"Fear Inoculum " as written by and Justin Gunner Chancellor Daniel Carey....
Immunity
Long overdue
Contagion
I exhale you
Lying
I opened up to you
Venom in mania

Now, contagion
I exhale you

The deceiver says, he says
You belong to me
You don't wanna breathe the light of the others
Fear the light
Fear the breath
Fear the others for eternity
But I hear them now inhale the clarity
Hear the venom, the venom in
What you say inoculated

Bless this immunity
Bless this immunity
Bless this immunity

Exhale, expel
Recast my tale
Read my allegorical elegy

Enumerate
All that I'm to do
Calculating steps away from you
My own
Mitosis
Growing through
Delusion from mania

Exhale, expel
Recast my tale
Weave my allegorical elegy

Forfeit
All control
You poison
You spectacle

Exorcise the spectacle
Exorcise the malady
Exorcise the disparate
Poison for eternity
Purge me and evacuate
The venom and the fear that binds me

Unveil now
Lift away
I see you
Running

Deceiver
Chased away
A long time
Coming


Lyrics submitted by EternalTearsOfSorrow

"Fear Inoculum" as written by Justin Gunner Chancellor Daniel Carey

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Fear Inoculum song meanings
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  • +3
    My InterpretationThe members of Tool themselves have discussed the overall meaning of this new album "Fear Inoculum" and that the subject matter centers on the effects of growing older and becoming wiser as a result. I think that is true of this song & makes sense as I review the lyrics. Though Tool songs in my opinion almost always feature layers of depth to wade through & process, my general analysis is that this song is about the aging process, not just of the body, but of the mind and spirit. How the coming of age so to speak can either handicap or empower us, that is we can chose to succumb to it or forge through & allow ourselves to become transformed by it in an emancipated, unrepressed fashion.
    EternalTearsOfSorrowon August 08, 2019   Link
  • +3
    My InterpretationMy interpretation is that the character woke up to a more truthful reality, in a close parallelism to the Allegory of the Cave by Plato.
    The world has been crushed by a populism wave, more particularly some countries in Europe and the USA, where radicalized people have come to power. People get contaminated by their inflamed speeches, ideas and the fear they raise (contagion) and enter in a state of euphoria (venom in mania) that blinds them into following the populist leader/system (the deceiver). The populist leaders/systems want people to follow them blindly and that's what empowers them; so they manipulate and censure information, specially by raising fear among the population:

    "The deceiver says, he says
    You belong to me
    You don't wanna breathe the light of the others (the knowledge of the ones that are not contaminated)
    Fear the light, fear the breath
    Fear the others for eternity".

    The character is finally being able free himself from the system (immunity long overdue) and see a different reality; a reality that is not affected by the deceiver:

    "But I hear them (the ones that aren't caught in or part of the system) now, inhale the clarity (reality outside the cave created by the deceiver)
    Hear the venom (the lies, the fear created to rule), the venom in
    What you say inoculated (what affected people end up preaching when they've been injected by the poison of the deceiver)
    Bless this immunity (the character is thankful to being able to see through the deceiver's manipulation)".

    In the chorus, the awoken character, that is now free from the influence of the deceiver, cries for people to throw away the venom in them ( Exhale, expel) and to be preachers of the truth against the deceiver (Recast my tale).
    Actually, the chorus is an actual cry for the real humanity as the writer asks for us all to continue passing along his message - the message he puts out through a sad fable (allegorical elegy) - while making it stronger by doing it all together (weave).

    "Enumerate all that I'm to do
    Calculating steps away from you (planning on how to escape the web of the deceiver)
    My own mitosis (planning how to make more and more people see the light as he/she did, like a cell divides itself in two equal ones and those divide themselves, spreading)
    Growing through delusion from mania (being able to break free of the state of euphoria that the followers of the deceiver are in due to it's venom, like a drug addict is for drugs)"

    The bridge of the song is the character liberating himself from all the evil of the deceiver and telling others to do so too.

    "Unveil now, lift away (marks the moment to set free, get all together and go against the deceiver)
    I see you runnin' (the deceiver doesn't have the support of the majority so it lost all its power and has to run away)
    Deceiver chased away
    A long time comin' (it's about time to expel the deceiver already, we've waited too long)"

    ----------

    I interpret this song as being very closely related to politics, ideology and even religiousness, more concretely being a cry for those that were able to set themselves free from the herds of followers to unite and fight against the deceivers of the world.
    RJSAon August 08, 2019   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationIn the open lines, something has finally been overcome, moved on from or healed from. Immunity from this "contagion" is long overdue. The contagion is exhaled; it is released and let go of.

