As the common expression goes, Tool have been ‘taking their sweet time’ with releasing the follow-up to ‘10,000 Days’.
Fourteen years – and several false alarms – later, it looks like the Los Angeles rock band have finally finished work on their fifth LP, and various members have been dropping hints pointing to a new album in 2019.
For patient metal-heads, it can’t drop soon enough. Here’s everything we know about Tool’s impending release.
- The tracklist for the album is shared
- Band have revealed the artwork for new record
- Tool’s new album now has a title
- The band have also finally confirmed the record’s release date.
- The band change logo on Facebook, confirming something new is on the way
- Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett confirms album artwork is done
When is the new Tool album’s release date?
The first hint at a release date came when fans were given the date August 30 at a show in Birmingham, Alabama on May 7.
According to those in attendance, a video screen flashed the date “August 30th” during a brief intermission.
Frontman Maynard James Keenan reportedly encouraged fans to share the news via social media and said: “Alright everyone take out your phones, security stand down and let these fuckers do whatever it is with their phones.”
The release date of August 30 was confirmed at the end of July in an Instagram post that also saw the band release the album title.
Update- Midway through mixing. Most likely be a few recalls. Then some arguing. Then Mastering, Artwork, Video, Special Packaging, etc. Best Ballpark Guess- Release date somewhere between Mid May and Mid July. More focused updates to follow as we progress. @tool #simplemath pic.twitter.com/o6T4AloLtB
— Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) February 8, 2019
Quizzed by a fan at the recent NAMM 2019 music convention, Tool’s drummer had revealed a rough release date for the band’s fifth LP. However, Keenan later denied his bandmate’s comments, stating that an April release was out of the question after all. Oh.
— Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) February 5, 2019
“It should be out mid-April,” said his bandmate Danny Carey originally. “That’s the plan anyway.” In the footage, filmed by a fan, Carey confirms an April release – presumably April 2019 – at around the one minute mark.
Metallica’s Kirk Hammett has also now confirmed that the album’s artwork is finished and he claims the LP is “close” to completion. “Well, I talk to [TOOL guitarist] Adam Jones quite a bit, and the last thing I knew, he was dealing with artwork. So that is a good sign. If they’re dealing with artwork, it must be close,” he told New Zealand’s The Rock
It seems that, even if there are any more delays with the record, it should be out by the end of the year. The band recently changed their logo on Facebook to one that includes the roman numerals for 2019.
What’s the name of Tool’s new album?
The band revealed at the end of July that their new album would be called ‘Fear Inoculum’, and will be out, as predicted, on August 30.
Revealing the title while appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Maynard said that finally sharing the news was “A lot of weight lifted off my chest. The four of us are a lot of f**king work. Everything is a f**king committee meeting, and it always gets shut down.
“When you get successful, you think you’re right about everything. It’s not that bad with us, but there’s [that] dynamic.”
Is there a tracklist for the album?
There is now. On August 14, the band shared the record’s tracklistings for both the physical and digital releases. Both feature new single ‘Fear Inoculum’ and two tracks that have appeared in the group’s recent live sets – ‘Descending’ and ‘Invincible’.
The physical album’s tracklist is as follows:
‘Chocolate Chip Trip’
The digital release, meanwhile, will feature the following songs:
‘Litanie contra la Peur’
‘Chocolate Chip Trip’
View this post on Instagram
~ Fear Inoculum track list: 1. Fear Inoculum 2. Pneuma 3. Invincible 4. Descending 5. Culling Voices 6. Chocolate Chip Trip 7. 7empest Bonus tracks (available via the digital release; physical copy includes a digital download card): • Litanie contre la Peur • Legion Inoculant • Mockingbeat
Is Tool’s album finished?
At the beginning of this year, Tool’s Keenan confirmed that all vocal recording for the new album is finished. “Final vocals tracked MONTHS ago” he wrote in an update on Twitter, adding that there’s still a long mixing process to come.
Update- Final vocals tracked MONTHS ago. Then U.S.-UK-Euro run w #APC. If Tool all inst are tracked, long process of Mixing now. Meanwhile write/film/track w @puscifer for #puscifer2020 & troll the band FBs with wine posts. #funnyshit #whileyouwerewhiningiwasworking
— Maynard J Keenan (@mjkeenan) January 4, 2019
In the meantime, he said, he’ll be shifting focus across onto his other project Puscifer.
Back in February 2018, Keenan tweeted that he had begun receiving ”music files from the boys with the word FINAL in the title a few months ago after 11 years of begging. That in theory means the tracks won’t change out from under me while I’m trying to write stories and melodies to them,” he said. “In theory.”
