Hot off the presses – Tool have confirmed at the Birmingham show tonight that the album will be released on August 30th. No further details at this time, but stay tuned!
Adam suggested that we’d get new Tool songs this tour, and they certainly delivered at Welcome to Rockville, with the band playing two tracks.
I’m hesitant to get too carried away with analysis over songs that have only appears in phone recording quality, but I’m largely happy with what I hear. Both a relatively slow burners, quite atmospheric with a strong emphasis on instrumental work.
First up was the complete version of Descending, which has been previewed many times over the last couple of years. It’s a reasonably dark and somber track, resembling both Jambi and The Grudge at times. Maynard sings along for the first half, but the final half is completely instrumental:
The other song played is reportedly called Invincible, is perhaps a bit more upbeat than Descending. Once again this has a riff what was previewed occasionally over the last few years. It’s got a bit more Maynard scattered throughout, and features a quite significant breakdown in the middle, with a nice chugging off-kilter riff.
A highlight for me of both songs are some really strong Adam Jones guitar solos – even though they sounded a bit rough live, I reckon they will be pretty epic when it comes to hearing the real thing.
I know many of you will want to comment on Maynard‘s vocals. I think they are quite interesting – it’s certainly not pushing the higher range of his voice (not entirely unexpected) but I did enjoy some of the vocal flourishes and effects used. Lyrically it’s interesting both songs seem to mine a similar vein – it could almost be taken as commentary on the bands journey over the last 13 years.
Get keen everyone! What do you all think? Are you feeling the hype? Or are you not satisfied with what you hear?
A few other interesting tidbits of information come out overnight, mostly related to the Welcome to Rockville Tool show coming this Sunday.
A note regarding spoilers: I know some of you Fourtheye readers are keen to avoid spoilers, and I’m also keen to protect you, but the reality is that this is a news site. While I’m going to keep spoiler information out of the titles of posts here, if you delve past the first paragraph you may not like what you read.
First up is a shot of the merch booth, which contains a new tour shirt with are created who Adi Granov. It’s a cool looking shirt – some are quick to assume this is some kind of album cover, but I’m not sure this is the case. I suspect posters featuring this art will be available as well, but that didn’t appear to be the case at the festival merch booth (yet)
Adam also shared via Instagram some new additions to his Silverburst collection:
Everyone love a new axe, but possibly the most interesting part of this is the range of tunings we have going on here. We know the band us Drop D extensively, delving into C for song such as The Pot and Parabola. But the fact that we have a wide range of tuning presumably heading out on tour, suggests a couple of possibilities.
Will they play the aforementioned songs? That’d be nice, but probably not what many of us are especially excited about.
More likely that new music using some different tuning could be played. There has been a rumour floating around that suggests that many of the songs on the new album are tuned down so that they suit Maynard’s voice a little better. I guess we’ll find out soon enough!
There was a new Tweet overnight from Tool’s account, which suggests that new material is definitely on the cards for this coming tour:
Most importantly, Maynard will have a new costume! What could it be?
The wait for details on the new album is long, and so far unsatisfying, and it appears that even with a tour on the horizon only the most optimistic of us expect some kind of deliverance in the coming days. Even a much hyped website update seemed to reveal little.
Instead, we can turn to mindless speculation. Today I pose the following question – would you prefer:
- An album containing only “normal” length Tool tracks (say around 5-8 minutes long each)
- An album containing fewer, but longer songs (for example 5 tracks that are all ~15 minutes long)
- A mix of track lengths, like most of their post-Undertow albums
Personally, I’m keen to see more longer songs on the album, and certainly much of the speculation so far seems to suggest that many, if not all of the tracks are lengthy in nature. Does this also suggest that a “single” is unlikely?
Us long suffering Tool fans are used to periods of near radio silence from the band, and while that’s ok when there’s not much happening, it becomes much harder when we know that something is imminent.
There are plenty of rumours flying around, but it’s pretty hard to discern what is true and what is false. They come from a range of sources – relatives, friends of the band, some dude who works at a radio station. None of these are easily verified. Some may have noticed something a little unusual about one of the fake tracks posted during April Fools.
Blair even comes in from time to time to drop us some hints:
I recently received my “Surrender Spirit Board” from the APC store and I must say that it’s quite talkative. However, I’m having a little trouble interpreting what I believe to be the first message from the other side as given by the octopus planchette:
Some have taken this to be an anagram of sorts, and predicted an album release in early May. Some thing it might be lyrics from the album. Blair knows something I’m sure, but as to when he’s allowed to reveal – who knows?
What do I know? Bugger all actually. Quite often I get asked what insider news I have. The answer is very little. Sure, if I lived in LA I could probably rock up to the Loft, give the secret handshake and maybe chill with the band, but here in sunny Australia, I don’t quite have that access.
But here’s my educated guess as to what I think will go down:
- When will we know something about the album? We’ll get an announcement in the next week or two, about the first track from the album, and possible further details of when we might see the album released
- When will the first track come out? I’ll be surprised if we don’t have a track by early May, and expect to see this played live on the US dates
- Will they play new material live in at the US shows? If you’re going to one of the festivals, it might be realistic to expect that it’s the single only. At their solo shows, where they can control phone recordings a bit better, we might see some more. I think there’s a pretty good chance the album will be out by the European tour.
- Will there be a video with the first track? This is an interesting question. Maynard mentioned the possibility of a video in a semi-recent tweet. I don’t think this necessarily means there will be one so soon, but there’s no denying that Youtube is a powerful tool for promoting songs.
- So when will the album actually get released? At this time, I don’t see the album out until late May at the earliest. I think we should expect ~6 weeks between announcement and release
- Are you sure this isn’t just a big hoax and there is no album? “No” – Maynard
Following up from yesterdays rumour of Tool entering the mastering phase, a few more bits of info have come to light to put this much closer to the “confirmed” category.
Firstly, electronic artist Of The Trees has tweeted some further detail on his meeting with Tool:
I imagine it was a chance encounter with the band at the airport or some other venue, rather than a planned thing.
Secondly, Adam has posted several photos on his Instagram story feed, one of Joe Barresi carrying what I imagine is a case containing the recordings, and another from the street out front of Gateway Mastering Studios.
What does this all mean? Well for those who don’t know, mastering is the final step in completing the recording. Once done, the only thing left for the band to sort is the release date and packaging. I’d expect that work is already underway regarding this.
For reference, 10,000 Days was mastered sometime in February 2006, and then released in May. Assuming we’re following a similar timeline, it looks like we’re on track for a new Tool album in June. Fingers crossed!
I had a source of mine tell me today that Danny Carey missed an advertised show at the Baked Potato last night, because he was on a plane with the rest of the band headed to Maine for mastering the new Tool album – presumably with Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering Studios. The source was a new one to me, and one I considered unverified, so I posted with some caution in the forum and on Reddit.
Then an observant Redditor managed to spot a post from Maine electronic artist Of The Trees:
So it seems the rumour has some legs then! While we probably should get too excited just yet, hopefully there’s an announcement of an opulent and humanely euthanised lobster dinner sometime in the near future.
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 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.