A Perfect Circle
Mer de Noms


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Mongiardo CONTRIBUTOR (82 Reviews)
May 5th, 2013 | 11 replies | 1,000 views


Release Date: 2000 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maynard shows his sensitive side.

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you: the big reason I picked up this album when it came out was because I heard that Maynard James Keenan was the lead singer. Tool being one of my favorite bands, I was expecting something to sound like it. However, right off the bat my expectations were proven wrong and it turned out to be something very different. It is a very sensitive affair for Keenan and much more personal. While it may not be the masterpiece that Thirteenth Step turned out to be three years later, it is still a great debut for the band. The album contains one masterpiece, some great songs, and some songs that are quite lackluster. While the album may not always be perfect, it is still worth a listen for those who love alternative metal.

As usual, Keenan's vocals and lyrics are incredible. Songs like Judith and Brena really showcase his versatile vocal range and most of Mer De Nom's songs take on an emotional roller coaster like music is meant to do. Keenan's lyrics are also left open to your own interpretation because some songs are actually quite thought-provoking. The standout song for the entire album would be Orestes.

"Gotta cut away, clear away, snip away and sever this umbilical residue keeping me from killing you!"

This song is an absolute masterpiece that should have been recognized by the music industry. The amount of emotions that this song contains gives me chills and it is capable of being sad, bleak, hard hitting, and beautiful often all at the same time. A fantastic music composition compliments Keenan's incredibly emotional vocals and Billy Howerdel also sings background vocals on Orestes too. He is quite a composer and every composition is great through every song. As for the lyrics of Orestes, they are left open to your own interpretation like most of Keenan's lyrics. This song is an incredible masterpiece and it is the most superior song on Mer De Noms.

Other standout songs include Judith, 3 Libras, and Thinking Of You. Judith is the heaviest song on the album and the lyrics will surely offend some people because it basically thrashes religion. If you are not easily offended by these lyrics it is worth a listen. Thinking Of You contains an awesome bass riff and it is quite a sexual song that Maynard openly said is about masturbating to the idea of anal sex. It's an impressive song, but I always like to imagine that it is about something more meaningful. Another standout is 3 Libras because it really makes you think and Keenan's vocals and Howerdel's music exceptionally beautiful. Almost every song (with the exception of the album closer Over) is absolutely beautiful in its own way do to Billy's incredible music. I don't understand what the band was thinking when they picked Over as their closer because Brena should have been the closing track.

Upon my first listen of this album, I had to listen to some of the songs like Magdalena, Rose, Thomas and Sleeping Beauty more than once because they did not quite click with me on my first listen. Aside from these songs not being as compelling as the rest, this is quite an excellent album. Billy and Maynard made a fantastic team on this album. You will experience a different side of Maynard on Mer De Noms and any fan of Maynard or alternative metal I recommend you pick this one up because you will love it.

Tracks I Recommend:
-The Hollow
-Orestes
-3 Libras
-Thinking Of You



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user ratings (2121)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Mongi123
Contributing Reviewer
May 5th 2013


10152 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I love constructive criticism guys. Any advice to help my writing would be great!

KILL
May 5th 2013


71743 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

no

Digging: Invisible - El jardin de los presentes

Cygnatti
May 5th 2013


21352 Comments


I hate perfect circles because I can never draw them.

Digging: Jon Hopkins - Immunity

NapalmCrusader
May 5th 2013


1737 Comments


thriteen sleep is better but this album has a lot of quality material and is far better than eMOtion

Xenophanes
Emeritus
May 5th 2013


10593 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Fucking love this

conesmoke
May 5th 2013


5207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thirteenth step is great, James Iha does a great job. This album is way better though.

YoYoMancuso
May 5th 2013


11076 Comments


Maynard is trying way too hard to be edgy with his lyrics on a bunch of these songs, Thinking Of You is basically a watered-down Prison Sex

tempest--
May 6th 2013


13429 Comments


gr8 album

DrGonzo1937
May 6th 2013


5658 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Weird, I was just listeining to this yesterday. Still a great album, but I think it dips a little in the middle though.

Limoncello
May 6th 2013


16 Comments


Pretty good review. I definitely prefer Thirteenth Step, but this album is incredible when they get it right.

One sentence I recommend you revise:
"As for the lyrics of Orestes and this also goes for every lyric that Keenan writes are open to your own interpretation."

It is a little clunky. Otherwise, good job.


Artuma
May 6th 2013


12891 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you are improving all the time with your reviews man, keep it up!

album is great, i agree with you pretty much

Digging: Suffocate For Fuck Sake - Blazing Fires and Helicopters on the Fro



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