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

DE-LOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM

The Mars Volta

 

Heavy Prog

4.19 | 1181 ratings

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Kempokid
5 stars When The Mars Volta burst into the music scene with their debut album in 2003, massive ripples were caused, and it isn't difficult to see why. This album's application of modern alternative and post-hardcore influence in their sound, along with the dramatic, energetic nature of them made them an incredibly unique band. The Mars Volta happens to be one of my favourite bands, with their first 3 albums all being utter masterpieces in my opinion, with this album being the one that I can consider to be near perfect.

The album starts off incredibly, with Son et Lumiere setting the melancholy tone of the album perfectly, before transitioning into the wonderful Inertiatic Esp, which is undoubtedly one of the peaks of the album in terms of pure energy. Cedric's vocals, while not necessarily amazing, are extremely dramatic and emotive, with his wails of "Now I'm lost" sounding incredible due to this. The next few songs, from Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of) to Eriatarka, all sound fairly similar, yet each maintain enough identity to properly define themselves. While Roulette Dares has a strong focus on the chorus, along with the verses sounding quite chaotic, Drunkship of Lanterns has a great deal of focus on a constant, driving pace and energy, never slowing down until the very end, seguing perfectly into the much softer Eriatarka. Out of these, I'm personally not too much of a fan of Roulette Dares, due to it feeling somewhat uninteresting and slightly overlong without any particularly strong moment to back it up, while Eriatarka is one of the highlights of the album for me, due to the exceptional chorus and the softer nature of it, providing some respite after the insanity of the previous songs. The way that the chorus transforms in the third appearance of it, containing different rhythm and instrumentation is nothing short of amazing, and was the moment that solidified my high opinion of the band.

After Eriatarka, the second half of the album kicks in with another definite highlight, Cicatriz Esp. This song is nothing short of a masterpiece, with a bassline that no matter how many times I listen to it, still blows me away every time, being backed up by some of Cedric's best vocal work on the album. This 12 minute piece utilises some extended jams and ambience in the middle section, providing some nice atmosphere and making the final chorus even more impactful, being further elevated by the overdubbing of Cedric's vocals. The next track, This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed, is the other song that I consider to be slightly weaker than the rest of the songs, simply having nothing in particular that defines it from others. Televators manages to be another incredible song on the other hand, being more minimalistic in certain areas, mainly having a lack of insanely technical instrumentation. This song also features the best of Cedric in his entire career, with him hitting high notes extremely cleanly while putting so much emotion behind everything sung. The final song on the album, Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt is definitely my personal choice for best song on the album, providing even more experimentation and fully displaying the skills of each member of the band. The song switches up its style constantly, jumping from vocals that sound more spoken (well, yelled) than sung, to pouring his heart out in a chorus, transitioning into an instrumental section that incorporates some jazz elements, as well as containing a solo which I can only describe as obscene. The song ends quite abruptly in a burst of energy that hadn't been felt since the opening moments of Inertiatic Esp, ending the album in a similar fashion to the way it began.

The energy found throughout this album is amazing, with incredible amounts of technicality displayed by everyone, creating a powerful overall sound that occasionally can become a wall of noise. Despite the seemingly chaotic nature of the album, the production allows for each instrument to be heard completely, allowing the skilful musicianship of each member to be heard in their full glory. As stated at the start of the review, while I do prefer the two albums after this more than this one, I do think that this is the band at their most cohesive and perfect, as other than a couple of small gripes with it (particularly with Roulette Dares, which a lot of people seem to love, so I'll leave that one as purely up to preference) I honestly cannot fault this album. This is one of those albums which I'll heavily recommend to almost anyone, but keep in mind that if you aren't a fan of the somewhat noisier side of music, you likely won't fully enjoy this album. at least the first couple of times through, but if you're looking for some prog with a more modern spin on things, l highly recommend you check this out.

Kempokid | 5/5 |

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