PUSCIFER – V is for Vagina

In between his busy schedule of fronting TOOL and A PERFECT CIRCLE, Maynard Keenan has somehow found time to unleash yet another musical entity, PUSCIFER. While not a true solo album, V is for Vagina was composed primarily by Keenan, and serves as yet another glimpse in to the man’s twisted and imaginative mind. Musically, PUSCIFER is a different animal compared to the dense, complex progressive rock of TOOL or the lush melodies of A PERFECT CIRCLE, with Keenan exploring the worlds of trip hop and dub. However, similarities between his main acts can be found peppered throughout the album. “Queen B” opens things up in a non-chalant way with PRIMUS drummer Tim Alexander laying down some sturdy beats for Keenan to play around in with a trance-like hum and om interspersed with low-key spoken word. The plot thickens with the hidden arrangements and programming of “Dozo” to the dense atmosphere of “Vagina Mine,” which benefits from the tribal drumming and solid grooves of Gil and Rani Sharone of STOLEN BABIES. “Momma Sed” display’s the man’s talent for writing tuneful yet understated melodies replete with subtle hooks, and solid, yet quiet beats. But for all its creativity and variety, V is for Vagina is not a flawless album, with the preaching on “Sour Grapes” and the somewhat plodding “Drunk With Power” serving as less than exciting filler. But the sultry lounge number “Rev 22:20” however more than makes up for such shortcomings. It will be interesting to see what the world makes of PUSCIFER, as most of the powerful, evocative vocals of Keenan are vastly subdued for this album. Yet his charisma and inventive arrangements remain, with V is for Vagina delivering an original and unique entry in to the complex catalog of heavy alternative rock’s most enigmatic frontman. (Pucifer Entertainment)