Fear Inoculum

TOOL - Fear Inoculum
Critic Score
Based on 27 reviews
2019 Ratings: #222 / 805
Year End Rank: #27
User Score
2019 Rank: #595
Liked by 135 people
August 30, 2019 / Release Date
LP / Format
Volcano, RCA / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
NME

If you’re wondering whether ‘Fear Inoculum’ was worth the wait, then the answer is yes. If you’re wondering whether it’ll touch your heart, soul and spirt, the answer is also so.

100
Spill Magazine

A modern masterpiece, Fear Inoculum is a welcome addition that further develops and progresses the already legendary discography of Tool. The record is a journey, with each song ending so far from where it started, often concluding in a manner that begs the question, how did we get here?

100
Kerrang!

An album that pushes and challenges its creators and its audience in new ways, the finer details of which will probably take another 13 years to fully unwrap and appreciate.

91
Consequence of Sound

Fear Inoculum lives up to its daunting expectations with songs that showcase Tool in peak performance as musicians and compositional arrangers.

90
AllMusic

Considering the long gap between albums, there was a lingering fear that they couldn't live up to their own hype or legacy. Fortunately, Tool managed to improve and perfect their sound even further, resulting in one of the strongest statements in their catalog.

90
Sputnikmusic

Keenan was accurate to say that Fear…. would require patience to ingest, being a massive, compelling piece of music that unfolds beautifully and balances Tool’s unique style with plenty of rewarding new elements. Any fears that they would not live up to their past can be abated; Fear Inoculum is truly groundbreaking and one of the best albums of the decade.

90
Gigwise

Ultimately, Fear Inoculum is a record that will never lose its potency; it'll be passed down from this generation to the next, and the generation after that. And, crucially, the Tool back catalogue retains its prestige and indispensable greatness.

83
Entertainment Weekly

All the hallmarks of the band's last two albums — 2001's Lateralus and 2006's 10,000 Days — are revisited and reinvented.

80
The Guardian

Fear Inoculum is a legacy album that shows the band are not some rock relic but undisputed masters of metallic churn.

80
MetalSucks

Fear Inoculum represents the best of what Tool are capable of doing in 2019, the very tip-top version of themselves. They didn’t phone it in. It’s focused, it’s grand, and it was worth the wait.

75
Paste

Fear Inoculum is a massive, sprawling opus of record that transports the listener to realms previously unimagined—exactly what you’d want in a Tool album, especially after waiting this long.

70
Rolling Stone

A formal masterpiece that should stand the test of time — either as a defining record of its era, or a monumental relic of an art form that had its day.

70
Exclaim!

Musically, Tool have taken the best of Lateralus's dynamism and the heaviness of 10,000 Days to explore the middle ground with great length on Fear Inoculum.

70
No Ripcord

Fear Inoculum already feels like an event—It's the kind of grand statement that will equally delight and confound, where Tool allows themselves to highlight their technical prowess with uncompromising integrity. Though the lengthy tracks convey great character and complexity, it's best to experience its ambient soundscapes and strapping guitars with a full, uninterrupted listen.

70
PopMatters

Tool's Fear Inoculum meets nearly every expectation admirers could have and ranks as a worthwhile extension of the band's legacy.

60
GIGsoup

If Fear Inoculum is your first taste of Tool then you may well be very happy with this album. But if you’re more familiar with what they’re capable of then it’s hard to not feel at least a bit disappointed after waiting 13 years for it.

60
Slant Magazine
If nothing else, the band deserves credit for releasing an album as challenging and incrementally rewarding as this.
60
The 405

The majority of Fear Inoculum’s songs are more or less interchangeable, achieving the same overall effect in slightly different ways. And like the interminable wait for the album itself (and this review of it), virtually every song takes too damn long to get to where it’s going.

60
Q Magazine
It's an impressive feat of engineering, but one that anyone other than ardent fans will struggle to find a way into.
54
Pitchfork

The prog metal band’s fifth album is exactly what you’d expect from a project over a decade in the making: a more mature, sometimes exciting collection that feels both overworked and undercooked.

40
The Needle Drop

Tool’s comeback album Fear Inoculum is insufficient not only by the immaculate standards of the band’s past work, but by the standards of rock and metal music at large.

PipePanic
61

IT TOOK 13 YEARS TO MAKE!
IT'S ALL RELATED TO THE NUMBER SEVEN!
IT CURES CANCER AND REVERSES THE DAMAGE OF AIDS!
THIS ISN'T AN ALBUM, THIS IS A EVENT AND A EXPERIENCE!
THEY JERK OFF TO THE FIBANACHI SEQUENCE!!!!!!!!

But does it slap tho?

That was the only question I had for this record, does it slap? And going into this album, this question was growing more questionable. Tool has been a band that I never got into, despite the fact that literally everyone on the face of the earth has at one ... read more

JustSomeGuy
85

After thirteen long years, Tool finally release their highly anticipated follow-up to 2006's 10,000 Days. I am luckily a relatively new fan to these guys having only heard their previous albums for the first time back in January of this year, so I am lucky enough to have not waited as long as others, but being apart of the fanbase for the few months that I have been, it was clear just how excited and fed up people were with the constant promises the band gave of this albums existence without ... read more

exception
58

I think this is what older Tool sounded like to the people who hate on it for being pretentious and boring. This album bleeds pretension and is nothing new, just more of the same, from Tool. I hate to say it, but Tool just dropped some... mid.

fav tracks: Chocolate Chip Trip (Honorable Mention: Culling Voices)
least fav tracks: Pneuma, Descending

shiverism
50

imagine taking 13 years to drop just for the album to be mid

94

Mature Tool, still great Tool.

TonyMeister
30

I swear this album literally has one song worth of new ideas that is stretched out to an hour and a half. Also why did they feel need to make every song 10+ minutes long? And why does it sound so shit compared to all there other albums? Probably because its a self produced album where they could just fuck around for ten minutes and call it a day. My favorite track is easily 7empest but even that track feels like a b-side that wasn't really finished. I don't hate it or anything. Like Maynard is ... read more

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Track List

1Fear Inoculum
10:20
80
2Pneuma
11:53
84
3Litanie contre la Peur
2:14
47
4Invincible
12:44
78
5Legion Inoculant
3:09
49
6Descending
13:37
79
7Culling Voices
10:05
77
8Chocolate Chip Trip
4:48
61
97empest
15:43
88
10Mockingbeat
2:05
37
Total Length: 1 hour, 26 minutes
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Added on: July 21, 2019