I’m a massive Tool fan and love all of the albums, albeit to varying degrees. Lateralus is my fav and I believe is there best work.
Im not a huge fan of 10,000 days as an album, but it contains a couple of my fav tracks like The Pot and Vicarious.
Because there is such a gap between albums, I think the tone of each is really different as the band (and the artists) have had a long time to change and mature. I think that’s why 10,000 days is so different to the prior few and certainly Fear Inoculum feels different again.
On first listen, I didn’t actually like F.I all that much. Kind of had an Undertow feel but without the bite. The opening track was enjoyable but I initially felt like I was left wanting. I described it to my wife and friends as feeling like Parabol without Parabola.
Since then I have listened to it a few more times, with more volume and better sound. It’s growing on me. A lot.
As an an album I would put it as number 3, behind Lateralus and Aenima, but with some very impressive tracks. Pneuma, 7empest, Invincible and the opening track are all pretty awesome.
Despite how much it’s growing on me, I still feel it’s missing something. When I think of the above 2 albums and tracks like Eulogy, forty six and two, parabola, schism, the grudge, aenima etc they are just in another league. I kind of think of them as anthems and could easily listen to the same 10 or so Tool tracks over and over and be very happy.
I will admit that with each listen F.I impresses me more, so maybe I’ll retract my thoughts at a later stage.
With all of that said, am I disappointed? Hell no. Despite people thinking they want another Lateralus or Aenima - they don’t. Let those albums stand on their own as the masterpieces they are. This one needed to be different, and it is. Is it better or worse? Time will tell.