    Immunity long overdue
    Contagion I exhale you
    Lying I opened up to you
    Venom in mania

    "Mania, also known as manic syndrome, is a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level, or "a state of heightened overall activation with enhanced affective expression together with lability of affect."

    In the mental health world, mania is often referred to as the opposite of depression in Bi-Polar Disorder. Mania comes with drastic and impulsive life decisions that someone wouldn't otherwise make. Symptoms include rapid speech, impulsive spending and delusions of grandeur. In a crisis situation, mania is referred to as a state of mind where a person is delusional and out of control.

    When I hear "venom in mania", I consider the context in the lyrics of immunity to a contagion. I believe in this case, mania is referred to as the venom and is therefore the contagion that immunity has achieved release from.

    I feel that mania is more metaphoric and less direct in its meaning here. Given the varying meanings behind the word depending on use, mania could also refer to the exaggerated emotions of anger and fear. Seeing as though fear is mentioned in the song title and also the album title, fear should be on the forefront of interpretation.

    Now, contagion I exhale you

    Next, something or someone is referred to as "the deceiver." While it's clear that the deceiver isn't the narrator, it is my belief that the deceiver refers to the shadow side of the narrator and also the shadow side that all of us experience.

    The deceiver he says you belong to me

    Consider that the deceiver (the shadow) has long made the subject believe that they are its slave; that they are one in the same and cannot be separated. The deceiver doesn't want to accept the light of others; it wants to exude its dark shadow. It wants to fear the life, fear the breath and fear others forever.

    The deceiver he says you belong to me
    You don’t want to breathe the light of the others
    Fear the light
    Fear the breathe
    Fear the others for eternity

    If a person's shadow was to own and control a person in this way, they would see themselves as drastically separate from others. They would hide and cocoon and isolate. They would be filled with fear and darkness.

    But I hear them now
    inhale the clarity
    Hear the venom
    the venom in what you say — inoculated
    Bless this immunity

    Finally, the subject has grown to a point of being able to fully open up to others and inhale the clarity and truth that exists outside of their shadow self. The subject hears the venom in what the shadow has been leading them to believe for so long; fear. But that fear has acted as an inoculate; and the subject has now become immune.

    "Inoculate: The act or an instance of inoculating, especially the introduction of an antigenic substance or vaccine into the body to produce immunity to a specific disease."

    Exhale, expel
    Recast my tale

    The subject is finally able to truly breath, to see the truth and to be free of fear. They can now recast their story.

    Weave my allegorical elegy

    "While an allegory is a story, poem, or picture, it's used to reveal a hidden meaning or message, like the moral. Allegories are exciting because they use characters and events to convey a meaning. They don't just come right out and say it."

    "An elegy is a sad poem, usually written to praise and express sorrow for someone who is dead. Although a speech at a funeral is an eulogy, you might later compose an elegy to someone you have loved and lost to the grave. The purpose of this kind of poem is to express feelings rather than tell a story."

    The subject is able to recast their story in a way that looks back poetically at the shadow self that is being let go of; much like a death. Their life story has taken on an entirely new perspective and meaning and is perhaps viewed anew for the first time.

    I believe the song itself is the allegorical elegy and perhaps, this entire album as a whole. Given themes in other songs revealed such as Invincible and Descending, we are set to explore concepts of growth, letting go, moving on and breaking free.

    Enumerate
    All that I’m to do
    Calculating steps away from you

    Enumerating is when you mention or establish a number of things one by one. The subject is, or has, calculated the steps it will take, one by one, to finally let go of fear.

    My own mitosis
    Growing through delusion from mania

    Mitosis is a cell division where a cell divides into two new cells that are identical. In this case, I believe that the subject is able to divide oneself to create a clear separation and destination between the self and its shadow.

    Mania is again mentioned as the source of delusion that the subject has finally grown through. Again, I feel that mania is being referenced along side the fear and the shadow that is being expelled.

    Exhale, expel
    Recast my tale with my allegorical elegy

    Forfeit all control
    You poison
    You spectacle

    In these lines and the lines that follow, it is much like a chant, an incantation, to rid oneself of fear. Asking or demanding that the fear, the shadow, forfeit its control, its poison and its spectacle. It is no coincidence that this section of lyrics is sung the way it is.

    Exorcise the spectacle
    Exorcise the malady
    Exorcise the disparate
    Poison for eternity
    Purge me and evacuate
    The venom and the fear that binds me

    Exorcise is a process of exorcising to drive out an evil spirit from a person or place. This term makes sense due to the chant and incantation nature of those lyrics and the way they are sung.

    And here we also see the subject refer specifically to fear as the poison, the spectacle, the malady and the disparate that is being purged.

