A Perfect Circle: Mer de Noms

As many of you are aware from the massive amounts of radio play here of lately, Maynard James Keenan is currently involved with a new band. May we introduce A Perfect Circle.

Before I start this review, let's get one thing straight. This band is NOT an extension of TOOL, nor does the new album in any way shape or form a rip-off of TOOL's unique style and 'bang your fists against the wall in angst' sounds that are all to recognizable [0].

For those of you that will base your purchase of this new album, once it is released [1] later next week, strictly from hearing Judith and hoping that this album is a new TOOL album — I'm sure you will be greatly disappointed; however, for those of you that purchase music based off of the artist(s) involved talent and maybe the possibility of having that wonderful feeling from hearing a new artist(s) latest piece of work pump through your eardrums while it drowns out the mundane and systematic rhythm of your life...this album will become your favorite and most cherished purchase instantly.

So, with those points made, let's move on to the music. The new album Mer de Noms contains the following tracks:

  1. Hollow
  2. Magdalena
  3. Rose
  4. Judith
  5. Orestes
  6. Three Libras
  7. Sleeping Beauty
  8. Thomas
  9. Renholder
  10. Thinking of You
  11. Brena
  12. Over

A Perfect Circle is:

  1. Billy Howerdel: Composer and Guitar (guitar tech for TOOL, Smashing Pumpkins, and NIN)
  2. Maynard James Keenan: Words and Vocals
  3. Paz Lenchantin: Bass and Violin
  4. Troy Van Leeuwen: Guitar
  5. Josh Freese: Drums (Vandals drummer)

As the cd starts with Hollow, it feels almost as if the 3 songs leading up to Judith are just that....a crescendo into the most powerful song on the album (Judith). Once you have peaked (feeling every ounce of anger build inside you) while listening to Judith, the following 8 songs are there to gently bring you back down into a trance like state that can only be described as an evening on opium while having your feet massaged. The melodic balance of Maynard's voice leading you through the enigma of rhythm produced by the drums/bass/guitar is so soothing that you feel yourself leaving reality while your brain floats like a drunken forest pixie.

So, to all TOOL fans that long to hear Maynard's vocal talents once more....walk, no run, no kill anything in your path so that you may obtain this album next week. Happy listening.

[0] A Perfect Circle, as Keenan takes great pains to point out, is not a side project but a legitimate band. Tool will just have to wait its turn-though Keenan is currently working with the other members on a new album for a projected 2001 release. "I regard A Perfect Circle as a right-brain, feminine thing, and Tool as a more masculine thing," he says. "I don't think of it in terms of what l can't do with Tool. With bands, you go into a certain dynamic with people... with this band, it's more of a Zen thing."

  1. Spin Magazine : June 2000
  2. -Marc Weingarten
  3. For complete article, click here.

[1] Mer de Noms is released internationally on May 22, and in the United States on May 23!!!

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