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Tool: Fear Inoculum

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I feel the same way as people have described about nothing "happening". For me with rock-based music in particular, if a track can't at some point grab my attention by the balls with some kind of distinct riff, groove, or just an interesting tone, then it kind of feels like it never really properly begins, or ends, like elevator music. Classical or other big ensemble pieces can get away with it partially due to the amount of rich sounds that can be layered, but a four-piece band can't really do that without insane multi-tracking. So far nothing has happened for me. Tool's excellence has always come from how incredibly distinct the sounds feel, with Maynard's unique voice, technical pounding bass riffs, unique guitar techniques and tones, etc., there's always something. People might describe FI as more "meditative" or something with the way the tracks slowly develop low-key, but if I actually want to meditate, I always go for white noise or weather sounds or some other kind of ambience rather than conventional music, and I definitely avoid for example new-agey bongos (title track, I'm looking at you). And FI does sound largely like conventional music, just even, in a way, wimpier.

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I'm happy to say that I do have this physical release in my possession. It's pretty cool, high quality and stylish. The art is really impressive as well. However as unique as the the screen embedded into the packaging is, it's really not as interesting as one might think. And the whole thing is completely overpriced. The video is cool but it's not something I'd say is worth the price. It really is more of a gimmick than anything else. The 3D pictures in the 10000 Days package were way cooler and way cheaper.


As for the album itself, I'd say my impressions are a bit more positive after listening to individual songs rather than the whole record. When you listen to them in sequence they really just blend together and it becomes monotonous. Listening to one song at the time is a bit better. Doesn't change the fact that the album feels like a rehash but still. As of right now I'd say my favourite song is Invincible.

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I just listened to the album again for the second time and I have to say I enjoyed it a lot more this time. Maybe I was in a better state of mind, or my head was clearer, or it's just a grower album as I have seen others say it is on Reddit.


I think my favorite track now is Descending, with the title track as second, and 7empest as third. Honorable mention goes to Pneuma.


So if you've only heard it once, hear it again. Maybe at the end of a day, when you're calm and will be sleeping soon. I definitely like it more now.


P.S. The digital version bonus track interludes are really weird.

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