    Unveil now
    Lift away
    I see you running
    Deceiver chased away
    A long time coming

    The truth and clarity can finally be unveiled and lifted away. The deceiver, the shadow, the fear has finally been chased away. It has been a long time coming.
    RevolvingSheepon August 11, 2019   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI agree with EternalTearsOf Sorrow. When Maynard sings about his own mitosis he might be singing about parting from his old self, who's afraid of what one might think (the venom).
    The venom, deceiver,contagion are all methaphors of one being preoccupied with what the world thinks of you.
    When he sings "Calculating steps away from you" he might refer to his "old self". As if he's leaving his old self behind and is more confident now.
    The immunity reffered to may be a sort of "I don't give a shit" that comes with aging.
    Exhale could be a reference to being able to breath freely after letting go of what the world thinks.
    Just my thoughts...
    jan1160000on August 08, 2019   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTo me this song is about a person overcoming a deep psychological fear of connecting with others and becoming immune to it, effectively growing and solving this issue.

    The fear is metaphorized as a contagion, a venom, a disease and a deceiver which tries to convince the person to fear others. The person then achieves clarity, growth and gains immunity to this fear.

    I like how Tool managed to keep their ominous vibe but deliver a profoundly positive message in this song.
    alex107360on August 09, 2019   Link
  • +1
    General CommentQuite simple, this song is about finally discovering that you've been lied to, deceived, brainwashed, and used as a useful idiot from propaganda machine that is the mainstream media. They have been inoculated (reverse brainwashed) from the venom (entertainment media) and have purged all the hate (malady) from their mind.
    robert1129on August 13, 2019   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song came out shortly after I finished therapy for PTSD from an insidiously abusive relationship and I was nearly in tears listening to it the first time. I had chills. It's a perfect account of escaping an abuser/toxic person and becoming a stronger, better version of yourself. Tool's music has always felt somewhat therapeutic for me, but this song hit me particularly hard.
    Cenobyteon August 14, 2019   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationFor starters, this is a deceptive lyrics. Like, going for the most obvious example, “Wear the grudge like a crown of negativity” from The Grudge is an advicy looking anti-adivce. So, the Immunity is not being given in any direct sense.
    As it was already noticed, when you exhale contagion, you don’t drive it out – it just propagates itself across society (that’s not the case when we talking literally about contagion – but the process in the lyrics to be analyzed can be shown in these terms).

    Considering this ambiguity, it’s much easier to understand that the inoculant is the venom itself. In a metaphorical (or rather allegorical) realm it means that both fear and anti-fear have common ground to influence you. While fear can be paralyzing, anti-fear can motivate you to do things. (a state of abnormally elevated arousal, affect, and energy level – that’s what mania is. Mania metaphorically means an urging to do things).

    Consider this: anxiety is a synonym for fear. But saying “anxious to do something” means eagerness to do it.

    Another thing other people noticed – Maynard sings mitosis right in the middle of the song. Mitosis is a process where a single cell divides into two identical daughter cells (cell division). So it somehow means division into unafraid part and fear part (probably it’s not so simple, but I don’t have deeper vision into this, at least for now). As RevolvingSheep has written: I believe that the subject is able to divide oneself to create a clear separation and destination between the self and its shadow.

    So forfeiting all control (lyrics) means losing yourself in the surroundings, thus letting fear go.

    I’ll go on with observations of others (YouTube channel Holistic Songwriting): “…in Schism, we have a total of 47 such switches [of time signautres]. Schism itself talks about the dangers of breaking things apart, of separation. [That’s only a tiny part of the meaning, though it’ll suffice here]” So lyrics matches the music. “Vicarious’es lyrics are about living through others, about extending our experiences through [well, for instance] television programs… Except for the chorus, Vicarious appears to be in 5/4. But if you look a little closer, you’ll realize that it sounds more like a common meter [4/4] but a one fourth added on. That last beat sounds tacked on, as if it’s not actually part of the riff.”
    That’s exactly what’s going on here. After “mitosis” riff starts to transform, most notable 4/4 into 11/8. That 11/8 “075 riff” almost sounds almost like a cell keen to divide into two new cells.

    Taking into consideration that mitosis happens in our bodies throughout our whole life, is immunity an illusion? Rather not. Probably there is another sublayer of meaning, or what would be more correctly to say (keeping in mind Tool’s penchant for laying superficial meaning on top of other one, more hidden, so in the end there is a sequences of meanings, inserted into one another, going deeper into the primordially superb one…) - to say that's some vague transcendentally abstract allegory. What is it here? That’s an open question.
    MorbidSunon August 18, 2019   Link

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