Although each of Maynard James Keenan's various projects is informed by hard rock, each is most notable for how it subverts the formula. A former art-school student, Keenan has demonstrated particular interest in music's visual and performance aspects, and he's been a trailblazer with everything from Tool's distinctive videos to the iconoclastic variety shows of his recent project, Puscifer. A Perfect Circle is a stepping stone in that evolution, exploring an epic theatrical vibe that relies more on subtlety and texture. Keenan formed APC in 1999 with longtime friend (and Tool guitar tech) Billy Howerdel during a Tool hiatus. Keenan's dramatic vocal style was a fine fit for Howerdel's dark, atmospheric rock tunes, which balance soaring melody against chunky rhythmic throb. While the guitars possess steely metal bite, they tease as much as they deliver, beckoning you further into the music's winding environs.
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