September 19, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

On A Perfect Circle’s second album, frontman Maynard James Keenan sounds as elliptically tortured as ever, reeling out impressionistic laments in his portentous baritone. Keenan, who doubles as singer for misery-mates Tool, famously refuses to discuss the specifics of his demons in interviews, but his band’s winding, off-kilter rhythms and contrapuntal guitar riffs create an ominous atmosphere that’ll make you inclined to forgive his stubbornness.

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