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4.6 out of 5 stars73
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 16 June 2003
A beautiful album. I'm glad it dosn't look as if they'll record another as I don't think a second could ever live upto this one. I've heard APC being described as metal, but this is absurd, there's nothing metal about them. They're an alternative rock band through and through. Maynard's voice is completely without vibrato and as a result the vocal-lines are always very smooth and delicate. The music itself uses a variety of techniques and its clear that Billy Howerdel is an innovative guitarist. Each track sounds different yet similar in certain ways. 'Judith' is perhaps the rockiest track on the album and 'Orestes', '3Libras' and 'Over' all display the bands softer side, which is always much more evident. Stand out tracks: (Its difficult to choose) 'The Hollow', 'Magdalena', 'Juith' and 3Libras'.
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on 19 April 2001
If when you listen to music, you like to be completly immersed by what you are listening to, then this is an album for you. The first time I listened to the album, it didn't strike me as anything special. But, after listening through the album a few times, I was completly indulged with the emotion and brilliance of it. Maynard is a fantastic singer and brings a side out of the music any other singer would struggle to do. The music accompanies his voice brilliantly. 3 libras is my favourite song off the album, but I do not dislike any song on it. The whole album seems to merge together to make an experience rather than a collection of songs, which listening to past music I had never really experienced before. I also think A perfect circle are some of the best musicians in rock music today. The only thing left to say is buy this album and if you like it check out Tool.
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on 13 January 2014
The best vinyl I will possibly will ever buy. I'm sure many other reviewers have nailed mer der noms so I'm focusing on the vinyl version only. The warmth you get from vinyl on this album is special. The depth of vocals you can hear is surprising. The extra frequencies make the guitars sound almost sensual. I really can't emphasis how soul cleansing the experience was. It reminded me of how music could be heard instead of how took for granted it has become. I'm a fan as you may of well guessed. The extended track is incredible, it really ties the song together. It reminds me of listening to the extended version of The Cures 'forest' for the first time. The packaging is spot on, larger prints of original cd graphics. The only negative thing I would say is the sides aren't clearly indicated. It shows what is on each disk just not what side. Anyway I know now, make the plunge.
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on 16 October 2000
I think comparing this band to Tool purly for the lead singer being the same person is unfair. This album does everything in it's own way, and boy does it do it well. Half of the tracks will not come instantly, but all will come with multiple listens. 3 Libras, Judith, Brena, Rose, Sleeping Beauty, eta al, will probably come fairly quickly, and keep you listening to the album.
The Hollow, Sleeping Beauty, Magdalena, Thomas, etc. will probably take more time but when you are hooked, the cd will not leave the player. All songs have emotion and a sense of meaning behinds them.
This album has it all. The songs people relate to, the songs where people can feel Maynards pain, and all songs have great musicianship, where each member of the band play their instruments so well. The songs are also very well written, and do not turn into one blurb of noise, but stand out from each other, yet complement each other beautifully.
An example for all to listen to and realise what can be done with music (specifically rock) in the world today. Truly a classic.
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on 17 November 2003
Just listened to the newest A Pefect Circle Album and couldnt help but be impressed.So i thought i would check out their earlier release and again i was blown away. The beauty in all the songs is just amazing so different from what is out in the music industry today.I havent listened to much Tool myself but this album definately stands out on its own. The songs range from anthemic to agressive to melancholic and back again, and thats just in a few seconds. This album draws you in and spits you out after 12 spine-tingling tracks a changed person. The lyrics are beautiful, the music inspiring and creative and of course Maynard's voice is truely hypnotic. If you are reading this after listening to the album then im sure im just preaching to the converted!But if you havent and want to treat your ears to something truly different then this is perfect.
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on 7 April 2012
APC is not at all a side-project. It is its own beast, and a damn fine one at that! Far too many reviewers and critics pay too much attention to the singer, and not the composer. APC is most definitely Billy Howerdel's creation, and not Maynard Keenan's. MJK merely provides the polish to a fully furnished and accomplished album in its own right. This is not to take away from MJK - as his vocals soar gloriously over and through the work - but merely to emphasise that MJK's lyrics were a later addition to Howerdel's music. Thus all comparisons to Tool pretty much fall down right here, as Tool is most definitely a more musical than lyrical enterprise.