In March 2019, it was reported that Tool may have flown to Portland, Maine to begin mastering the record with Bob Ludwig.
Alternative Nation reports that the band was spotted by Of The Trees, a group from Portland, Maine, in the airport, fuelling rumours that Tool are indeed getting the record mastered by Ludwig.
Appearing on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Maynard revealed that the album was indeed finished, simply stating: “I’m just so excited we finished this record.”
Does Tool’s new album have a title?
Tool’s long-awaited fifth album – their first full-length since 2006’s 10,000 Days – is as-of-yet untitled, with no current clues out there pointing to a possible title.
Are Tool teasing the album?
Shortly after the clip of Carey confirming an April release surfaced – which Keenan later denied – Tool updated their website with new visuals.
The mind-bending animation features a slowly-morphing skeleton, and hundreds of hands clutching a glowing green orb.
The band have since teased the artwork for the new record on Instagram.
Are Tool going on tour?
Yep. The band have confirmed plans for a European tour, starting in kicking off in June in Germany and finishing in Portugal in July.
Pretty good timing for a tour in support of a new album released this year, don’t cha think? Odds are, Tool will be performing much of the record.
They’re set to play the following European shows:
June 2nd 2019: Berlin, Germany – Mercedes-Benz Arena
June 4 2019: Prague, Czech Republic – O2 Arena
June 5 2019: Vienna, Austria – Wiener Stadhalle
June 7 2019: Nurburg, Germany – Rock Am Ring Festival
June 9 2019: Nuremberg, Germany – Rock Im Park Festival
June 11 2019: Krakow, Poland – Impact Festival at Tauron Arena
June 13 2019: Florence, Italy – Firenze Rocks Festival
June 16 2019: Donington, UK – Download Festival
June 18 2019: Amsterdam, Netherlands – Ziggo Dome
June 20 2019: Copenhagen, Denmark – Copenhell Festival
June 25 2019: Zurich, Switzerland – Hallenstadion
June 30 2019: Madrid, Spain – Download Festival Spain
July 2 2019: Lisbon, Portugal – Altice Arena
What will Tool’s new album sound like?
In December 2017, Tom Morello claimed that he was the first person outside of the band to hear new music from Tool. Posting a photo of himself with part of the band on his Instagram page, he said that he:
“Had the honour of being the first outsider to hear new #TOOL music today!! Still just instrumentals but sounded epic, majestic, symphonic, brutal, beautiful, tribal, mysterious, deep, sexy and VERY Tool.”
In a promotional video for their May 2018 tour, meanwhile, the band debuted a new track called ‘Descending’. It’s believed to be an instrumental studio demo of the track, rather than a finished recording, but still – it may well serve as a taster of the new material.
Guitarist Adam Jones recently told Guitar World, the album contains seven tracks and two transitions spanning 85 minutes in length. While writing the album, Jones said he and the band were heavily inspired by the number seven.
“I took a picture pointing to the number seven while we were recording, and a lot of the riffs [bassist] Justin [Chancellor] and I brought in were in seven,” Jones said. “You don’t really go, ‘I’m going to write a riff in seven!’…Without being too descriptive about the concept, the main thing is that the seven beat just kept coming up, and riffs in seven kept coming up. It was really weird!”
“Then [singer] Maynard [James Keenan] told me about a whole concept he had about the number seven. We were all, like, ‘Oh my God! This is too weird!’ Then Alex Grey [Tool album artist] basically said the same thing and he has a concept that will reveal itself through video.”
Why has Tool’s follow-up to ‘10,000 Days’ been delayed?
As far back as 2013, Tool began to hint towards an imminent album release. Danny Carey and Maynard James Keenan originally made conflicting statements about a new record in 2013, with Carey later admitting that 2014 seemed more realistic.
In an interview with Rolling Stone the following year, Keenan and the band’s Adam Jones revealed that a lawsuit was responsible for the delays, along with increasing family commitments.
Rolling Stone reported that a friend of Jones’ claimed that he had created artwork for the band, and wanted credit. The band allegedly thought that an insurance company would defend them against the claims, but the publication reports that the insurance company instead sued the band over technicalities in the case. The band then counter-sued, and the case later went on trial in January 2015.
Tool later won the suit, and work on their fifth LP then resumed after seven years of litigation.
Leenan also claimed that his bandmates’ indecisiveness was delaying the album’s completion. “I like to release records and write things a little more quickly than those guys like to write. Their process is very analytical,” he said.