12 Songs, 57 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Maynard James Keenan’s rock supergroup has seriously grown up in the 14 years since their last album. The Tool frontman’s band is still angry—they’ve just found new, different ways to express it. The gargantuan riffs of APC’s past now make room for strings, piano, and post-rock builds. Eat the Elephant is thoughtful and brooding, but still heavy as ever (tracks like “TalkTalk” would fit right in on Thirteenth Step). Harps and horns make slow-burning “The Contrarian” frighteningly ominous, and “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish” sounds so uplifting it’s unsettling—but its lyrics reveal a sardonic ode to modern life, while lamenting the loss of David Bowie and other legends.

*WEA.MusicPages.Riaa.Explicit* Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Maynard James Keenan’s rock supergroup has seriously grown up in the 14 years since their last album. The Tool frontman’s band is still angry—they’ve just found new, different ways to express it. The gargantuan riffs of APC’s past now make room for strings, piano, and post-rock builds. Eat the Elephant is thoughtful and brooding, but still heavy as ever (tracks like “TalkTalk” would fit right in on Thirteenth Step). Harps and horns make slow-burning “The Contrarian” frighteningly ominous, and “So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish” sounds so uplifting it’s unsettling—but its lyrics reveal a sardonic ode to modern life, while lamenting the loss of David Bowie and other legends.

*WEA.MusicPages.Riaa.Explicit* Mastered for iTunes
TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

3.9 out of 5
634 Ratings
634 Ratings

APC

thextguy1017787

I'm glad they're doing this. I admit the album cover is...half hearted, but the songs released are great

💜

PowerslaveChris

RELEASE TOOL

Welcome to the Finish Line

Name in progress

I may not be a rabid fan of APC, but to be able to say that I was there for a new APC album is monumental. There’s no greater feeling than being there on a day you swore would never come, but here we are, and it is my absolute privilege to review a new A Perfect Circle album!

While past albums have had a heavy, crunchy impact with songs like “Judith”, Eat The Elephant takes a more softer approach by comparison. Every so often you get those heavy moments like in “Talk Talk”, but there’s more to be had than that. Tracks such as “Disillusioned” are packed with beautiful poetry and social commentary, with haunting lines like “Time to put the silicon obsession down”. With what could either be the soundtrack to a movie trailer or a song of the apocalypse, “The Doomed” carries a marching tempo while also finding time to mellow out and contemplate. And even though the quieter approach may warrant unwanted one-star reviews blaming their age, the band still carries a philosophical bit and strong will felt everywhere, leaving behind a feeling of enlightenment and a call to action.

Grandiose, enigmatic, and elegant. These are the words I would use to describe Eat The Elephant and one of the longest awaited returns in modern metal. If this is the sign of a legendary year in music, then brace yourselves for whatever may come!

About A Perfect Circle

American rock supergroup A Perfect Circle was formed in the late '90s by Tool vocalist Maynard James Keenan and former Tool guitar tech Billy Howerdel. In the beginning, A Perfect Circle were seen as an extension of the alt-metal-fused-with-art-rock style popularized by Tool in the early to mid-'90s. Despite comparisons, however, A Perfect Circle quickly developed into its own entity, focusing on lighter and more melodic sounds that were combined with a theatrical, ambient quality incorporating occasional strings and unconventional instrumentation. Over the decades, members of Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Smashing Pumpkins, Queens of the Stone Age, Zwan, Puscifer, Failure, and Eagles of Death Metal have played a role in the band's revolving lineup under the core songwriting duo of Keenan and Howerdel.

After the release of Ænima in 1996, Tool found themselves in the midst of an extended legal battle with former label Freeworld Entertainment. When the dust settled two years later, the band reached a 50-50 joint venture agreement for future recordings and, feeling a little burned out, decided to take some time off. It was at this point that Keenan joined up with Howerdel and Paz Lenchantin to form A Perfect Circle. Keenan had met Howerdel in 1992 when Tool opened for Fishbone. Howerdel had been Fishbone's tech at the time and he played Keenan a few of his songs. Keenan was impressed and the two talked of collaborating in the future. However, the opportunity wouldn't present itself until the end of the decade. With Keenan on vocals, Howerdel on guitar, and Lenchantin on bass, the trio recruited ex-Failure and Enemy member Troy Van Leeuwen on guitar and ex-Vandals and Guns N' Roses member Josh Freese on drums.

The quintet rehearsed together but didn't announce the formation of a new band until performing for the first time on August 15, 1999, at a benefit concert at the Viper Room in Los Angeles. Howerdel, who had been composing songs for years, as well as working with bands such as the Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails, became the band's chief songwriter and producer. A Perfect Circle released their debut album, Mer de Noms, in 2000. Featuring the hit singles "Judith" and "3 Libras," Mer de Noms debuted in the Top Five of the Billboard 200 and eventually went platinum. The band opened Nine Inch Nails' Fragility Tour in 2000, but soon attracted their own headlining audience. The band took a short break between albums, allowing Keenan to hop back to Tool for the release and promotion of 2001's Lateralus.

In the meantime, preparation for A Perfect Circle's sophomore effort continued. Lenchantin and Van Leeuwen -- both involved with other projects at the time -- were swapped out for Jeordie White (Marilyn Manson) and Danny Lohner (Nine Inch Nails), respectively. Keenan returned to the fold in early 2003. Months later, Thirteenth Step arrived, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200. Moodier and more expansive, the set included Top Five rock chart singles "Weak and Powerless" and "The Outsider." Lohner made way for James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins) as the band embarked on an international tour.

Concluding the trek, A Perfect Circle issued the covers album eMOTIVe in 2004. The politically charged, anti-war collection featured interpretations of songs like John Lennon's "Imagine," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," and Depeche Mode's "People Are People." The album was also notable for the inclusion of new track "Counting Bodies Like Sheep to the Rhythm of the War Drum" and "Passive," a holy grail for fans that was written by Keenan, Howerdel, Lohner, and Trent Reznor for their scrapped Tapeworm project.

Shortly after the release of eMOTIVe's companion DVD set aMOTION -- which bundled the band's music videos along with a remix CD -- A Perfect Circle went on a hiatus that would last over a decade. During their downtime, Keenan recorded albums with Tool and his solo project, Puscifer, while Howerdel started a new band, Ashes Divide. While rumors of the band writing songs cropped up now and again, A Perfect Circle returned (to the stage, at least) in 2010, and released a new song, "By and Down," on their 2013 greatest-hits compilation Three Sixty. However, it would be another half-decade before an official return.

In late 2017, the group reunited for a tour of the United States, teasing fans with the possibility of a trek to the studio. They issued the single "The Doomed," their first new song in over a decade. "Disillusioned" and "TalkTalk" followed in early 2018. That April, A Perfect Circle released their fourth LP, Eat the Elephant, with another revamped lineup that added Matt McJunkins (Eagles of Death Metal) and Jeff Friedl (Puscifer) to the Keenan/Howerdel/Iha trio. As political as eMOTIVe and even more melodic than Thirteenth Step, Eat the Elephant also marked the first time the band recruited an outside producer; namely, Dave Sardy. ~ Neil Z. Yeung & Tracy Frey

ORIGIN
Los Angeles, CA
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1999

Songs

Albums

Videos