A PERFECT CIRCLE — Mer de Noms (review)

A PERFECT CIRCLE — Mer de Noms album cover Album · 2000 · Metal Related Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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.

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ssmarcus wrote:
7 months ago
Seriously Right on! The fact is, alt metal has something of a prog streak to it. No I don't mean they're all like Tool but APC, Deftones, and Soundgarden definitely have this pyschadelic experimental side to them that shouldn't just be shrugged off.
more than 2 years ago
Thanks man.

Stooge wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Nice review!! I agree with you all the way.


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