Puscifer, Conditions of My Parole

John Figlesthaler

By John Figlesthaler

on 10.18.11 in Reviews
Lyrical decadence commingling with sonic opulence

If the name of Maynard James Keenan’s latest bastard brainchild isn’t already loaded with overtly sexual connotations, then maybe its mascot — a CGI demon dominatrix — will whip the point home. Following the oh-so-subtle V is for Vagina, Conditions of My Parole often plays like the soundtrack to a heavy-metal porno in hell’s winery — it’s the kind of record where lyrical decadence commingles with sonic opulence. Longtime fans of Keenan’s other outfits, Tool and A Perfect Circle, know what to expect: Conditions of My Parole ranges from soft electro, where Maynard harmonizes with sensual female vocals, to thrusting guitars with a snarling metallic edge. On the mature ode “Monsoons,” drum machines skitter underneath soothing, echoing vocals, while the title track thrives on a crunching chug vaguely reminiscent of “Stinkfist.” Lyrical schizophrenia abounds; Parole boasts futuristic pirate anthems, run-ins with the law and, of course, plenty of songs devoted to humanity’s foremost preoccupation: sex.