4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Overall, a fantastic album (3.5 STARS),
This review is from: Mer De Noms [Explicit] (Audio CD)
Being a long time fan of Tool's strange, unique sound, I was pleasantly surprised when I put forth the effort to get this. Maynard doesn't seem to miss a step in his home-band's impressive string of successful and inspiring albums, with APC's "Mer de Noms" hitting on the pop side of alt metal, a la "Aenima." But when comparing the two, this is the more demanding, the cleaner, and the better record. I understand that this sounds like blasphemy to die-hard Tool groupies, but somewhere in the uniqueness, the off-beat drums, the creative music and more harmonious melodies, materializes a blend that makes up for what "Aenima" lacked. "Mer de Noms" is also the more personable of the two for me individually. Well, EVERYTHING in my opinion is obviously personal and subjective, but it remains MY opinion.
Despite those who yearned for "another Tool record," or those who wished it to be harder, darker, or more industrial (another Tool trademark), this record still rocks, as do the songs individually. "The Hollow" is the "here we are, hope you like it" shout and when the dust settles, it is one of the finest tracks on the set. On the lighter side, "Orestes," Billy Howerdel's dedication to his fiance "Brena," and of course the amazing "3 Libras," all hit the spot. The grungier "Thomas" and the paradox of reflective lyrics over hard-edged guitars on "Thinking of You" prove the album and the band's diversity. This is the "side project" that doesn't sound like just a side project. It's too involved, too talent-demanding to be that simple.
Not everything I will say of the record is positive. I wish in no way to discorage people when the are trying to be creative, open people's minds, and do what they love. But I simply cannot approve of messages in a song like "Judith." Although musically, it could be the best on the album, the lyrics are far from the generally artistic work from this band and Maynard's other work in Tool. Helping people open their minds is one thing, but criticizing them for their sacred beliefs is another. The fact that I personally believe a certain way is irrelevant. NOBODY's beliefs should be put down like that; going so far as saying to "not pray," essentially, despite that it may be a charished practice for some. If certain points like the one in point were omitted or toned down the record would be nearly flawless. One a whole it IS, simply put, incredible music.