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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 1007 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
2 stars 20 Minutes of good music buried under 76 minutes of nonsense.

The Mars Volta along with Mr Bungle were one of the bands that got me into prog back in 2003, by most accounts de-loused in the comatorium was a stellar release, unfortunately the follow up is an exercise in tedium.

Thing start off well enough with in my opinion the best song on the album 'Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus' with that frenetic syncopated feel we were introduced to on de-loused but it' let down at the end by a 3 minute outro of semi-electro and random samples. Next up the widow is the token single it's easily the worst song on the album and really isn't prog in the slightest (and yet it's followed up with yet another 3 minute nonsensical outro). 'l'via l'viaquez' is a decent song with some hard rock wailing by John Frusciante and a furious latin motif with an interesting ethnic percussion breakdown, this song features an outro that's over 5 minutes long, thankfully it's not as boring as the first two. 'Miranda that Ghost isn't Holy Anymore' is pretty much a summary of what I don't like about this album, the whole thing is pretty much an intro (or is that an outro?, it's hard to tell).

The 30 minute Cassandra Gemini is a decent epic it has quite a bit of music in it comparatively but it still has about 10 minutes in the middle of pointlessness and it doesn't really hold my attention, the sax jamming is good at the end of the middle section though, the main chorus of the song is a bit of a sticking for me, it's a bit too whiny and poppy.

Frances the Mute was a grand disappointment for me, I was expecting something as good or even better than de-loused but I found myself drowned in a swamp of intros, outros and pointless noise with the occasional chunk of good music floating by. Recommended if you are prepared to press fast forward a lot on your CD player.

FruMp | 2/5 |


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