Money Shot

Written by: LF on 12/06/2016 11:12:58

The industrial-induced alternative rock project that is the "creative subconscious" of Tool-frontman Maynard James Keenan released a new album last year. While many European metal fans are impatiently waiting for a new Tool album or even a European tour, Puscifer regularly turns out new recordings that are lately not too far off from A Perfect Circle's material (one of Keenan's earlier projects). For fans of his slightly softer work, this is, of course, a great thing, and on this new album, Puscifer seems to push even closer to APC territory while still remaining its own thing entirely.

The personnel on Puscifer's albums has been changing often and on this release, Keenan has written the songs along with British singer-songwriter Carina Round and Mat Mitchell who have both been around the project for years. Several of the songs feature a very floaty, dark and somewhat simple sound where Keenan's characteristic winding singing gets to dominate. "Galileo" and especially "The Remedy" are some of the most memorable examples of this and "Life of Brian (Apparently You Haven't Seen" late on the album picks this vibe up again with one of the most spine-chilling melodies of the release that sadly never really delivers on its captivating start. Another noticeable moment early on is in "Simultaneous" that provides a curious break as song number four on the album with an almost four-minute long narrative told in a distorted male voice. It centers on a meeting at a festival that culminates with some mystically powerful words that set an otherworldly background for the rest of the songs: "We will never know world peace / until three people / can simultaneously look each other straight in the eye".

The industrial element of the music is coupled with a strong backing of electronic sounds that are present to a varying degree, for instance completely taking over "Grand Canyon" as it progresses into looped vocal outbursts and a background heavy with bleeping sounds. Here Round's vocals that interlock with Keenan's are very explicit while other songs feature them more in the background but nonetheless always adding extra texture to the soundscapes. A more in-your-face approach is served up in the title track, "Money Shot", with a steady beat and distorted guitars taking the foreground along with more wheezing and aggressive vocals, underscoring the song's theme of relentless fighting quite well.

I have an immense soft spot for the band's sound and not least for Keenan's vocal style but while the dark soundscape immersed with electronics is pleasant to listen to and explore, not many of the songs stand out strongly on their own after a few listens. Rather, we can just float away in the gently winding synths and well-placed harmonies. Alongside the band's earliest trip-hop oriented songs, this album does however add a nice variety to their song catalogue.


Download: The Remedy, Galileo, Grand Canyon
For The Fans Of: Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle, Team Sleep
Listen: facebook.com/PusciferMusic

Release date 30.10.2015
Puscifer Entertainment

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