Tool's first new album in 13 years is set to drop in less than a month — on August 30th, to be exact — and needless to say, things are heating up. On Friday, the band's catalog finally hit digital music platforms after years of the group holding out, and earlier last week, Maynard James Keenan appeared on Joe Rogan's podcast to reveal the album's title, Fear Inoculum, and discuss its making and more. Today, August 5th, the prog-metal titans unveiled the LP's cover art, which appears to feature a spiraling shape composed of disembodied eyes, building on the "cosmic eye" imagery of visionary artist and frequent Tool collaborator Alex Grey, which has become closely associated with the band since 2001's Lateralus album.
Tool guitarist and visual mastermind Adam Jones delves deep into Fear Inoculum in Guitar World's new cover story. The articles reveals the album's run time — 80 minutes — which makes it the band's longest offering to date (Lateralus and 2006's 10,000 Days clock in at 78:51 and 75:45, respectively), and Jones discusses how the number seven played a large role in the LP's creation.
"I took a picture pointing to the number seven while we were recording, and a lot of the riffs Justin [Chancellor, bass] and I brought in were in seven," Jones explains in the story. "You don't really go, 'I'm going to write a riff in seven!'
"You just write a riff and you count it out and it turns out to be in seven. Without being too descriptive about the concept, the main thing is that the seven-beat just kept coming up, and riffs in seven kept coming up. It was really weird!
"When we finished recording, I went to the guys and said, 'I think we should have called the record Volume 7' because a lot of the songs are in seven and there are seven tracks on the record.
"Then Maynard [James Keenan, vocals] told me about a whole concept he had about the number seven. We were all, like, 'Oh My God! This is too weird!' Then Alex Grey [Tool album artist] basically said the same thing and he has a concept that will reveal itself through video.
"So there are a lot of rhythms and polyrhythms where we explore 7/4 or 7/3, and there's a riff we count in 21 — which we count as three rounds of seven. I wrote a four-minute lead over something counted in 21, which is crazy!"