New Tool album now scheduled for May-July

Maynard has this morning posted a more detailed update for us in Twitter, outlining some of the reasons why, and a ballpark release window for the new Tool album launch:

The most interesting point this raises for me is that what will happen on the coming US and European shows? Will we see new material? Will they just be greatest hits shows in the same mold as the last few tours? I’d always go to a Tool show if they were to swing past town, but if I were attending one of the US shows in May, I’d be a little disappointed to get the same show we’ve been seeing for the last six years again.

The mention of video is also intriguing, as typically videos have come out some time after the release of the album. Perhaps they are planning to launch with a video already the bag for their next album? Or perhaps details are being finalised to finally see that Opiate video.

Maynard Release Date “Hints” on Twitter

Maynard said a few things on Twitter these last couple of days, that suggest the new Tool album won’t be released in April. Given that Tool drummer Danny Careymentioned at a Baked Potato show recently they were aimed for a release in April or May, this doesn’t really change much in my opinion.

My thoughts regarding an April release date was that it was never going to be mid-April, and Friday the 19th of April is Good Friday, leaving the 26th as the only realistic candidate. Therefore MJK’s statement only really rules out one potential release date.

That said, it’s time for this constant social media and band hearsay type posts to stop (as well as the related clickbait style news cycle). It’s long past time where the band start acting like grown ups, and put up or shut up.

Until we get some kind of formal announcement, or at least some more solid details from a band member, I won’t be posting any more date speculation from them.

Tool January 2019 Newsletter

Some were expecting the latest Tool newsletter from Blair would contain an announcement, and while technically it did, it probably wasn’t the one they are expecting! As has been reported before (I think), Danny has been working on a new book, and it will be out “soon”:

I am excited to announce that Danny’s new book Remember the Future is finally at the printers.  Over three years in the making, the coffee table-style glossy hardcover contains beautiful full color photos of nearly all of the vintage analog synthesizers in Danny’s impressive collection (many being museum quality), along with electronic percussion and related accessories.  The book also features articles by Danny, Chris Pitman, Blair MacKenzie Blake and synth historians Brian Kehew, Jack Dangers, Darrel Johansen and Peter Grenader.

Having just approved the soft proofs as the book’s editor (with some assistance by Greg ‘DailyGrail’ Taylor ), my best guess would be to look for the book (with the first edition limited to only 300 copies) in Danny’s webstore in a couple of weeks.  Should the printing and shipping process go faster (or if pre-sales are offered), I will be sure to give an update.

Sounds interesting to me, I’ll consider grabbing a copy when they go on sale!

Hopefully we get another announcement in the not too distant future!

Danny says mid-April is the plan for new Tool album release

Danny Carey appeared at NAMM just recently, and to Tool fan Dirk Doucette mentioned that in regards to the new Tool albumit’s going to be out mid-April. That’s the plan anyway“.

Now Danny is notorious for being optimistic with album release dates, so take this news with a dose of skepticism, but I believe this time around we’re very much on the home stretch, and mid-April – perhaps the 12th or the 26th could be a thing.

Thanks to bunnymandrummer for the tip here!

In other related album news, at a Loft party a night earlier, guests were given a full preview of said Tool album, with a couple or people posting remarks on Instagram:


Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski

Just before Xmas I watched on Netflix Struggle: The Life and Lost Art of Szukalski, which had come to my attention because it features Tool‘s own Adam Jones.  It’s a fascinating documentary, or a quite intriguing artist who has made quite an impact on Adam, who is as most of you should know a reasonably accomplished sculptor himself.

Here’s the trailer:

Polish sculpture not your thing? Perhaps you’d be interested in Sixteen Legs, a movie about Tasmanian Cave Spiders I was lucky enough to see while down there for a conference:

Maynard confirms vocals and slow death

Those of you who read the recent Tool newsletter might have realised I’ve been away for the last week in Tasmania at a caving conference. It was great! What was also great was a few tweets from Maynard, the most interesting of which confirms that his vocals have been recorded

Someone also asked if we should expect a surprise release:

I don’t think anyone should really be surprised with that response. It was always an unlikely fantasy that Tool were going to drop a surprise album in my opinion.

Finally when asked about the process:

Of course many online took this to believe that Maynard hates Tool, and all they stand for. My take is more that Maynard has expressed these kind of frustrations since Lateralus days, so it’s nothing new. I’m sure if he felt the end result wasn’t worth the “slow death” he would have pulled the pin on his involvement long ago.

All in all, the good news here is that we can probably assume that we’ll see the new album around about the same time they kick off touring in May.

Looking back into 10,000 Days history, the album title was released on March 3rd 2006. We didn’t hear about the release date until a few days after that (which you may recall was the 6th of May). Assuming that the new album is tracking on a similar time line (and I suspect an April/May release seems likely) it may be a few months until we get some more solid details.

