In just over a months time, the new Tool album will be available for us all to enjoy. Or criticise, depending in your world view. At the time of writing, we only have limited information about the album. There’s also as a range of rumours and speculations ranging to implausible to “from a well regarded source”.
In this post, I hope to summarise what we know so far, and what I think we might see happening in the coming weeks. Maynard is due to chat with Joe Rogan in the next 24 hours, so it’s quite likely we’ll fill some of these gaps very shortly!
Plenty of interesting speculation about the new Tool album title. One early theory was that the title may align with an early promo shot – MMXIX. I reckon this is a little unlikely, though does somewhat fit into the “ancient history” theme that seems to be hinted at in lyrics, onstage visuals and artworks.
One popular hoax that won’t seem to go away the title Chöd. The word itself does appear to be a little absurd to me. It’s possibly a play on the slang chode. However it does actually refer to a Tibetan spiritual practice, something perhaps not completely alien to Tool. Some have inferred that it is hidden in the new Tool logo, and claimed that it could be the title after all. I’m not buying it personally.
More recent speculation from the Tool logo reveal, analysed by both amateurs and self-claimed typographists, suggest a range of other candidates such as DISOCIUM, RISOCIUM, Binoculus and more. A bit of a stretch taken from the errant pixels in a poor optimised image, but perhaps Tool will go down the obscure made up word path again.
Of course, we may have known the title all along – perhaps it’s the eponymous self titled, or untitled album.
The cover art is a constant source of speculation. Alex Grey is a name commonly thrown around in regards to Tool album art. While there are many fans that love his work (the cover on Lateralus in particular is, in my opinion, exceptional) there are just as money who think it’s time for someone new.
At this point there’s no hard evidence to suggest Alex has worked on the new Tool album art. Over the years though, Adam Jones has worked with numerous other artists, perhaps the most frequent collaborator of late being Adi Granov, who’s provided numerous concert posters, as well as the art for the recent Opiate 21st Anniversary Reissue.
The list of artists that the band associates with is long though, and could include guys like Chet Zar and Meats Meier. Adam’s wife Korin Faught is an accomplished oil painter in her own right, and could well be considered an candidate. Many would argue her style isn’t a very “Toolish” however.
Of more interest perhaps is the package itself. All of Tool’s albums since Aenima have featured some striking and original features in conjunction to the artwork. I expect the package for the new album will be no different. Speculation has been rife here, with some claims of a battery and LED screen being one of the reasons for a delayed release in August.
Release formats and Pre-orders
Things have changed quite a bit in the record industry since the release of 10,000 Days 13 years ago. The biggest change being the prevalence of music streaming services such as Spotify. While it hasn’t been confirmed, hints dropped by numerous members of the band suggest that streaming, or some form of digital release should be quite likely for this album. In fact, I think it’s likely we’ll see the entire Tool back catalog online within the next few weeks. Give me convenience or give me death!
Of course, we can expect to see a CD version of this album. Vinyl is a format that many fans (myself included) are pretty keen on, and both Adam and Maynard have indicated this will be an option. Recent comments from the Puscifer store in Arizona suggest that vinyl may not be available on release, instead coming in the fall.
Hopefully in the next few days we’ll hear about pre-order details. I’ve heard it suggested in a couple of places now, that there will be a limited edition. How much this would cost, and where you can get it remains to be seen. The same report about the LED screen implied that it could cost over US$100
We know for sure that Descending and Invincible will be on the new Tool album. Also included on recent setlists is the Danny Carey fueled synth and drum solo track known as CCTrip. At VIP sessions in years gone by it was suggested this would also be included on the album.
I’ve spoken to a few people about the album in the last few months, the key points I’ve been able to ascertain:
- There is likely to be less “songs” on this album than you might expect. I’m thinking 5 or 6
- These songs are all reportedly long ones, with nothing shorter than 10 minutes. There isn’t really anything that is “radio” friendly
- The closing track is reportedly 18 minutes long
We haven’t seen anything released for the album yet, but I’ve heard from a couple of sources now that we should hear something prior to the album. In fact I suspect we will get a lead track in the coming days as the album is formally announced.
Post release tours
Tool love to tour, and although Maynard has times of the year where he won’t hit the road, it’s reasonable to assume that we will see many live dates from the band over the next 12 to 18 months. We already know of one US date in October this year, and it’s quite likely there will be a more significant tour to accompany it. We should be hearing about this pretty soon, and in fact may align with the album announcement.
They should also tour other parts of the world – Australia, New Zealand and Japan are regular haunts of the band, and I’d be surprised if they missed out. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to assume that they will do more dates in Europe too, possibly a less festival focused run next time around.
So there we go – that’s pretty much all I know about the new Tool album. I suspect in about 12-24 hours time we will know a whole bunch more! If you guys have any questions are other bits you’d like to add, comment below!