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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 1138 ratings

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5 stars Trăsnet!!

With a title that introduces you into a dark, sinister and at times funebre concept, De-Loused In The Comatorium is this band's compelling, perfectly pointed and well crafted album, regardless of how the next in line Francis The Mute and Amputechture exhibit a monumental complexity, respectively a new wave of hard a la mode music. As a debut (blended toughly after a couple of short releases, such Tremulant), it is stronger than expected, with a steam of elements sounding rather far from an artistic reach, nevertheless sounding deeply ravishing.

The whole experience decides whether this is a top pick or not: it bloodbends (with) your temper, it crashes down on you (whilst staying a coherent work of hard nerves), it has few frigid accidentals (having, instead, some experimental ones, it has a striking chill and a numb-free level of sound beneath a consuming, high-driving, spice munch of music, rock and deep beats.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala steps up as an iconic musician, with its hyper-kinetic voice and verse shaking much of the music's faith; the lyrics themselves can be a real deal regarding abstractions and concept heaviness, even if, when getting to know them deeper, everything is quite an easy read; what's left out, both on account of Lopez and the lyrics, is more sensuality, as well as more unusual timbres/lines (which will get used in further recordings and moods). Vigorously painted is also the indie instrumentality, powered mostly by Omar-Rodriguez Lopez's and Jon Theodore's psychedelic fun for hard rock, new music jams and technical foliations. Mars Volta impress on De-Loused In The Comatorium as a band open towards alternative rock and pronounced heavy rock, much of everything being a maelstrom of sensations and kicks, of plain grooves and inkly explosions, of metallic toughness and tern pleasures. While noticing a fair doze of pop music, metal or "splash rock" in this weighted cloud of adrenaline, the fully experimental or "rock eclectic" elements are more precious over the next albums, whereas here they're not that much accounted for.

Most of the pieces, except the hardest of all (Cicatriz), aren't that difficult in structure, breaking waves with a theme or two (vocal and jam-instrumental), a couple of improvisation loops, then leaving a dry atmosphere (sometimes experimenting with "sounds" and "dark textures" till the leap into the next piece). In senses though, every piece is part of a narrative intense music. The first six pieces, as a group, would suit just fine the band's greatness and the music's richness, being coagulant, pinching, fascinating compositions: Inertiatic in an indie-metal easy (pop) style, Roulette Darts with a heat of rock and a second part of melancholic volatilizations, Drunkship Of Lanters with a masterful color of hardcore between an unleash of intensities, and Eriataka as a switch-off that has dreamy and shouting moments. But De-Loused In The Comatorium goes on, asking more, since Cicatriz is immense, especially with its middle-part anaerobic spirit of blunt improvisation; only near the end more minor pieces appear, with This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed being (for what it's praised) a lot less stupendous, Televators shaping again a hard and prog mixed pill, and Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt having a tired edge, yet a formidable finale.

In the end, it's fair to see this band's debut in more than one light: modest or just good for any prog rock fan that's not in line with the new tendency, great or amazing for Mars Volta fans and a lot of those that feel fascinated by new music and new prog, extraordinary if it cuts deep in your flesh and your soul or has all the right ingredients to leave you speechless. A lot of the above hardly change further on, and yet, in contrast with the variable next results, De-Loused In The Comatorium remains this band's best "carte-de-visite". And, I would risk, a defining album for the closing decade.

Ricochet | 5/5 |


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