Fear Inoculum, the first Tool album in 13 years, is coming out in a mere 17 days. Tool are now doing all the various promotional things that big stars are expected to do when they have albums coming out, and yet all those things feel weird and particular and epochal — because it’s Tool doing them, and because they’re doing them in Tool ways. Consider: The album’s title track, now in the world, has just become the longest song ever to chart on Billboard’s Hot 100. And that extends to the unveiling of the album’s tracklist, a totally normal thing for a band to do that somehow feels anything but normal in this context.
Previously, Tool have said that every song on the new album will be at least 10 minutes long, and “Fear Inoculum” certainly supports that. If Tool hold true to that, then Fear Inoculum, when you count its bonus tracks, will be as long as a movie. The title track is set to open the album, and the album itself includes seven songs. But there will also be three “bonus tracks” only included in the Fear Inoculum digital edition. The physical version will have a download card for those songs. That, at least to me, suggests a touching attachment to physical media, the same impulse that led Tool to keep their albums off of streaming services for so many years. After all, they wouldn’t need to point out that the bonus tracks aren’t on the album proper if the album proper didn’t matter so much.
Below, check out the Fear Inoculum tracklist, which Tool shared on Instagram last night.
01 “Fear Inoculum”
05 “Culling Voices”
06 “Chocolate Chip Trip”
08 “Litanie contre la Peur” *
09 “Legion Inoculant” *
10 “Mockingbeat” *
* Bonus tracks
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~ 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
Fear Inoculum is out 8/30 on RCA. Can’t wait to hear “Chocolate Chip Trip.”