Tool’s Fear Inoculum named Metal Hammer’s album of the year

Tool press shot
Tool (Image credit: Travis Shinn)

Tool (opens in new tab)’s Fear Inoculum (opens in new tab) has been named Metal Hammer magazine's album of the year.

The magazine’s core editorial team along with writers and reviewers put their heads together to pick out the 50 best albums of 2019 – and, when the dust settled, it was Tool’s long-awaited follow-up to 2006’s 10,000 Days which found itself at the top of the pile.

Metal Hammer deputy editor Eleanor Goodman says: “As the years went by, we wondered if Tool would ever write another album. We almost gave up hope. And then Fear Inoculum came along. 

“Their first record in 13 years was indulgent, featuring six tracks and four interludes across 90 minutes. Yet it was also restrained. 

“The polyrhythms were stark, Maynard James Keenan's vocals appeared more considered, and songs built slowly. It took time and effort to digest before you could reap the rewards.”

Eleanor adds: “Fear Inoculum's no.1 spot is testament to the signature sound and mysterious cult of personality that Tool have built over the years – no one else sounds or behaves like them.

“For some of our writers, the record was nothing short of a spiritual experience. It not only lived up to the hype, but proved there's still an appetite for challenging heavy music. Bring on the next one!”

The full list of the 50 best albums of the year can be found in the brand new issue of Metal Hammer magazine (opens in new tab), which is on sale now.

Issue 330 is a special tribute to Jimmy ‘The Rev’ Sullivan – Avenged Sevenfold’s drummer who died 10 years ago this month. In a new interview, the band open up about their relationship with Jimmy, his influence on the group and the legacy he left behind.

The magazine also comes with a free commemorative art print dedicated to The Rev, plus a bonus Avenged Sevenfold magazine, best of 2019 CD and 2020 calendar featuring SlipknotRob ZombieGhost, Within Temptation, Halestorm and many more.

Find your nearest stockist (opens in new tab).

The rev metal hammer cover

(Image credit: Metal Hammer)

Tool: Fear Inoculum Book Edition (opens in new tab)

Tool: Fear Inoculum Book Edition (opens in new tab)
Tool will release this special edition of their latest album Fear Inoculum on December 13. It'll come with five 3D lenticular cards with new visuals along with other bonuses.

Tool: Fear Inoculum (opens in new tab)

Tool: Fear Inoculum (opens in new tab)
Tool are back with their long-awaited new studio album Fear Inoculum. The follow-up to 2006's 10,000 Days is out now and features the epic 10-minute title track.

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent more than 30 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. After initially joining our news desk in the summer of 2014, he moved to the e-commerce team full-time in 2020. He maintains Louder’s buyer’s guides, scouts out the best deals for music fans and reviews headphones, speakers, books and more. He's written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog and has previous written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky. Scott grew up listening to rock and prog, cutting his teeth on bands such as Marillion and Magnum before his focus shifted to alternative and post-punk in the late 80s. His favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Ned's Atomic Dustbin and Drab Majesty, but he also still has a deep love of Rush.