Invincible
by Tool

Album: Fear Inoculum (2019)
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Songfacts®:

  • "Invincible" is about Tool themselves, and about making an album in middle age. All but one of the members of the band was in their 50s (bassist Justin Chancellor was 47) when they released Fear Inoculum, and they took 13 years from their previous effort, 10,000 Days. The title of the song is tongue-in-cheek, as the lyrics clearly illustrate a man who is painfully aware of his mortality.
  • "Invincible" is probably the least ambiguous song on the album. It opens up with a verse about getting old:

    Long in tooth and soul
    Longing for another win
    Lurch into the fray
    Weapon out and belly in


    The term "long in the tooth" means that a person is old. It's taken from horses, whose teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetimes. "Longing for another win" expresses the motivations for making a new album, and "belly in" refers to the penchant middle-aged men have of sucking in their expanding paunches.

    There's another reference to aging with:

    Tears in my eyes, chasing Ponce de León's phantom song
    Filled with hope, I can taste mythical fountains
    False hope, perhaps, but the truth never got in my way
    Before now, feel the sting, feeling time, bearing down


    Ponce de León was a Spanish explorer who led the first European expedition to Florida in 1513. After his death, the legend rose that he'd been seeking a magical Fountain of Youth, which accounts for the "Invincible" line "I can taste mythical fountains."

    Before now, feel the sting, feeling time, bearing down

    Tool's music usually always addresses philosophical matters, esoterica, the quest for spiritual enlightenment, and social/moral commentary. The fact that this song is so nakedly autobiographical and even vulnerable is, in itself, another expression of its theme.

    James Maynard Keenan is getting old, and he knows it. He's a bit tired, but he's going down swinging. "A warrior struggling to remain relevant" he may be, but the most important part is that he hasn't given up - he's still fighting the good fight.
  • The song runs 12:44, but is only the third-longest track on the album.
  • The drums in this song are particularly intense. Rolling Stone called them "ridiculous, verging on super-human, all spiraling polyrhythms and rapid-fire blast-beats."
  • Tool debuted this song and "Descending" during a short pre-release tour they did for Fear Inoculum.

Comments: 5

  • Left High Kick from Middle Class AmericaI heard this song for the first time in about 12 months and it brought me back to a time about six or seven years ago. I was with someone that made a big imprint on my life.

    She told me “ i’m not sure what the future holds but I know one thing, I will never be the same again.”

    I started tearing up when I thought of our times together and how I kept a lot of things inside, I wanted to share them with her.

    Ed Sloan says:

    “ now I’m waking up, I finally had enough of this wreck of a life...
    Just when I thought I was invincible, you come and happen to me.”

    We have a long story together, too long for this post. I felt different around her. I never had anyone talk to me the way she did ( in a good way ). I used to look at her like something special, because she was something special. She was a lotus. Even when things are not so great, she signs the brightest.

    Things didn’t end well, and she wasn’t getting what she wanted, ie the relationship wasn’t going in the direction she wanted and I feel bad about that. I had no right to make a unilateral decision like that but I blew up on her anyway.

    I guess I was afraid of certain things, afraid of going all the way in - and now I get to pay a heavy price for it.

    When I was with her I felt alive, I felt invincible, and I felt good. Sometimes I want to reach out and talk to her, but if I did, I would feel out of line or inappropriate. I have to hold back because, how does she feel? Probably like I am cutting an open wound if I did.

    I’m glad she doesn’t see me now because during the pandemic things have gotten worse, not better. And I’ve gotten worse.

    She was right. “Never to be the same again.”

    She was right about a lot of things.

    And that's why she is imprinted on my soul.
    And she's better off I guess.
    At least I had her in my life, when things were better.

    She was unique and I never met anyone like her. That’s why I called her my goddess.
  • Cd from CanadaJust discovered that the main riff sounds a lot like "Frame by Frame" by King Crimson
  • Ryan from Orlando FlThis track is just an absolute amazing piece of musical art. Thank you for the breakdown
  • Ted from AlaskaIt’s about an aging warrior refusing to give up the fight even when he’s past his prime, believing he is invincible for taking on many enemies over the years without ever giving up.
  • XlesnarThis is By Far my Fav Tool song of all their albums
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