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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 1006 ratings

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Prog Reviewer

The debut album form Mars Volta was an extremely good surprise for the rock community (including myself). The ocean of wildness combined to a fantastic guitar play was an absolute topper.

IMO, this one is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long and holds too many useless "experimentation" passages to be a masterpiece or even a great album. The major problem of this record sits in those endless improv which don't make any sense.

The opening number holds a bunch of rock influences but its own structure (especially the closing part) just makes it somewhat useless. I was amazed to read that the band doesn't SEEM to acknowledge a DEEP similarity or even Led Zep filiation.

My favorite song from this endless album is "The Widow". For about three minutes, I could cope with a great sub- Since I've Been Loving You". But the second half is just a filler. And this is again the negatives of this album.

Each of the tracks are filled with either a useless intro or outro. My second fave (if "The Widow" would have been cut after three minutes) is the bloody good "lviaquez". Fantastic and incredible guitar play. Only this comment: Spanish lyrics during the wild beat and English lyrics during the Latin rhythmic part. Quite in opposition with one could have expected. But the long and closing section (three minutes) is just a filler. Did I miss something?

The band acknowledged some deep influences form Syd (and hence the VERY early Floyd). The only moment during one can feel this relation is during the psyche intro of "Miranda". But as usual, after a decent song, the band is going to experiment some useless directions which will culminate in the closing part.

"Cassandra" is IMO, an overlong and self-indulgent piece of rock music. Nothing original in here. The first part of this song has the indefinite flavour of "Achilles Last Stand" in its early phase and again during the "improvisation" the glued structured of "Dazed " is so much a remembering.

I am hilarious when I read that this album is incredibly innovative, modern, original... This is a good album but should have been at least twenty minutes shorter. It borrows lots of the great music from the late sixties. Not too much originality in here.

Three stars.

ZowieZiggy | 3/5 |


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