The Next Step In Intelligent Rock
As if trapped in a foggy lull, A Perfect Circle elegantly and gracefully fuse elements of hard rock with beautiful string melodies against moody, textured backgrounds. This unique band is the brainchild of former Tool guitar tech, Billy Howerdel, who inspired Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan to join the project. Following a few lineup changes, the current all-star cast also includes former Marilyn Manson bassist “Twiggy” Ramirez, former Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and drum veteran Josh Freese. Three years after releasing their stunning debut album, Mer de Noms, A Perfect Circle once again grace us with The 13th Step.
While Mer de Noms was a more edgy, rock-influenced collaboration, the 13th Step takes a moment to sit back, reflect and explore just how wide and beautiful the band’s musical horizon has become. Maynard’s sleek, smooth voice enraptures the down beat tempos and enriches the slick and edgy string work found in nearly every song. The album drives the spectrum of angsty guitar rock towards the sweet, quiet lullaby-esque songs such as “A Stranger” and “The Nurse Who Loved Me,” a cover from 90’s alt-rock band Failure. Overall a subtle and quiet, yet edgy album, The 13th Step proves that Howerdel and friends are one step closer to completing the circle that is beautiful, artistic rock music.