Tool Credit: Tim Cadiente

Tool have long been notorious for operating at a glacial pace, but those once-familiar five-year gaps between full-lengths today seem like insignificant stretches when you consider that their last full-length, 10,000 Days, came out more than 11 years ago. Now members of the band are saying that 2017 could be the year we actually get some new material—though they’ve also been saying that LP number five is coming out “pretty soon” since 2013. Tool could easily be blamed for helping kick-start the unfortunate nu-metal boom of the late 90s and early 2000s, but such a judgment would be unfair. Sure, they can reach some pretty angsty depths—especially on their antisociety, antireligion, antimedia breakthrough 1996 opus, Ænima—but musically they’re just a band of sharp players paying homage to the dark prog of late 70s Pink Floyd and the tribal grind of early 80s King Crimson. Some snippets of new material have worked their way online via bootlegs of recent concerts, like the winding, dizzying instrumental “A/Descending,” ultimately proving that they’ve still got it. Here’s hoping this tour comes along with some more new jams and a finally final announcement of a new album—but I’m not holding my breath.   v