Tool: The Prog Metal Gods Return (And Vanquish Taylor Swift)

Daniel Peters 
Contributing Writer 

Cover photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Tool’s new album, “Fear Inoculum,” dropped Aug. 30: their first album release in 13 years. The album debuted at No. 1 on Billboard on Sept. 6, beating out Taylor Swift and her album “Lover.” And the kicker? Tool topped Swift with only CD sales, rejecting the notion of bundling tickets and CDs or digital forms of the new album. While streams don’t equate to sales, many Swift fans were calling for rapid streaming of her new album. 

With the success of “Fear Inoculum,” Swift fans did not take their girl being dethroned from debuting at No. 1 lightly. However, for Tool and the metal genre, this was huge because it is the second metal album that recently released where the album debuted at the top (Slipknot “We Are Not Your Kind”). 

Graham Hartmann (@grahamwire), Loudwire writer, tweeted about the release: “Tool ‘Fear Inoculum’ will debut at No. 1, selling 270,000 copies its first week, 252,000 of which were pure album sales. It’ll be the fifth biggest debut of the year for ALL music releases.”

This news came from HITS Daily Double, a music industry news outlet that reports on all genres of music, compared to other news sources that tend to only report on popular music. 

As of Sept. 15, “Fear Inoculum” is still No. 1 on Billboard’s 200 chart, right above Swift’s “Lover.” Next week, it is projected that Post Malone’s “Hollywood’s Bleeding” will take over the top spot. 

(This prediction was accurate; “Hollywood’s Bleeding” debuted at No. 1.)

Tool’s previous album, “10,000 Days,” also debuted at No. 1 back in 2006 with 564,000 copies sold in the first week. Fans speculated that their next album would come out in 10,000 days (27 years), but were spared when the most recent album came out only 4,868 days later.

In regards to content, “Fear Inoculum” has six songs that track longer than 10 minutes. It is everything you would expect in a Tool record: shifting time signatures, iconic vocals, competing drum beats and incredible bass lines. 

Rating: 3.5/5

Most Notable Songs: Fear Inoculum, Invincible, 7emptest 

Closest Tour Date: Cincinnati US Bank Arena 11/5