Tool Newsletter December 2018

The Tool December 2018 Newsletter is out, and since it’s mostly about me (of all people) I can assure you all there there is no actual Tool news contained within.

BMB:  How do you get your Tool-related news? How regularly do you check other sites? Do you have sources with other sites that give you a heads up as well as friends close to a band member that give you some inside info? I remember giving someone news to give you that I couldn’t post officially. Did you get this? (It was from someone that knew Danny.)

MATT:  These days, social media is the king for up to the minute Tool news.  The Toolband Subreddit is probably my primary source of information these days – if something has been posted on the internet that’s Tool related, it’s normally on there sometimes within minutes of being posted.  It’s a firehose like environment, with a range of Tool news and discussions coming thick and fast. On Fourtheye I tend to take the quality over quantity approach, and I think my readers prefer the more curated feed as opposed to the wild west of social media.

I have a few sources that give me snippets of info here and there, though I’d note that many of them have been pretty quiet the last few years.  I don’t want to be that guy who keeps bugging people all the time, so tend to let them come to me with information if and when they have any. The common link is that they are almost always friends of Danny!  A couple I know nothing about other than their email address, one in particular having provided a quite interesting recording from what I think was the Loft a few years ago…

Hellboy’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

I hope you enjoyed the list of our readers best albums for 2018, but before I head off to Tasmania for a little while, here’s my Top 10!

Slugdge – Esoteric Malacology

When a metal band writes a bunch of songs about slugs, you expect it to be a parody album, with little substance. In the case of this album, it contains some of the most brutal riffs to see the light of day on 2018.

Alice In Chains – Rainier Fog

The last Alice In Chains album was so forgettable, I had kinda given up hope that these guys could release another good album. But while I don’t think anyone will be throwing out Dirt just yet, these grunge stalwarts put out one of the best albums in their catalog, and one of the best of 2018.

Ken MODE – Loved

So much good music comes from Canada these days, and these guys are leading the way, both with their fantastic music and the DIY ethos. Loved is somewhat heavier and darker than their last album (which made my list back on 2015).

A Perfect Circle – Eat The Elephant

I started off with mixed feelings on this album, and wasn’t super impressed on the first listen. It continued to grow on me over time, and I know feel that it’s an excellent, albeit different album. It’s definitely the album I listened to the most in 2018, though probably not quite my favorite.

Revocation – The Outer Ones

Revocation are forever polishing their brand of thrash/death metal, and this album comes close to being their best. Killer riff after killer riff, wonderful musicianship and fantastic guitar solos. – what more could a metal fan want?

Daughters – You Won’t Get What You Want

Daughters came back with a more quirky and groovy album than expected. It’s a reasonably hard listen, but their brand of noise rock is right up my alley, so and easy selection for my top 10.

Funeral Chic – Superstition

It’s hard to have a list without at least one grind or power violence album. The best this year came from Funeral Chic. It’s brutal, fans, passionate and catchy. Check it out!

Pig Destroyer – Head Cage

Pig Destroyer are well regarding in the grindcore scene, and many expected their latest to be a blast beat laden tour de force. It is a great album, but the band have created their most “metal” album today, minimising the amount of fast grindcore

Cult Leader – A Patient Man

Cult Leader are an interesting band. Many punk/crust outfits tend to travel a well worn path – D-beat here, blast beat there, sometimes a bit of a break down. These guys do that too, but also throw in some interesting prog-like elements, including some stylistic changes and interesting time signatures.

Harms Way – Posthuman

Harms Way from Chicago write heavy metal with hardcore elements, and has been a constant in my playlist for most of the year. Your head will be nodding, and you feet tapping right through this album.

To wrap it all up, here’s a few honorable mentions that could have very easily squeezed into the top 10 depending on my mood:

  • Baptists – Beacon of Faith
  • IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance.
  • Alien Weaponry – Tu
  • Bridge Burner – Null Apostle
  • Front End Loader – Neutral Evil
  • Deafheaven – Ordinary Corrupt Human Love
  • Sectioned – Annihilated
  • The Soft Moon – Criminal

Fourtheye Readers Top 12 Albums of 2018

I find the end of year best album lists quite interesting, as it quite often gives a good insight into music I haven’t heard before, and a general feel for what is considered “good” music. This year we had a bunch of votes from our Fourtheye readers, in order to establish what was “good” for 2018. No doubt some of you will think this is a great list, while others will laugh at the poor taste displayed by us all.

Personally, I think the list is a good one – I suspect there will be a few shared with my own top 10 (which I’ll publish tomorrow) and there’s no albums that stand out as being terrible (though one of the bands I personally find greatly overrated).

