1. Fear Inoculum – starts with the sound of an energy beam turning on, almost igniting the engine that propels this record. Two minutes go by as the plane/rocket ascends to the altitude needed to enjoy this record in its entirety. Of course, during the ascent, Keegan begins to speak that inserts some hesitation to the ascent until the rest of the groove kicks in and you’re officially on the ride that is Fear Inoculum.
2. Pneuma – As the door begins to this song opens, you’re greeted with a swirling melody that is quite welcoming. The bass kicks in with a riff that is VERY similar to “Vicarious.” But the drums behind pushing the tempo appear to be reworked and Maynard rewrote and rerecorded the vocals to disguise this as the same song aka Vicarious 2.0. the middle part of this song is a big tribal drum part, that transports you to a small guitar solo/bridge and the bass and drums change and you can feel the song gather momentum propelling you back to the introductory riff to bring this train home. Upon entering the station, its POWER CORDS, POWER CORDS, POWER CORDS.
3. Litanie contre la Peur – French for “Litany against fear”. They’re really playing into the whole “fearless” thing. This interlude serves as a break from the stoner metal ride you’re currently in free flight on. Think the ending of that Kanye West song, “Runaway”, he put out after being a Dick to my girl T-Swift.
4. Invincible – A 13-minute stand out song, easily could have been the second single released if TOOL ever planned to do so. The quick pick of Adam Jones gives this song an underdog feel as you begin to climbing out of the depths on the road to victory/success. After finally climbing the mountain to the Successful part of the song, it appears the protagonist ascents into the Heaven as a robot?. Then the PIT riff comes in. I was elephant stomping throwing backfists in my living room like I was ready for a Shackled (NJHC) breakdown on the “One Way Out -EP”. Back to the ascent to the Heavens, now that our new Robot Overlord has gained control, he is PISSED and begins to rain hell/ wreak havoc on its followers.
5. Legion Inoculant – a whispering interlude that in music video format would be a scene right out of Terminator showing the last clouds of dust dissipating after the wars between the Robots and the remaining humans with the latter winning. As the humans vaporize the metal robots to dust.
6. Descending – Take a seat because we just hit the 14-minute mark in song length. After a literal descent into this song, we are greeted with a swirly riff and according to Maynard, to “Breath” as we mark our ascent. Our ascent is met back up with our Robot Overlord who is building an army and is ready to come back like the British did in 1812.
7. Culling Voices – Starts off slow and boring, but there is a payoff worth the wait. Trust Me. Wait I was just kidding, we’re back to slow and boring. Oh shit, nvm, we’re back baby. POWER CORD RIFF. Full body convulsing is now appropriate.
8. Chocolate Chip Trip – This song sounds like TOOL set up a few wind chimes and xylophones and started throwing pebbles, coins, and bouncy balls on it and recorded it. Then it’s a horror movie synthesizer in a futuristic hospital somewhere. Sounds like the drums are trying to takeover and have drowned out the synthesizer.
9. 7empest – Welcome to the longest song on the album and another stand out song that will hopefully become a staple in TOOL’s set. “7empest” is a masterpiece. Beautiful chimes welcome you before a riff that will make anyone air guitar. I’d love to go into more detail here, but I think it’s best you take a listen for yourself and enjoy the ride. If nothing else, this song alone was worth the 13-year wait for Fear Inoculum to arrive.
10. Mockingbeat I think this is supposed to be a modern version of the Mockingbird nursery rhyme. It’s really annoying. Just a bunch of screeches, cricket noises, and bird calls mixed in with a GarageBand beat. It’s a weird ending to an epic record.
Label: Tool Dissectional/RCA
- Fear Inoculum
- Litanie contre la peur
- Legion Inoculant
- Culling Voices
- Chocolate Chip Trip