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The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 1006 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
5 stars Wow, I love this album. Like all extremely good prog albums (Yes' Topographic Oceans may be an exception), it consists of a few massively long songs, divided up into separate sections for operatic effect. The album has a very consistent 'hard rock' feel and gives the song a really good kick for the ear. Most self respecting prog fans will appreciate this album in its glory and although it takes a few listens, it is well worth it.

1. Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus: A great opening track with typical Mars Volta heaviness, sophistication and technicality. Also has a very nice 19/16 riff in the middle which gives it a Rush-esque feel about it. Good in most prog songs. (9/10)

2. The Widow: Clearly the main theme of the album, can easily get away with being an everyday power ballad. Some bluesy type arrangements and instrumentation played very well indeed, while Bixler Zavala's vocals and melody are also very good a moving. (8/10)

3. L'vi L'viaquez: Absolutely fantastic piece of Latin Rock here, vocals and guitar work at top notch. Despite the foreign lyrics, the song has a very catchy tune, making it yet another great Mars Volta number. The samba like breaks dotted around the song make effective progression and in my opinion makes the album worthwhile. Best out of the 5. (10/10)

4. Miranda the Ghost: A nice calming, atmospheric song to prepare you for the finale, Cassandra Gemini. The vocals and keyboards especially stick out on this one, and although there are some massive gapped of effects, they shouldn't really matter at all as the anticipation for a great middle is there. Despite being my least favourite on the album, it is still a very good song and deserves credit. (7/10)

5. For a final song, this really does bring the album to a whole new level. One of the very few bands to have reached the 30 minute target, one could anticipate boredom throughout the last 15 minutes. This is not the case. The music keeps you on your toes for the whole 30 minute period and has shifts in time signature, mood, key, volume, progression, you name it, it has it. I could describe it as a summary of all that a prog fan needs, however adapted to Mars Volta's style. Overall it is an extremely epic song that afterwards feels like you've been taken of the adventure of a lifetime. Truly a remarkable piece of work. (10/10)

A great piece of work from a truly underrated band, one of my favourite albums of all time, and probably one of the best from the past twenty or so years. An incredible masterpiece that's well worth getting.

The Pessimist | 5/5 |


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