A PER­FECT Circle

VIR­GIN NOVEM­BER 2003 THIR­TEENTH STEP

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Albums. Lives. Merch. -

Fol­low­ing the un­mit­i­gated suc­cess of the US su­per­group’s de­but, Ham­mer’s Rosanna Slater the­o­rised that sec­ond time around “crit­i­cal com­men­da­tion” was APC’s goal. Kick­ing off with the epic The Pack­age, Thir­teenth

Step set out to voice what the band called “a con­cep­tual ex­plo­ration of the darker side of the hu­man psy­che” – ad­dic­tion and re­cov­ery from it. The push and pull be­tween Tool front­man May­nard Keenan, who favoured a softer, at­mo­spheric di­rec­tion, and gui­tarist Billy How­erdel, keen on heavy­ing things up, pre­sented a fas­ci­nat­ing dy­namic, though Rosanna ob­served that the re­sults could be an “awein­spir­ing build up with­out an ac­tual cli­max”. Nev­er­the­less, she awarded the al­bum nine out of 10, call­ing it “a mod­ern clas­sic.”

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