According to The Pulse Of Radio, TOOL's webmaster posted a lengthy message online this week in which he claims that the band may be "more than halfway" finished writing the music for their fifth studio effort. The webmaster wrote, "While riding with Danny [Carey, drums] to Chili John's yesterday, I heard a lot of new TOOL music (sans Maynard [James Keenan, vocals]). This was the most new material that I've heard so far, although a few of the riffs and arrangements were familiar."
He added, "Dare I say that it sounded like . . . TOOL (some of it reminiscent to earlier TOOL stuff, with other parts pushing the envelope), and I assume that it will sound even more like TOOL once the vocal melodies, etc. have been added. To answer your next question, I cannot say how far along in the writing process the band is. If I had to GUESS, I would say more than half way (and keep in mind that in the past, at least, the writing went faster once the first few [more complex] songs were finished)."
Earlier in the message, the webmaster writes that the band is confirmed to play the Japanese edition of Ozzfest in May 2013, hinting that other dates may be on tap as well. He also adds, "There are a couple of other TOOL projects on the horizon that I am privy to, but, unfortunately, can't comment on any further at this time . . . as was requested by the band's management."
TOOL's last album, "10,000 Days", came out in 2006.
Since that time the band has toured intermittently almost every year, while Keenan has spent the bulk of his time tending to his Arizona vineyard business and writing and recording two albums with PUSCIFER.