Less than a week after stumping fans and journalists with a cryptic Web site statement that was erroneously deciphered to mean Tool were back in the studio working on a new album, news has surfaced that the psychedelic, prog-metal masters will play their first U.S. shows in almost 18 months. [Update: Ticketmaster has removed the listings from its site -- no word as to whether these Tool shows will indeed take place.]

Ticketmaster.com had posted two shows near Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan's Arizona home: one show on Jan. 17 at the Tucson Arena and another on Jan. 18 at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, N.M. The dates were posted a day after Keenan's other band, Puscifer announced 14 North American shows that kick off Feb. 23 in Austin, Texas, and run through Mar. 18 in Escondido, Calif.

If nothing else, the confirmation of two Tool shows for early 2012 would affirm that the band members are still working together despite their other commitments; drummer Danny Carey has a new band Volto!, Keenan is in A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, in addition to owning an Arizona winery. And reports that a new Tool album is under way are not completely unfounded.

In a recent interview with Loudwire, Keenan said, "[My Tool bandmates] write forever and then we go in and knock it all out. We’re writing. We’re writing vocals. But nothing’s solid."