It’s been a hot minute since we’ve gotten any new music from Tool, the prog-metal cult deities. For most bands, that long drought might cause people to lose interest. For Tool, it’s only added to the band’s mystique. Last week, 10,000 Days, the band’s most recent album, celebrated its 13th birthday. And last night, the band played two new songs — their first in over a decade.
Tool have been working on a new album. It’s been slow going. In almost every public statement about the progress of new music, the band sounds snippy — annoyed with each other for taking so long, annoyed at the public for persistently bothering them. They’ve made statements — “It’ll be out in 2018” — that have not come to pass. Last year, the band’s three non-Maynard James Keenan members held instrumental clinics, where they told fans that all the songs on the new album would be at least 10 minutes long. And last night, Tool finally went ahead and debuted two 12-minute songs, “Descending” and “Invincible.”
Last week on Twitter, Tool teased the possibility of playing “some new material” during their forthcoming dates. And then they made good on it. Last night, Tool headlined Jacksonville’s Welcome To Rockville festival, a bill they shared with acts like Korn and Rob Zombie. During their set, they debuted “Descending” and “Invincible.” (They’ve been playing “Descending” live for years, but they’ve only played it as an instrumental. Last night, it had lyrics.)
Hearing those songs via cell phone video is nothing like hearing how the studio versions will presumably sound, but those two songs are everything a Tool fan might possibly want: Heavy, searching, instrumentally tricky, rhythmically rich, long as hell. Below, you can watch fan-made videos of the band performing both songs — with remarkably clear audio — and check out last night’s setlist.
— TOOL effing TOOL (@Tool) May 1, 2019
02 “The Pot”
08 “Forty Six & 2″
Obviously, we have no idea when a new Tool album might arrive. But now Forbes points out some intriguing news. As of last week, Tool — one of the few major acts who refuse to let their music appear on streaming services — have profiles on Apple Music and Spotify. This is the kind of thing that makes people wonder if that new album is finally — finally — imminent.