Fear Inoculum is the upcoming fifth studio album by American rock band Tool. It is the band’s first album in thirteen years, due to creative, personal, and legal issues band members encountered since 2006’s 10,000 Days. The album is scheduled for release on August 30, 2019.
On March 10, 2018, Tool entered a major recording studio to start recording sessions with producer Joe Barresi, whom they had worked with on 10,000 Days.On May 11, it was reported that all drum parts had been tracked. In September, Keenan announced he had finished recording scratch vocals, but had not started final vocal takes. In January 2019, Keenan announced that he had finished his final vocal recording sessions “months ago”, but that the album would still likely require lengthy mixing sessions. In the same month, Carey stated that they aimed to release the album in April 2019, though Keenan countered that this was unrealistic, instead pointing to a release between May and July. The band was in the studio with Bob Ludwig in March 2019; Ludwig had also mastered 10,000 Days.
The album consists of seven main tracks of music, and a run time of 80 minutes, the maximum runtime of CDs. Jones and Carey described the songs as lengthy, but containing multiple movements within each track. The concept of seven is a recurring theme of the album both musically and conceptually; Chancellor and Jones wrote guitar riffs in unusual time signatures related to the number seven, while Keenan introduced ideas related to seven as well. Future music videos will also cover the theme. The album also explores the concept of growing “older and wiser”. Keenan explained that the album covers the idea of “embracing where we are right now, acknowledging where we’ve come from and some of the things we’ve gone through.” Keenan also advised that patience and multiple listens were required in understanding the album, comparing it to a slowly developing movie.