It's official: Tool have debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart with their first new offering in 13 years, Fear Inoculum. According to Billboard, the LP also had the biggest week for any rock album in over one year. To the chagrin of Swifties everywhere, Fear Inoculum bumped Taylor Swift's Lover from the top spot to No. 2 in that record's second week. Lana Del Rey's Norman Fucking Rockwell! debuted at No. 3.
Fear Inoculum is Tool's third No. 1 and earned that status via 270,000 equivalent album units — including 248,000 actual album sales — accumulated in the week ending September 5th in the U.S., as counted by Nielsen Music. Fear Inoculum's big numbers are all the more remarkable because it was achieved without the assistance of a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer, any sort of album pre-order/pre-sale access code promotion, or a single merchandise/album bundle — all of which, according to Billboard, have become the norm for most major albums in recent years due to the modern-day challenges around the selling albums through more traditional methods. For Tool, this, of course, was no issue: The deluxe physical edition of Fear Inoculum sold out almost immediately, compelling the band to produce a second, limited run of the collectible, which includes a speaker and mini video screen built into the packaging.