Conditions of My Parole

by: Puscifer

A place for Tool and A Perfect Circle frontman Maynard James Keenan’s musical explorations, Puscifer is a project that, by its very nature, has that free association vibe around it. On his second album under the Puscifer moniker, Conditions of My Parole, Keenan continues to his unfettered explorations, seeing where a sound will take him without being tied down by the expectations that would be present if he released these songs with any of his other projects. A departure from the angst of Tool and the esoteric darkness of A Perfect Circle, the synth-heavy album has a more autumnal feeling about it, combining layers of electronic ambience and programmed drums with the singer's yearning vocals to create a kind of cold loneliness. It’s this isolated sound that Keenan thrives in, with his trademark vocals adding just the right amount of drama to the mix and acting as the glue that manages to hold everything together when the mood strikes him to drift into more aggressive territory on songs like “Toma” and “Conditions of My Parole.” While the album can, at times, feel unfocused, that’s also the point of a project like Puscifer, which allows us to take a look inside the mind of one of the most creative frontmen of the last 20 years. It’s this kind of access that leaves Conditions of My Parole with a lot to offer fans of Keenan; they’ll not only get a glimpse into the singer's creative process, but a fine piece of cold weather headphone music. ~ Gregory Heaney

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