seems to mostly be about whatever Maynard happened to be watching on CNN -- this guy used to write about anal-fisting and shitting yourself after doing DMT in the desert and fun esoteric easter eggs about communicating with aliens, and now he's writing about the "Cheeto-in-Chief." This is a post Tool, the band (granted, probably someone paid to run their social media), actually made on IG:



Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame.

I hate that this is a band I ever defended. I renounce! I renounce thee!
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19loveless91
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Slovenia

  • #19
  • Posted: 43 hours ago
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BARDAMU wrote:
This is easily their most self-serious record to date, and I think the loss of that sense of humour about themselves makes them this album pretty intolerable fall short of its predecessors.

Hey there's my review in one sentence
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Gowi
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Gender: Male
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  • #20
  • Posted: 32 hours ago
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Quote:
This sounds like a drum circle. It's not fun anymore, and it used to be a lot of fun.

This could sum up my thoughts as well.
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