It probably did not help that Judith was released as the introductory single, as it is the most reminiscent to Tool - if only because of the heaviness of the song, which is shorter, sharper and simpler than the more intricate arrangements of most any Tool song. Personally, though I love Judith, I prefer the Lohner mix of the song that can be found on the Underworld soundtrack - which sounds more like APC than APC, if that makes sense! According to various sources, the reason for the heavier nature of this song is down to the influence of MJK - and subsequent songs on the album return to the more unique APC sound. The single Judith is worth seeking out though, for the demo of Orestes - again which I prefer to the album version. The sparser nature of the Lohner mix of Judith, and the demo for Orestes give a greater indication of the APC sound, and of what was to follow on Thirteenth Step.

Ultimately, I find that the limitations and weaknesses of Mer de Noms work to its advantages. The conglomeration of different sounds sitting uncomfortably together, while the band finds their identity, is pleasing to the ears. I find Thirteenth Step somewhat bland and samey, by comparison. This is a beautiful collection of more or less conventional, mainstream rock songs and ballads - the beauty and simplicity of the music and melodies often completely belying the nature of the lyrical content. An album well worth exploring, and easily five stars from me.
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on 11 May 2009
I stumbled across this band a couple of years ago completely by chance and man am I glad I did!
Btw I don't listen to Tool so there will be no comparisons, I'm writing only about A Perfect Circle.
This is my favourite A Perfect Circle album by far. I dunno what I would do without it. The songs are amazing and so different from what you usually hear these days.
I will say that at first you may not really like the songs because I felt exactly the same way. At first I only really liked Judith and thought the others were mediocre. However, listening to the songs a couple of times definitly lets you get into them more. By about the third time you listen to the album you're pretty much in love with every song.
Every single song is unique, each one has an individual effect, they can be so powerful yet...soothing. A Perfect Circle have an amazing talent for putting music together so beautifully. The vocals and instruments go together like...beans and toast, it really is rock at its best. You can pretty much feel the songs and decide for yourself what they mean to you.
To conclude, I think you should give it a try. What more can I say?
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on 14 March 2015
When James Maynard Keenan isn't busy with his main band Tool, or in the vineyards of Arizona growing wine, A Perfect Circle fills his musical time with the super group of musicians from like minded bands including Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails and Fish. Mer De Noms is a delicious selection of haunting rock tracks & ballads including the stunning 3 Libras. A perfect selection of music by A Perfect Circle
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on 14 November 2000
How wrong is Andrew Mueller's review. Since when was A.P.C Maynard's ticket to the stadium rock status - he evidently doesn't realise the ethics behind the band. Described by Terrorizer as "the feminine side of Maynard", this album is utterly incredible, and easily the best debut of 2000. For starters, this sounds nothing like Tool, apart from maybe heavy passages in certain songs (eg Judith). Much of what is played here is reasonably simplistic, but Maynard's voice does not fail to mesmerise on 3 Libras, Orestes and the grandiose emotion of Sleeping Beauty. His ability to use his voice and phrase his words is incredible, while the range is also fantastic. Of course, one cannot mention A.P.C without saying something about Billy Howerdel. Expressing the band as something that goes beyond the usual posturing of metal (which still has it's place methinks), Billy has come up with a classic album of emotionally swirling anthems that makes you listen to the album again and again. Forgettable this is not.
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on 27 April 2002
This is simply one of the best albums I've heard in years. Maynard James Keenan here teams up with Tool and Nine Inch Nails guitar technician Billy Howerdel, Failure guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, Big Milk/Camerata Tango bassist Paz Lenchantin and Vandals/Guns'n'Roses drummer Josh Freese for a simply stunning record, taking a similar musical stance to that of the Smashing Pumpkins rather than Maynard's more familiar band Tool. From the opening bursts of "The Hollow" to the slow, mournful "Over", not one single duff track can be found on there. Involving certain themes to some songs (the imagery of Mary Magdalene in "Magdalena", Greek mythological figures in "Orestes", masturbation in "Thinking Of You" and unrequited love on "3 Libras" being prime examples), no other supergroup has come close to making an album this good. If you don't have this album now, you really should get it.
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