Conditions Of My Parole review by Puscifer

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  • Released: Oct 18, 2011
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.1 (62 votes)
Puscifer: Conditions Of My Parole
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Sound — 8
Puscifer has been Maynard James Keenan's solo project since its inception in 2007. The name of the project was initially called "Umlaut", but was later changed to Puscifer after the first episode of "Mr. Show" where it was presented as a fictional band with Adam Jones (of Tool) and Maynard as members. Adam Jones has no involvement what'soever in Puscifer except for some art design work for merchandise. According to Wikipedia, Maynard has described Puscifer as "simply a playground for the various voices in my head" and as "where my Id, Ego and Anima all come together to exchange cookie recipes". "Conditions Of My Parole" was recorded at Keenan's Caduceus Cellars in Jerome, Arizona. Production was completed by Maynard, Mat Mitchell and Josh Eustis. There were approximately a dozen contributing musicians involved in the recording of the album. While Maynard has described Puscifer's sound as "a premiere improvisational hardcore band", the actual sound of "q" is very eclectic with the one unifying characteristic is a dark atmosphere. There is everything from acoustic, to metal to techno elements on the album that somehow all work together towards the common goal of Maynard's vision. I haven't really been a big fan of Puscifer's previous releases, but "Conditions Of My Parole" has really grabbed me. The tracks are mainly slow to mid tempo songs of dark and/or sad/melancholy atmosphere. There is a lot of creative percussion throughout the album. There are a few guest vocalists. The overall end product is a powerful album that despite a very eclectic combination of tracks doesn't lose its continuity. There are 12 tracks and the album clocks in at just over 50 minutes.

Lyrics — 7
For the most part the vocals are all Maynard, but there is an occasional guest vocalist on some of the tracks on the album. Maynard's voice remains as distinctive and haunting as ever. The lyrics have a dark and mysterious quality to them, and really fit the music and album. On the track "The Weaver", Maynard sings "Observing the shades/ interpreting signs/ withholding the patterns". On the track "Tiny Monsters", the lyrics begin "Day gives way to night/ on the storefront mannequins/ the audience with Mona Lisa grins/ moonlight builds emotion". The vocal delivery is varied in style and cadence, but it all comes across as clearly Maynard.

Overall Impression — 8
Fans of Tool and A Perfect Circle, as well as existing fans of Puscifer are going to want to pick up this album. This is by far the best Puscifer album, in my humble opinion. The standout tracks to me are "Man Overboard", "Telling Ghosts", "Horizons' and "Toma". I can't really point out any bad tracks on this album. I'm more of an album type of person than a single song type of person, and "Conditions Of My Parole" is like a dream come true an eclectic album with continuity despite the variety. This album will be getting a semi-permanent place on my mp3 player along with my other recent addition, Jane's Addiction's "The Great Escape Artist". I've read that Puscifer is also a clothing line and chain of stores owned by Maynard, and I can't seem to make myself care about any of that, but this album has blown me away. I've read that Puscifer doesn't really tour, just mainly plays shows in the southwest with just an occasional show on the east coast. I personally live on the east coast and I'll be keeping my eyes open to see if they will be coming to a concert venue within driving distance anything in the near future. If you live in the southwest, I would encourage you to try to catch them live. I imagine it would be a show worth seeing. In the meantime, I'll have to make do with "Conditions Of My Parole".

25 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TOOLeffingTOOL
    Feverrush wrote: That reviewer really undercut this album (rating wise).
    This. The rating seemed to contradict most of what was said. This is the first Puscifer (e.p., album, single, etc...) that I have thoroughly enjoyed front to back. Favorite track is definitely "Tumbleweed" it feels like an amazing way to close the album out. That being said, the new Tool record is still sitting at the writing phase. I would not put your hopes into any date for a release because we won't know until they want us to know.
    SGofawesome
    larrytheguitar wrote: Now to be honest, I never gave these guys an in-depth listen. However, from the casual plays on YouTube, I can never get into them. Not like Tool or APC. Speaking of which, when the **** is the new Tool coming out??
    Good sir, the new Tool album is expected to be released in May of 2012. BE STOKED.
    eviltriprug
    SGofawesome wrote: larrytheguitar wrote: Now to be honest, I never gave these guys an in-depth listen. However, from the casual plays on YouTube, I can never get into them. Not like Tool or APC. Speaking of which, when the **** is the new Tool coming out??Good sir, the new Tool album is expected to be released in May of 2012. BE STOKED.
    No its not they were just joking on their newsletter, no one knows when itll be out
    Schwimmy
    larrytheguitar wrote: Now to be honest, I never gave these guys an in-depth listen. However, from the casual plays on YouTube, I can never get into them. Not like Tool or APC. Speaking of which, when the **** is the new Tool coming out??
    I'm so tired of people comparing Puscifer to Tool/APC. Of course they don't sound the same - thats the whole point! Why play in 3 bands that all sound the same??
    larrytheguitar
    Now to be honest, I never gave these guys an in-depth listen. However, from the casual plays on YouTube, I can never get into them. Not like Tool or APC. Speaking of which, when the **** is the new Tool coming out??
    Dr3amcast3r
    This is a really good album, I like Tool and APC no less no more, this is another kind of music and I love it too. I love to lay on my bed and close my eyes listening to MJK deep voice arounded by epic dub!
    Cskills2112
    Killer album! Unlike the first one, I actually enjoy every song on this disc. They've all got a neat vibe to them. MJK once again proves he's a genius!
    thebigal
    I am a huge MJK fan. His unique voice with Tool and APC are just brilliant. No matter how hard I try I just cant get into Puscifer. Wish some of the side projects would stop and they would focus on a Tool album. Please instead bring us another album like Undertow. ( close to my all time fav )
    smack_tallica
    Solid album, still needing some new Tool though and the cover artwork for this album is hilarious...Maynard is the man
    Andragon
    The album blew you away but it's a 7.7 ? Better than all 10s I guess.
    AntwanL
    Possibly the best puscifer album yet. Amazing combination of every style. Love it so much.
    FatEmoChick
    I for one have enjoyed the V is for Vagina album a lot. I gave the newer album a quick listen the day it came out but wasn't particularly hooked. I guess I'll give it an other try tonight after having smoked a nice green cigar
    Skeletal_Cat
    This album will be getting a semi-permanent place on my mp3 player along with my other recent addition, Jane's Addiction's "The Great Escape Artist". Haha The same here!
    SchwabBAM
    Have to say, V is for Vagina didn't really get to that spot in my mind that clicks, but this has reeled me in. The cover is very Cohen Bros.
    judo_john
    Great album. Nice and mellow. Listening to it on the bus home today, and was so chilled out, i just stayed on the bus, and went miles past my stop. Very good. Whole album is great, bar a couple songs, that I couldn't quite get into. However. 10 good songs out of 12 ain't bad at all especially nowadays.
    Washburnd Fretz
    This is a great album. It's not a TOOL album, but Maynard still manages to get that tribal vibe going on the instrumentals. Just saw him a few days ago and the man is a machine. He did the entire album and then some..
    BiöprA
    great!! i just love the idea of Maynard still making music in puscifer, apc, tapeworm or tool.. and still growing grapes