Mer de Noms

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Mer de Noms
Studio album by A Perfect Circle
Released May 23, 2000
Genre Alternative rock, alternative metal
Length 44:25
Label Virgin
Producer Billy Howerdel
A Perfect Circle chronology
Mer De Noms
Thirteenth Step
Singles from Mer de Noms
  1. "Judith"
    Released: August 8, 2000
  2. "The Hollow"
    Released: October 17, 2000
  3. "3 Libras"
    Released: February 13, 2001
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Entertainment Weekly A−[2]
Melody Maker 4/5 stars[3]
MTV Asia (8/10)[4]
NME (7/10)[5]
Q 4/5 stars[6]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[7]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[8]
Rock Hard (de) 8.5/10[9]

Mer de Noms (French for "sea of names") is the debut album by American rock band A Perfect Circle. The album was released under Compact Disc format on May 23, 2000. It was certified platinum by the RIAA on October 31, 2000. The album entered the Billboard 200 at No. 4, making it the highest ever Billboard 200 debut for a rock band's first album.[10] It sold over 188,000 copies in the first week, and stayed on the charts for 51 consecutive weeks.[11] The album peaked at No. 27 on the Billboard Top Pop Catalog Albums on October 4, 2003, three years after the album's release. Mer de Noms has since been released on vinyl record format.


Most of the album's lyrics were dedicated to various people that lead singer Maynard James Keenan knew. The track listing consists of various names such as "Judith", "Breña", "Rose", "Thomas", "Magdalena", "Orestes", and "Renholdër" (for musician Danny Lohner).

The symbols on the front cover of the album can be translated to "La Cascade des Prénoms," which translated to English means "the waterfall of first names".


In 2005, Mer de Noms was ranked number 443 in Rock Hard magazine's book of The 500 Greatest Rock & Metal Albums of All Time.[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Billy Howerdel and Maynard James Keenan

No. Title Length
1. "The Hollow"   2:58
2. "Magdalena"   4:06
3. "Rose"   3:26
4. "Judith"   4:07
5. "Orestes"   4:48
6. "3 Libras"   3:39
7. "Sleeping Beauty"   4:10
8. "Thomas"   3:29
9. "Renholdër"   2:24
10. "Thinking of You"   4:34
11. "Breña"   4:24
12. "Over"   2:21
Japanese Edition
No. Title Length
13. "Orestes (Demo)" (Bonus Track) 3:24
The vinyl version contains "Sleeping Beauty" with extended intro (04:57) and alternate mix of "Over" (03:07).


A legend depicting the symbol's letters transliterated from the Latin alphabet.

Inside the insert the track names appear to be randomly spelled out in symbols. One way to decipher the symbols is to match the song titles using the normal alphabet with the song titles inside the insert.

The symbols which have popularly become known online as “APC Text”, “Mayan”, or “Elegant Mayan”, have become widespread, appearing in tattoos, computer fonts, and independent artwork.

Inside the insert there are twelve pictures (one for each song) and next to each one a song title, and beneath that a portion of the song's lyrics all written out in the symbols shown above. An example of this would be the drawing of the red octopus, which has the song name "Orestes" and "Sever this umbilical residue" beneath it.


Additional musicians
  • Tim Alexander - drums on "The Hollow"
  • Luciano Lenchantin - viola on "3 Libras"
  • Draven Godwin - percussion on "'Thomas"
  • Kelli Shafer - vocals on "Renholdër"


Year Chart Position
2000 Billboard 200 4
Top Canadian Albums 5
Top Internet Albums 5
Year Single Chart Position
2000 "Judith" Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
Modern Rock Tracks 5
"3 Libras" Mainstream Rock Tracks 12
Modern Rock Tracks 12
2001 "The Hollow" Mainstream Rock Tracks 14
Modern Rock Tracks 17


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Entertainment Weekly review
  3. ^ Melody Maker review
  4. ^ MTV Asia review
  5. ^ NME review
  6. ^ Q review
  7. ^ Rolling Stone review
  8. ^ Sputnikmusic review
  9. ^ Rensen, Michael. "Rock Hard". issue 157. Retrieved 22 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "A Perfect Circle Storms Onto Chart with Highest Debuting First Album Ever From a Rock Band". NY Rock. June 2, 2000. Retrieved 2009-11-12. 
  11. ^
  12. ^ [...], Rock Hard (Hrsg.). [Red.: Michael Rensen. Mitarb.: Götz Kühnemund] (2005). Best of Rock & Metal die 500 stärksten Scheiben aller Zeiten. Königswinter: Heel. p. 32. ISBN 3-89880-517-4. 
  13. ^

External links[edit]