Tool are set to return in 2013 with a new album, which will mark the fifth full-length studio release of new material from their 22-year reign as the kings of prog metal.

According to a timetable that drummer Danny Carey set forth in a March interview, work on Tool's new album would likely be complete by the end of 2012. Whether or not that is the case remains to be determined, what we do know is that the album definitely won't be out until some point in 2013.

Although it seems like 10,000 days have passed since the release of their previous effort -- it has actually been 2,416 days between then and the time this article was written -- the band is reportedly quite serious about finishing the new album. In early November, reports said they had turned down several tour offers to focus on the task at hand. They will, however, perform at the Japanese outing of Ozzfest this May. Does that mean the new album will be out by then? No, but we hope it will be.

As far as what we can expect from the new album -- well, expect  a Tool album. Carey confirmed that bassist Justin Chancellor has been "prolific" on the new stuff and had brought in "tons of riffs." He also revealed that there would be even more odd time signatures, which, along with lengthy tracks, is one of their trademarks.

We just hope that after another period of more than 5 years between new albums, Tool throws us a few more songs than they did last time. '10,000 Days' was great but when you subtract all the white noise, intros, instrumentals, interludes and transitions, you're left with about 7 or 8 songs. We love it when Tool gets weird as much as anyone does, but we're rooting for more killer and less filler this time around. No matter what, we're confident it will be one of the year's (possibly the decade's) best, even if the whole thing is comprised of one 63-minute song.

Update (12/18): This statement was posted on Tool's website:

"Something that might be encouraging to some Tool enthusiasts is that while riding with Danny to Chili John’s yesterday, I heard a lot of new Tool music (sans Maynard). This was the most new material that I’ve heard so far, although a few of the riffs and arrangements were familiar. So, what did I think? 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)."

Update (2/7): Despite a few Vespa crashes and Maynard saying "No new disc. Not this year," drummer Danny Carey recently said “Sometime this year … that’s all I can say,” of the potential new album. “The sooner the better for us. We’re working everyday but you can never predict it, honestly. We’re really excited about it so I hope all the fans will be too.” Looks like Maynard was just having some fun at our expense.