I'll be honest, I never liked Tool. I always admired Maynard James Keenan and thought he was an amazing vocalist, but I never really got into Tool. Their sound just didn't appeal to me. But I when I heard Mer De Noms, I immediately fell in love with A Perfect Circle. In fact, I love A Perfect Circle so much that I can easily call them one of my favorite bands. Their sound varies significantly from Tool and other Hard Rock bands. A Perfect Circle's music is very brooding and eloquent...they create a very dark atmosphere that really pulls you into the songs. Maynard further proves how amazing a vocalist he is as he brings the haunting lyrics to life with hypnotic and trance-inducing vocals. His talent really shines in the amazing ballad "Orestes", the first single "Judith", and my favorite song on the album, "Thinking Of You". But as the name suggests, he's not the only member of the band. Billy Howerdel is a great guitarist and composer, Josh Freese is a very experienced drummer, and Paz Lenchantin and Troy Van Leeuwen are talented musicians as well. Although I was completely blown away with this album, I can't confidently say that others will be as well. I'm sure many people bought Mer De Noms after hearing Judith on the radio or television and expected the rest of the songs to be just like it, but instead finding them to be much more mellow, and were disappointed. So my advice is to buy this CD with an open mind, and not to expect the hardest of rock, but instead very melodic and slow rock music that you can practically fall asleep to. I will admit that it has its flaws, but it achieves what it sets out to do and then some. Mer De Noms is a five star debut from a very talented band that we'll all be hearing from a lot more.
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