Although not as heavy as Mer de Noms, A Perfect Circle's Thirteenth Step holds it's own as an excellent rock album. Containing members of Tool, Nine inch Nails, and Smashing Pumpkins, this record contains songs about addiction and self doubt. The song writing is very dark and holds a convincing ambience that draws you in to another trait of thought. That's just a few things to clarify the sound of this album. Along with the creativity of the bands members.
Maynards vocals, like on Mer de Noms, flow with the music well. As his singing abilities have continued to improve. On songs like Weak and Powerless and Pet, Maynards melodic, yet haunting voice sets the mood perfectly. His lyrics, while strange and spacey, can leave you guessing for awhile about what some songs are about. But he sings with so much emotion, that deciphering the message escapes you, as it seems to have that effect on me at least.
The instrumentation is written well. The drums are another integral part of setting the mood. Most songs when not changing time signatures every other measure, are in 6/8. Obviously a favorite signature of the band and is most likely a reference from Maynard, as most Tool songs are in 6/8 as well. None the less, the drumming is great, and is big focusing point of Perfect Circle's music.
Billy Howerdel, having written most of the material, is a good guitarist and song writer. I've always wondered the imporatance of two guitarists in the band. While they each have thier own parts, they don't usually differentiate from each other. There are no guitar solo's really. When Billy does play a lead, the rythym track is quiet. So really the bass should be able to handle a rythym.
Those looking for an alternative to rock, this is a good purchase. The vocals, instrumentation, and the music overall is well done. So for anyone who's into A Perfect Circle or is wondering about thier material before the dissapointing eMotive, should check out this album.