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A PERFECT CIRCLE - Mer de Noms cover
3.82 | 46 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 2000


1. The Hollow (3:00)
2. Magdalena (4:08)
3. Rose (3:28)
4. Judith (4:09)
5. Orestes (4:50)
6. 3 Libras (3:41)
7. Sleeping Beauty (4:12)
8. Thomas (3:31)
9. Renholdër (2:26)
10. Thinking of You (4:36)
11. Breña (4:26)
12. Over (2:21)
13. Orestes (Demo)* (3:24)

* bonus track

Total Time: 44:53 (Japan edition - 48:17)


- Maynard James Keenan / vocals, gourd
- Billy Howerdel / guitars, background vocals, lead vocals on Renholdër, bass, programming, keyboards, piano
- Josh Freese / drums, percussion

- Tim Alexander / drums on The Hollow
- Paz Lenchantin / violins, background vocals, bass on Sleeping Beauty
- Luciano Lenchantin / viola on 3 Libras
- Troy Van Leeuwen / end lead guitar on Sleeping Beauty and Thinking Of You
- Draven Godwin / percussion on Thomas
- Kelli Shafer / vocals on Renholdër

About this release

Label: Virgin Records
Release Date: May 23, 2000

Produced and engineered by Billy Howerdel.
Mixed by Alan Moulder and Billy Howerdel.
All songs written and composed by Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan.
Drums engineered by Frank Gryner.

Sleeve art direction, design, and digital photographic manipulation by Steven R. Gilmore.
Photography by Sean Murphey.

Japanese edition includes bonus track.

Thanks to Pekka, Stooge for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Phonebook Eater

"Mer De Noms" is one of the great Alt Metal albums that will certainly go down in history.

Music snobs are everywhere. Usually, these people snob only a few genres, but they are fiercely coherent and always avoid those, no matter what. Alternative Metal and especially Nu Metal are usually one of those genres; metal-heads especially dislike these for sounding more alternative than metal, so they consider these people "posers". But exceptions are always made; A Perfect Circle is in fact one of the most loved Alternative Metal bands, also by the genre's haters.

It's not hard to understand why, because APC is also one of the most unique sounding bands out there, even though many would recognize Maynard James Keenan's voice, from the universally beloved band Tool. Frankly speaking, APC does have a lot in common with the legendary band; Tool's music core is a darker version of Alternative Metal, but is then covered and perfected with a huge, thick veil of experimentation that makes their sound distinguishable like no other band. APC go just a little further from Tool's core, so basically they are a lot more accessible, but a lot less experimental. However, they are more original than many other bands of their same genre. What makes the band's uniqueness are the guitars and Maynard's voice. While the guitar work is very distinctive because of the wide amount of effects it can have, Maynard's singing abilities are impressive not only for their excellence, but also because they have a very different delivery than the one they had with the other band; Tool's vocals are creepy, warm, present, urgent and of course very haunting, and many times they are used as another instrument, something that only a few vocalists are able to do. But in APC, even though they are always haunting and beautiful, Maynard sounds more distant, almost like a melancholic,remote cry. This of course said in the most complimentary way possible.

"Mer De Noms" means "Sea Of Names" in French, and it can almost be considered a concept album, where most of the songs are dedicated to people that had an impact on Maynard, who wrote all the lyrics. These songs, such as "Madgalena", "Judith", "Orestes", "Thomas", are full of that personality and darkness that the world fell in love with when Tool came on stage, even though the music is, like I said earlier in the review, a lot different and more straight forward than the Progressive band. Songs like "The Hollow", "Madgalena", and the single "Judith" are destined to make history, because of these characteristics that many have been so happy to hear, loving Maynard for his previous work, and listening to something equally as haunting as Tool.

Indeed, "Mer De Noms" is one of the great Alt Metal albums, that will certainly go down in history because of it's profoundness and it's very fragile, human touch. If you're one of those haters of the genre, please put aside your pride and prejudice, and listen to this gem: I'm sure you won't regret it.

Members reviews

Hagbard Celine
I have fond memories of A Perfect Circle's debut from a decade ago, a time when metal was returning to the public eye after several years of extreme un-hipness. Unfortunately, the early '00s metal that broke through in the mainstream turned out to be primarily various nu-metal disasters, but A Perfect Circle became one of the rare great breakthroughs of the dawn of the last decade. On this album, Keenan and Howerdel pull off a beautiful blend of traditional metal and traditional goth. Instead of a mistake that brings out the cheesiest of both genres, as "goth metal" unfortunately often does, Mer de Noms becomes something that sounds almost like a 21st century version of The Cult's legendary metal/goth blend "Love" from 1985. It worked, and both mainstream and alternative (whatever THAT meant by 2000) rock radio incorporated "Judith" into their regular playlists for a year or two. Great album that hasn't become stale in the decade since.

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