Mer De Noms is the first studio album from the band “A Perfect Circle”, which was founded by TOOL’s frontman Maynard James Keenan and TOOL’s guitar tech Billy Howerdel. Even tough the album has progressive elements throughout, according to the members their attitude was a more punk rock-ish, if they were to label themselves.
A Perfect Circle was formed in the presence of the ongoing lawsuit that TOOL had with their record label. One day, Billy Howerdel showed some demos of the songs that he was coming up with to Maynard, and according to Maynard, he could instantly imagine his voice over the songs and formed the band. A Perfect Circle has a distinct dark sound, reminiscent of different influences that the band had. Though he normally has a more masculine, dirty, and powerful voice, Maynard was able to have an opportunity to show his “anima”, the more feminine side of his voice (in his own words). Considering that MJK was working on this record at the same time he was working on Lateralus, it is unimaginable how he was able to come up with so different vocal approaches for the similar atmosphere of both albums.
Mer De Noms sold over a million all around the globe, encouraging the band to produce a more ambitious effort in the proceeding years – Thirteenth Step.