Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan reported that he’d completed work on the lyrics and melodies for all but one of the songs planned for the band’s long-awaited fifth album. It’s now 12 years since the release of 10,000 Days and the rest of the band have been steadily laying down instrumental tracks over the past few years – although it’s not yet certain whether drummer Danny Carey’s prediction of a 2018 release will take place.

“Started getting music files from the boys w the word FINAL in the title a few months ago after 11 years of begging,” Keenan tweeted. “That in theory means the tracks won’t change out from under me while I’m trying to write stories and melodies to them. In theory.”

He added that he was still waiting for a “final” version of one track, and went on: “Words & melodies 100% done on all but 1. Someday we’ll track them. Long way from the finish line, but at least we’re closer.”

Carey said recently that the album would “definitely” arrive during 2018, and that they’d “probably” have it completed during the first half of the year “if things go as planned.” He added: “There’s setup times and manufacturing – I can never predict all that. It seems like it’s constantly evolving.” But when it came to identifying a specific date, he said: “I can’t tell you.”

Last month Keenan said that a rumored summer date was “horses**t” and told a fan: “Not. Coming out this summer. Not.” That led fans to speculate that the album could be titled “Not” and that the frontman was actually confirming its launch schedule.