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The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 1138 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
5 stars One of the best prog albums of the 21st century.

De-loused in the Comatorium is a concept album centering around the death of the good friend of guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala and it is an eclectic mix of different styles and musicians from different backgrounds and when it is all brought together it makes for a fantastic modern prog album full of diverse and interesting songs incorporating latin music prog and post-punk.

The instrumentation on this album is great, Jon Theodore wails on his drum kit with some great syncopated beats and odd time signatures, Juan Aldrette has some serious bass groove and is always adding something to the music and fitting in little licks, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez comes up with some outlandish riffs, Ikey Owens adds some organ chunk to the mix and Cedric Bixler-Zavala wails nonsensically over the top of it all (admittedly a downfall at times).

As far as highlights go there are many, intro son et lumiere and single inertiatic are a fairly poor start to the album, it's fairly odd songwriting but it's still fairly accesible but at times annoying.

Schizophrenic 'Roulette Dares' is an exceptional piece of music, starting off quietly before we are subject to a wall of syncopated noise abound with heavily effected voice and organ before moving into mellow emotionally involved territory, moving through various planes before coming back down for a melancholy ending with Rodriguez-Lopez offering some of his most sincere guitar work. Next we have the eerie acoustic intro song Tira me las Aranas leading into the face paced latin feel of 'Drunkship of Lanterns' with Theodore on fire with some great use of dynamics and some great percussion work too, props must also be given to Aldrette as he adds a lot in this song without doing an awful lot which is a sign of a great bassist. Next up the good times continue with 'Eriatarka' starting with a sincere dreamy verse giving way to a dense syncopated chorus in true MARS VOLTA style. 'Cicatriz ESP' is another fantastic song, very groovy with the latin feel again present, Rodriguez-Lopez's unorthodox take on music comes to the fore here with some great riffs that just seem so different from other guitarists. The middle section of the song can get a bit boring but it's worth it for the nice guitar duel at the end with supporting bass and percussion before the groove comes back in and ends the song.

'This apparatus is unearthed' is one of the weaker songs on the album which is unfortunate as it invokes some of the similar tones of the bands stellar debut EP 'Tremulant'. Penultimate track 'Televators' is easily the weakest song on the album, it's overly emotional and is a lot more toned down, accesible and slow paced than the other songs on the album. All is well in the end though with the album ending on a high note with arguably the best song on the album 'Take the veil cerpin taxt', starting off with a fairly stripped back sound for the verse and a decent chorus but the best bit comes after with the scynopated freak out and break down section leading into Rodriguez-Lopez' 'Robot-riff' as I like to call it a very atonal disjointed riff in a very odd time signature and then with a bit of a bass solo we are led into a funky jam and probably the highlight of the album before it ends on an energetic high note rounding out the album with great use of dynamics.

Overall De-Loused in the comatorium is a fantastic varied and unique album full of great songs and is easily one of if not the best prog record released in the new millenium although it does have it's downpoints notably the highpitched nonsensical vocals but they are fairly easy to get over and get used to. Highly recommended to fans of modern music as well as prog.

FruMp | 5/5 |


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