Vicious circle

By Madeleine du Toit


The cover of A Perfect Circle’s album: Emotive

Disconnect and self destruct one bullet at a time, what’s your rush now, everyone will have his day to die, Lyrics from The Outsider by A Perfect Circle, the soundtrack for Resident Evil: Afterlife.

The introduction of the song is a wistful melody consisting of subtle plucking on the guitar. When the drum enters and the lead singer commence the sound becomes quite sinister and tenebrous. The song is dynamic, yet emotional and it has a good balance between fast- and slow rhythms. The Outsider represents the overall ambiance of A Perfect Circle’s album Thirteenth Step.

This American rock supergroup was formed in 1999 and they released three albums: Mer de Noms, Thirteenth Step and Emotive. Their second album Thirteenth Step (2002-2003) was released in September 2003.  The band members for this specific album was: Billy Howerdel on guitar, piano, bass, programming and background vocals; Maynard James Keenan on lead vocals; Troy van Leeuwen on guitar; Jeordie White on bass and Josh Freese on drums and percussion. Freese, a previous drummer for Nine Inch Nails, is endowed with an expeditious hand.

Keenen revealed the meaning of A Perfect Circle during an interview with New York Rock. He said that his band members consist of five individuals who united to create something, to compose music and to fulfill one another musically in order to form a perfect circle. He concludes by mentioning that a circle reflects eternity and several circles over each other constructs a spiral.

It sounds like The Craft where a circle of trust is formed, where they complete one another by forming this cult. A Perfect Circle? Perfect is a delusion, it doesn’t exist, does their music symbolise illusions and refer to the subconscious. What does this signify as a band name though? Honestly what message are they trying to convey here?

Lullaby is similar to a horror movie where effects are simply created to scare you, there is no moral or message being communicated. The song does not progress, it is like a circle, and it consists out of four words which are constantly repeated. It is eternal and never-ending; it definitely mirrors the meaning of their name.

Gravity, the last track on Thirteenth Step is melancholic, yet there is a tone of hope. Their lyrics do not progress. The album consists of contrasting ideas: death, denial, hope, deceiving and believing. A Perfect Circle might be using this curve-ball to lure their audience.


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