Maynard James Keenan has revealed that he has finished writing the "words and melodies" to all but one new TOOL song that will appear on the band's next album.
TOOL hasn't released any new music since the "10,000 Days" LP, which came out in May 2006, almost 12 years ago.
"Started getting music files from the boys w the word FINAL in the title a few months ago after 11 years of begging," the singer tweeted Friday night. "That in theory means the tracks wont change out from under me while I'm trying to write stories and melodies to them. In theory. Still waiting for the FINAL on 1."
"Words & Melodies 100% DONE on all but 1," he added in a separate message. "Someday we'll track them. Long way from the finish line, but at least we're closer."
The instrumental members of TOOL have been working steadily on music for the past year, with drummer Danny Carey telling Kerrang! magazine recently that the band's new music is resolutely non-commercial, even joking that the songs are "too long." Carey explained: "Whatever those guys play is how they express themselves. Adam [Jones, guitar] and Justin [Chancellor, bass] aren't musically educated, so they just come up with the weirdest shit. I just try to anchor it down and make it simple... The tracks are long — too long! Definitely too long for the radio!"
When asked if he could reveal any track working titles or discuss the concept of the record, he replied: "It's all still a work in progress. We don't even go there until the record is done. It needs to have a voice of its own... You don't think about that until the project's finished and it all comes together and connects. Everything has its own voice."
TOOL's only currently scheduled appearance of 2018 is a May 18 headlining performance at Somerset, Wisconsin's Northern Invasion festival.
Jones revealed a few years ago that lawsuits involving a former friend of TOOL and an insurance company had been putting a drag on the group both creatively and financially since 2007.
The ex-friend claimed that he was owed money for artwork he had given the group, while the insurance firm — which was supposed to protect the band against such claims — sued the band for "technicalities" regarding the case.