Last week saw the release of ‘Fear Inoculum’, the first album from progressive metal maestros Tool in 13 years, acting as the follow-up to 2006’s ‘10,000 Days’.
Along with being a critical success with both fans and critics, it turns out that the record has also been a commercial success too, defying odds by debuting at the #1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart, moving 270,000 equivalent album units, 248,000 of which were pure album sales.
Their claim of the top spot on the chart dethrones pop superstar Taylor Swift, who held just one week at #1 on the chart with her new LP, ‘Lover’.
Tool‘s successful position is unexpected for a number of reasons beyond their extending break from releasing new material. Not only are the band far from an accessible outfit, even in the world of rock and metal – given the genre they specialise in and the fact that most of their songs clock to nearly (and in a handful of cases also over) ten minutes in length – they also, as Billboard point out (here), achieved it “without the assistance of a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer, any sort of album pre-order/pre-sale access code promotion, or a single merchandise/album bundle — all of which have become the norm for most major albums in recent years as artists struggle to sell albums through more old-fashioned or traditional methods.”
As for the UK album charts, Tool claimed the #4 spot with ‘Fear Inoculum’, falling under Lana Del Rey, Ed Sheeran, and Taylor Swift with their latest records respectively.
The band’s fifth album, ‘Fear Inoculum’, is out now through RCA Records.