Experimental, Fusion, Groovy, Hovering, Psychedelic, Technical
"After a very long gestation period, subject to all interpretations, Tool gives birth to a fascinating album and puts the finishing touches to his very singular work. "Fear Inoculum" is the album of the year."
NEWF (31.12.2019)  
(0) opinions (5) comment(s)
What if the main reason for this endless wait was fear? The fear of disappointing, of not having anything to say, of repeating oneself, the fear that each artist must face at some point in his career. Because well, you can't call Tool a lazy, given the number of projects in which each of its members participates. And "10 000 Days" was such a personal album, at least for Maynard James Keenan, that we could have guessed that the composition of the next one would take time. But no one was willing to wait thirteen long years. Especially since fear does not avoid danger and Tool has used more than reason to play dangerously with the media and fans, with more or less smoky explanations and unbearable teasing. This could have cut the band off from part of its audience, tired of scrutinizing contradictory information on the release of a fifth album announced since 2013. But Tool is a special band. The cult that his worshippers have devoted to him for almost thirty years is without limit and without equivalent in the history of modern metal, and the quartet is perfectly aware of this. So fear may be a plausible explanation for this painful pregnancy, even if it is only a guess. In any case, it is at the heart of Maynard's tortured texts on this "Fear Inoculum" awaited as the messiah.

The only real question then is whether the wait was worth it. The answer is yes. A clear, massive and jubilant yes. Because this album is of chimeric beauty, because the shamanic power of Tool's music is pushed to its limits here, because the band has never gone so far in conceptualizing non-commercial, non-conformist music that is totally free of any external contingency, because Californian wizards do not derogate from their original artistic bias, namely to compose music that resembles them, without concession or compromise.

In its physical version, "Fear Inoculum" consists of seven titles, six of which have durations ranging from ten to fifteen minutes (the dematerialized version includes three additional interludes). The number 7 is the pivot of Danny Carey's titanic drumming work, which multiplies the alternations between even and odd rhythms in 7/8, 7/4 and 7/3. The title "Fear Inoculum" is a good example of these incessant rhythmic changes so characteristic of Tool's music, which is based on the tribal science of its exceptional drummer, his mastery of Indian tablas and his ability to play floating tempos, giving the whole, like Justin Chancellor's formidable psychedelic bass, an almost abstract hypnotic power.

Built as a succession of intertwined movements, most of the album's labyrinthine compositions begin with clear guitar arpeggios and evolve into huge riffs whose organic and visceral playing makes us feel the slightest inflection. A worthy heir to Robert Fripp, the guitarist displays all his science of effects, plays with the volume of his guitar ('Fear Inoculum') to obtain the sound of a cello, alternates different saturations sometimes in the same piece ('Culling Voices') and multiplies psychedelic solos ('Pneuma','Invincible','Descending') and dissonances (the monstrous '7empest'). With his falsely simple playing and his very complex rhythmic placement, the guitarist has never gone so far in his abstract and organic way of approaching his instrument.

If all the genius of the combo is based on the extraordinary and mysterious alchemy between each of its members, the emotional power of its music is largely due to Maynard James Keenan's singing. More withdrawn than usual, the frontman's voice is less present and more calm than on Tool's previous albums, continuing the work accomplished with "Eat The Elephant" by A Perfect Circle. With restraint and subtlety, Maynard bewitches and finishes giving the band's compositions their amazing power. 

A huge sound, an exceptional production and the judicious and original addition of synthesizer layers to enhance the most atmospheric passages of certain tracks ('Pneuma','Invincible') end up bringing the listener to his knees, like a hallucinated Martin Sheen at the beginning of "Apocalypse Now" contorting to the sound of the Doors' "The End" with which "Fear Inoculum" has a troubling filiation.

Psychedelic, progressive, atmospheric, experimental ('Chocolate Chip Trip', its floydian chimes and percussive synthesizers), rock, metal, post-grunge, Tool's music is all this and remains forever unclassifiable, as cerebral as visceral, as melodic as conceptual. With "Fear Inoculum", Tool continues its journey
- Official website

01. Fear Inoculum
02. Pneuma
03. Invincible
04. Descending
05. Culling Voices
06. Chocolate Chip Trip
07. 7empest

Adam Jones: Guitares
Danny Carey: Batterie
Justin Chancellor: Basse
Maynard James Keenan: Chant
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(5) COMMENT(S)    
Gicé59, suite à ton avis, je te renvoies la question : es tu musicien ? Pour ma part, je t'invite à prendre les partitions de batterie des titres de cet album et à les jouer. Vu qu'on est niveau début conservatoire, ça ne devrait pas être d'une grande difficulté rythmiquement.
Il m'en aura fallu du temps pour comprendre et digérer les méandres dans lesquels Tool a essayé de nous perdre. Je partage tout à fait l'avis de Filthin dans le sens où le premier contact avec cet album est d'abord cérébral et moins émotionnel (voire pas du tout). En cause la structure des morceaux dépassant les dix minutes (exit les titres plus rentre dedans tels que Jambi et compagnie) mais aussi leur contenu aux développements relativement assez proches (hormis 7empest). Les morceaux sont d'abord lents à se mettre en place pour finir en une explosion musicale au cours des dernières minutes. Une fois apprivoiser ces structures, il convient de s'y abandonner pour ressentir les émotions recherchées autour de la peur, celle que l'on inculque, celle qui nous rend plus fort ou qui nous enfonce et enfin celle qui nous fait sans doute perdre la tête dans un dernier titre phénoménal où notamment Adam Jones laisse éclater son talent de soliste (enfin). Alors oui l'approche musicale de Tool semble être très chirurgicale, calculée, osons dire peut être froide mais quand bien même, elle fini par faire son office et vous transperce de grandes émotions (du moins c'est mon cas). Un album encore plus introspectif que d'habitude, presque serein. Tool c'est de l'art.
Moi il m'a fallu une semaine pour le digérer cet album. Aujourd'hui j'ai beaucoup de plaisir à l'écouter, quant à la première écoute, je ne ressentais pas une once d'émotion ( c'était lors d'une nuit d'insomnie mais bon quand même). Album de l'année où pas, tool a fait naître une nouvelle perle pour moi.
Du tools 100% pur jus. Techniquement, c'est monstrueux. Mais il faut s'accrocher pour ne pas se perdre dans les méandres de compositions sombres et alambiquées. Une musique plus intellectuelle qu'émotionnelle.
C'est la faiblesse de la concurrence qui en fera (ou non) l'album de l'année. S'il est excellent, il me manque certains éléments pour en faire un chef d'œuvre. Je les expose dans l'avis à paraitre dans la section ad hoc.
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