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The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet CD (album) cover

NOCTOURNIQUET

The Mars Volta

 

Heavy Prog

3.53 | 305 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

russellk
Prog Reviewer
3 stars With this, their last album before a timely disbanding, THE MARS VOLTA complete the transition from a psyched-out retro-prog band to a standard rock band with a few tricks. Gone are the epic tracks, the demented guitars, the crazy concepts. All that is left are the songs and, despite their undoubted quality, they're not quite enough.

Part of the problem is that by this point the band is itself a slimmed-down version of the eight-man goliath from their glory days. No Ikey on keyboards is a severe loss, for example (as was his untimely passing in 2014). But at the heart of it is the disintegration of the relationship between Rodríguez-López and Bixler-Zavala. Hard to make great music when the trust and respect isn't there. So, with a few exceptions, the songs here are one dimensional, pallid imitations of their previous work.

All that said, there are plenty of bands who would be proud to have Empty Vessels, Aegis, The Malkin Jewel and the last two minutes of In Absentia on their resume. On the other hand, there are more than a few clunkers on this album, particularly near the end.

A great band. Whether they appealed to you or not, you should be grateful for the way they pushed the boundaries of hard, psychedelic prog rock. Just not on this album.

russellk | 3/5 |

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