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The Mars Volta - A Missing Chromosome CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.51 | 36 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Pessimist
Prog Reviewer
2 stars The Missing Chromosome is a compilation of all the rare EP and non-album tracks from The Mars Volta's lifespan up until Amputechture. As expected, none of their more popular songs are on this record, so don't assume you are going to be as thrilled as when you listened to De-loused for the first time. But, the fact of the matter is, some of their best material lies deep within this compilation EP, and most Volta fans will something here. First, I will mention the songs not worth listening to. These would be, in my opinion, Concertina (the weakest of the three Tremulant tracks), Ambuletz and The Bible and the Breathalyzer. Concertina and Ambuletz are simply a failed attempt at ambience, and are plain boring with nothing of any value to offer. The Bible... is just noise and probably a failed experiment by Omar, it pains my ears.

Then you have your average Volta tune Cut That City, which although taking a while to start, it has some awesome atonal riffs, and the opening riff in 19/8 is one of my favourites in their catalogue. Definitely worth a ganders.

As for the brilliant tracks, there are three of them. Frances to Mute is actually about 8 minutes in length (editting out all the funky pipe effects at the beginning and the faint recappitulation of the album at the end) but within that 8 minutes we have sheer beauty. The ending is very heavy and is a great headbanging moment for Volta, and the rest is just on par, even the beautiful middle acoustic jam session. Plague Upon Your Hissing is also one of their best, with a superb and energetic drum performance from Theodore. This deserved to be on De-loused, although it wouldn't have fitted in very well. Finally, Eunuch Provocateur is probably my favourite song of all their bonus works, and it is utterly amazing. The jazz influences show up with a radiance, and if you skip the ending, this one will probably grow on you. Indeed, this is well on par with their later catalogue, and they obviously spent a lot of time on this number. I recommend most Mars Volta fans to give this a good listen.

3 terrible, 3 great and one in the middle. I think it's fair to award A Missing Chromosome 2.5 stars, as it also contains some of their unrecognised greatness. Unfortunately, only fans will take something away from it.

The Pessimist | 2/5 |


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