CD tip: "Fear Inoculum," Tool

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CD TIP

Fear Inoculum

Tool

I wonder if the four guys in Tool think or even care about the incredibly shrinking human attention span. Probably not, as "Fear Inoculum" requires a great deal of patience and a "will to absorption," if you want to put it that way. This is not to say the album isn't continually fresh, creative and rewarding; it very much is. But with six shape-shifting tracks over 10 minutes interspersed with several shorter pieces — all incorporating mesmeric and vaguely Eastern drones and riffage, speeding-cloud aural montages, singer Maynard James Keenan's fierce but wounded lyrical worldview, a burbling cauldron of beats and bass lines — "Fear Inoculum" requires trust and investment. This is a pretty incredible work, but it's old school in that you have to be eager to sit down with it and dive into the feast.    

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