One theme of this years voting was the variance in the list. The voting was pretty level, with the number one album being the only one to gather a sizable number of votes. In fact about half the nominations only gathered a single vote. A list of all the albums that got more than one vote can be found in the forum.

For your listening pleasure, here’s a link to a Spotify playlist

Eat The Elephant – A Perfect Circle

I doubt anyone will be surprised to read that Eat The Elephant was the most popular album of 2018, just as I suspect no one will be surprised to see Tool’s new album top next years poll (hopefully). What may surprise you is that while it gathered almost twice as many votes as the second place, it didn’t really dominate numbers wise with only about 25% of voters choosing it. I think it’s a great album by the way, and very much deserving of a spot in the top 12.

Prequelle – Ghost

Did I mention that I find one of the bands on this list hugely overrated? I find these guys pretty bland an uninteresting, but a bunch of you disagree.

The Sciences – Sleep

Stoner metal pioneers Sleep haven’t released an album in quite some time, and this latest was critically acclaimed by many in the music industry, as well as our Fourtheye readers. Personally, I thought it was a pretty decent album, but doesn’t really stack up against Dopesmoker.

Bad Witch – Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails are a band that never seem to get old for Fourtheye readers. Bad Witch was a relatively lo-fi and fuzzy album, and tries to capture a slightly different mood to their other recent releases. It’s certainly an album that has it’s moments, but for me probably not high in my list if NIN albums.

Ordinary Corrupt Human Love – Deafheaven

These “hipsters” seem to cope a bit of flak for daring to push black metal in interesting directions. The fact is though, they seem to be getting better with each release, and probably not coincidentally, less and less cvlt. A beautiful album that is definitely worth a listen!

Rainier Fog – Alice In Chains

90s stalwarts Alice In Chains are another band along with NIN that are popular with Tool fans. No real surprises there, though I expect many are still split on the direction of the band since Layne passed away. After releasing what I though was a bit of a dud a couple of years ago, Jerry & co. have come back with a very strong release, one that I personally think is their strongest on the post-Layne era.

Automata I & II – Between The Buried & Me

Between the Buried & Me released Automata this year in two parts, and for the purposes of this poll I’ve elected to bundle them together. Which part is the best? Probably II, but both albums from these prog metal veterans are well worth your time.

Our Raw Heart – Yob

After a life threatening illness, Yob guitarist Mike Scheidt wrote the bands latest opus – Our Raw Heart. It doesn’t deviate far from their well established doom metal sound, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This album topped many top 10 metal lists for 2018, so no real surprise to see it here as well.

You Won’t Get What You Want – Daughters

Daughters were a relatively unknown band when they broke up a few years ago, but having reformed and created a great comeback album, all of a sudden they’re the ducks nuts! No arguments from me though – I’m one of the few who thought they were good back in the day, so very happy to see them up and about again!

Book of Bad Decisions – Clutch

Clutch may make bad decisions, but they rarely make bad albums! One of the best live bands going around, they once more deliver with a collection of catch and quirky rock tunes.

Sonder – TesseracT

Djent is a dirty word to some, and hence many will never listen to TesseracTs excellent work. To call them djent is underselling it (though they certainly do use aspects of that sub-genre) – their real beauty is how they weave this into some excellent progressive metal.

Year of the Snitch – Death Grips

Another band in the “love them or hate them” gallery. This abrasive experimental hip hop act has released an album which features Tool‘s Justin Chancellor on one track. The rest of the album is pretty good to, but probably not for everyone!

Tool November 2018 Newsletter

Blair‘s Tool Newsletter for November 2018 is out now.  It highlights a recent visit to LA following the Malibu fires, where Blair catches up with Danny Carey and a few other regulars from the Tool family.  The good news is that Blair managed to hear at least part of the new album, though keeps it spoiler free:

While walking to his car (parked on yet another deficient alley), Danny emerged from the studio and insisted that we hear a couple of new Tool songs before we left. (Not the final mix.)  Yes! Climbing into the Porche, I remarked that a cave man probably wouldn’t be able to tell that it was better than Kent’s BMW because he would be so astonished at seeing an automobile that little details wouldn’t matter.  While reclined in the passenger seat (with both Sturgeon guitarists comfortably in the back), Danny put the CD into the tray and selected track 3… (No spoilers here, which I’m sure you’ll thank me for later.)

To indulge in a little speculation: Blair suggests that it’s not the final mix.  The glass half full people (myself included) would take this to be that Tool are in the process of finalising the mix of the album – meaning that tracking has finished (including vocals) and that we’re perhaps on track for a release sometime before touring kicks off in 2019.  The more cynical among us might say that they’ll believe a new album is coming out when they actually see it.  Some are still waiting for the non-hoax version of 10,000 Days is released.

Also Danny has a Porsche Panamera now, which I believe is in addition to his Lamborghini.  Perfect for a growing family!

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