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The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.54 | 575 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Mars Volta - 'The Bedlam in Goliath' 4.0 stars

A strong return to form.

The Mars Volta comes back in full force with this album. The bass playing is a wonderful step-up through the hands of Juan Alderte and Thomas Pridgen on drums adds some new life to the band. Thomas is one of the best drummers in the business now, according to these eyes. Gone is the inconsistency of 'Amputechture' and far away is the endless noise on 'Frances the Mute'. This album is a strong comeback to just playing some fine music.

This is Volta's loudest in-your-face work yet. The tempo rarely slows down and the listener is slammed with noise. I fell in love after my first listen, but beware; this album needs to be played sparingly. The noise is only too much if the listener makes it that way.

There is no hesitation to bring out the energy with the opening number 'Aberinkula'. The vocals, guitars, bass and drums all come in ferociously to really drag the listener in. The song was pretty good and flows right into 'Metatron' creating a two-part opener. Cedric's work on the mic really makes the verses and chorus shine. I found the first five tracks on the album to be flawless pieces, especially 'Goliath'. It features one of their simplest lines reminiscing '21st Century Schizoid Man' which some great solo sections thrown in the middle. Towards the end the intro is played rapidly really closing out this number well. Sadly, after the first five the album does dip a little low. 'Tourniquet Man' is the worst Mars Volta track composed so far in my opinion. Over two minutes of noise and Cedric. bad combo. 'Cavalettas' is also a letdown for being the longest song on the album, leaving me to expect something great. The track fails to deliver in most areas. For the most part, that is the only disappointment on the album. 'Agadez' has one of the best chorus' vocal wise that Cedric has done. 'Askepios' features some of the last weak moments on the album with the first three minutes. Once the funky bass kicks in the song turns into a very nice jam track. 'Ouroborous' is my favorite track on the album. This is the bands' most speedy track, and there is a wonderful breakdown leading into the chorus. About two-thirds through the song it really takes a smooth turn with some a real slow section that slowly starts to speed up with a repeating sax line in the background. The chorus finally hits again with Thomas Pridgen wailing away on the drum-kit to close this fantastic song. 'Soothsayer' adds some middle-eastern influences and some string instruments; a really interesting track. 'Conjugal Burns' sums up the album nicely. I found it to be perfect regarding the typical Mars Volta chemistry. Moving drums, fast guitar, moving vocals and nice effects all mixed fashionably. Another great track on this album.

This is my runner up for album of the year behind Kayo Dot's wonderful work. This year has been quiet the upset for me. Does anybody want to change my views?

ProgBagel | 4/5 |


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