RoD header


puscifer conditionsofmyparole
Artist: Puscifer
Title: Conditions Of My Parole
Genre: Experimental / Post-Industrial / Alternative
Release Date: 18th October 2011
Label: Puscifer Entertainment

Album Review

When Maynard James Keenan is not busy with either TOOL or A PERFECT CIRCLE or any of his other activities, he’s putting his energy into PUSCIFER, his solo project. In his words he describes it as “simply a playground for the various voices in my head, [...] a space with no clear or discernible goals, [...] where my Id, Ego and Anima all come together to exchange cookie recipes.”

Milder than TOOL and less commercial than A PERFECT CIRCLE yet bearing resemblance, PUSCIFER certainly sounds more experimental and a worthy alternative & new angle. Of course it bears Keenan’s razor sharp wit with which he lays into things with black humour and doesn’t leave much untouched. ‘Conditions Of My Parole’ follows on debut ‘”V” is for Vagina’ (2007), and again let’s read what Keenan has to say about its nature “It's equal parts 'Twilight Zone', 'Mayberry' and 'Road Warrior'. The ghosts and aliens, Republicans and Democrats, cowboys and artists living side by side with hostile creatures such as scorpions, spiders, rattlesnakes, javelina and hippies are just a few of the spicy ingredients that give 'Conditions Of My Parole' its unique flavor.” Of course it’s also more than worthy to see it as a show, but for the review at hand, I can only deal with the CD release.

‘Tiny Monsters’ in a way is a bit of a tiny monstrosity as it is a hippie smelling cookie, though with a very interesting beginning and some rhythmic intervals, but it’s a song that is putting me to sleep where it concerns the sung parts - it’d have probably been more enjoyable without them as an instrumental. In ‘The Green Valley’ there are some outstanding banjo and bass moments and the song possesses more ferocity till it goes again into energy slump in ‘Monsoons’. However, it’s more interesting than the first as it is eased by quality of Keenan’s voice, there is an undertone of world music influence but it’s much understated, and the sluggishness fits the theme. Best moment comes with ‘Telling Ghosts’ regarding atmosphere, vocals (Keenan is accompanied by a female vocal here which comes out truly well), the lyrics grab you more, it’s also harder than what you’ve heard until this point and altogether layered.

The following tracks are more experimental and more unexpected or where Keenan turns less predictable or in other words, where his originality shines the most for he’s without a doubt one of the very intelligent, distinctive and creative musicians around. From the songs in this “section” ‘Toma’ stood out with its stripped down nature, something metallic within its sound, the way it turns and echoes and tumbles against itself is remarkable. ‘Conditions Of My Parole’ is truly superb in terms of irony, entertainment, the sheer heck of it. The closing ‘Tumbleweed’ gives more space to the female vocal and one must say that choice of Carina Round was great, her voice just fits with Keenan’s perfectly (as an aside, you’ll also hear Juliette Commagere in ‘Oceans’), furthermore, banjo and erhu lend it a great favour and underline the moodiness of the song.

As a conclusion, PUSCIFER is a great playground for Keenan; ‘Conditions Of My Parole’ proves an interesting and intriguing sophomore album, not to mention stimulating and provoking - all the good reasons to delve into it...


01. Tiny Monsters – 5.35
02. The Green Valley – 3.54
03. Monsoons – 4.17
04. Telling Ghosts – 4.49
05. Horizons – 3.29
06. Man Overboard – 4.18
07. Toma – 3.39
08. The Rapture (Fear is a Mind Killa Mix) – 6.13
09. Conditions of My Parole – 2.54
10. The Weaver – 4.40
11. Oceans – 3.42
12. Tumbleweed – 4.18


Maynard James Keenan & guests

Websites /

Cover Picture

puscifer conditionsofmyparole


Music: 8
Sound: 9
Total: 8.5 / 10

Comments powered by CComment