Amidst societal strife and global pandemic, Maynard James Keenan returns with the most personal and human of his three main bands, reviving Puscifer with the group's fourth official full-length, Existential Reckoning. As the title suggests, this time things are more serious than usual and the core trio of Keenan, Carina Round, and Mat Mitchell crafted a politically charged takedown of the state of the world circa 2020. Although Reckoning stands as one of the most subdued -- and least sophomoric -- Puscifer albums, it swaps out their usual hallmarks in favor of substance and emotion, resulting in their tightest and most thematically focused output to date.
The Lowdown: Puscifer's fourth studio album sees the enigmatic vocalist Maynard James Keenan (Tool, A Perfect Circle) joined once more by core members Mat Mitchell (guitar/production) and Carina Round (vocals/songwriting), among others. Existential Reckoning is their first LP in five years (Money Shot dropped in 2015). On the new effort, Puscifer offer up another go-round of electro-arty rock tunes, which lyrically seem to follow the continuing adventures of characters Billy D, and his wife, Hildy Berger … with the former purportedly the victim of an alien abduction.