A Perfect Circle’s “Mer De Noms” Turns 20

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On this day in the year 2000 “A Perfect Circle” released their debut album Mer De Noms. “A Perfect Circle” was created by former guitar technician Billy Howerdel. Upon meeting singer of “TOOL” Maynard James Keenan, Howerdel and Keenan quickly became friends and even ended up becoming roommates. This gave Howerdel the chance to show Keenan his demos he had been working on, which impressed Keenan so much that he proposed the idea of singing over Howerdel’s tracks. After Adding bassist and violinist Paz Lenchantin, guitarist Troy Van Leeuwen, and drummer Tim Alexander who was soon replaced by Josh Freese, “A Perfect Circle” was fully formed. Don’t for one second think this is a supergroup or side project though, because the band have garnered their own fan base. Coming from a band as revered as “TOOL,” it must have been frustrating for Keenan to constantly hear people compare the two bands. Many wanted to hear “TOOL” part 2, but what we got was a whole new project that found Keenan showing a more melodic and emotional side that found the singer exploring themes of love and relationships as opposed to the analytical and often aggressive nature of “TOOL.” The goal to form a band that was as taken seriously and equal to “TOOL” was accomplished. “A Perfect Circle” still to this day have a large following of devoted fans. Happy Anniversary!

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Deftones’ “Diamond Eyes” Turns 10

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On this day in 2010 “Deftones” released their sixth album Diamond Eyes. Following the completion of their album Eros, Deftones bassist Chi Cheng was seriously injured in a car accident that left him in a coma. The band decided to put the release of Eros on hold and started playing shows with bassist Sergio Vega. Unsure of when Chi Cheng would make a full recovery, the band decided to record a brand new album with Sergio Vega. The band felt that Eros didn’t represent where the band was at the time, and wanted to record something more optimistic as opposed to the darker album they had just recorded, and considering the circumstances with Cheng at the time, optimism is definitely what the band needed. This resulted in Diamond Eyes, an album that was instrumentally straight-forward with the band going back to their roots writing and recording together as a unit and avoiding the use of Pro Tools. Produced by Nick Raskulinecz, this album found the band sounding their most raw, hearkening back to the days of Adrenaline and Around the Fur, but at the same time improving on their stunning combination of The Cure-esque guitar melodies and visceral heaviness. Chi Cheng unfortunately passed away in 2013, but the band is still strong today carrying the spirit of Chi Cheng, who is still a member in my opinion despite his passing. Rest In Peace Chi, and Happy Anniversary Diamond Eyes.

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Korn’s “Issues” Turns 20

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On this day in 1999 “Korn” released their fourth album Issues. At the height of the “Nu-Metal” craze of the late 90’s, the music world became saturated with copy after copy of bands jumping on the band wagon creating trendy music devoid of originality. Though 1999 was when “Nu-Metal” was at it’s peak with bands like “Limp Bizkit” climbing the charts, (kinda laughable now isn’t it?) the genre at the same time was on it’s way out, but the pioneers of “Nu-Metal,” as is the case of most pioneering bands, “Korn” weren’t interested in repeating the “Nu-Metal” tropes they helped create, instead they experimented even further with their album Issues, but this time stripped back their sound reducing it to a simplistic heaviness, a heaviness that was immensely polished and had a new strict sense of focus thanks to producer Brendan O’Brien who didn’t allow the band to party and fool around. Issues was heavy no doubt, but this album found lead singer Jonathan Davis delivering his best and most melodic vocal work. It’s almost as if this is Korn’s Pop album, well, whatever tortured, incredibly dark, and unsettling Pop world this album can belong to. Of course “Korn” are still active today with a large devoted following of passionate fans, but Issues marked the end of an era, and displayed the band’s refusal to succumb to trends. Happy Anniversary.