Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 1136 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars De-loused in the Comatorium begins with an intro song named Son et Lumiere, which builds up tension very well. The tension is achieved with three things - the steady melody in the background, Cedric Bixler-Zavala's controlled singing and the surprising sonic blasts that just come out of nowhere and vanish as fast as they came. The lyrics are weird and cryptic (and that stays the same during the whole album's length) and I won't go analyzing them, someone already did that (chrisjeffs). Anyways, Son et Lumiere being the song it is - an intro, that is, it of course goes seamlessly together with the beginning of the next song.

Well, if the sonic blasts (that's how I call 'em, I don't know any proper terms, ha. I'm not an native speaker, forgive me!) of Son et Lumiere hit you like a punch in the face then Inertiatic ESP (no, the ESP doesn't refer to the guitar brand... at least I think so.) is like a cannonball to the stomach - now it really goes "BOOM!". Cedric unleashes his "slightly" feminine voice and goes... very high (hehe, pun... not intended?) with it. That may be a bit hard to swallow for some people but at least it's different and makes Mars Volta distinctive. A pretty common thing for Mars Volta songs is the use of some kinda "snare-machineguns" (my own term, again) and this makes no exception. But they fit the songs usually, them being as intense as the songs, too. After the "now I'm lost"-chorus (...chorus) comes a weird-sounding guitar solo (you know, dissonances etc.), followed by a nice-sounding part in which the singing is supported by a nice tremolo. Inertiatic ESP is about 4 min long and probably one of the most easiest song to understand with it's almost radio single -type structure.

The next song is Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of). It begins with a little tension-building intro and then it just explodes into full chaos. The good type, of course. And after this, a mellow part (with a sudden volume change - The Volta doesn't usually build them). And then the theme repeats. And then we get to an eccentric guitar solo which is backed with an tight drum beat. Then... Some kind of a verse from which we move onto the rollercoaster of volumes. A fast squeeze, a laid-back jamming part, a variation of the theme (with awesome drums!). As I said, the song is a rollercoaster of volume levels but that doesn't mean it hasn't got the soul or the hook - it's got both and it's awesome.

And then there is an interlude named Tira Me a las Arañas in which acoustic guitar is used (!) along the basic effect pedal jamming. And then there's a weird, intensifying noise. The song isn't really anything special, but it builds up for the next song and it maybe gives a little rest between the songs.

Drunkship of Lanterns is the next song. A wonderful bongo-drumset-intro-thingy supports the pretty funky feeling of the whole song and of course Cedric does an awesome job with the singing, too. After the intro we get some "dialogue" kinda thing, you know, question - answer -structure. And then the theme recurs with bongos getting into a dominating position once again. Then a cool guitar solo and drums that are played with an animalish intensity. Towards the end there appears some "noise"-things and even though noise sounds negative in a sense, the parts fit the song very well.

Eriatarka is the next song and as far as I know many have it as their favorite song from the album. It begins with four snare hits which are followed by slower, mellower floating in another worlds... An ethereal part, should I say. Then tension begans to build and it's released when the chorus comes. Then... Weird soundscapes and oh, so wonderful ethereal worlds. Love 'em. Cedric's voice is controlled and maybe easier to digest than in the fast parts. A bridge to the chorus, whose tension level is just amazing. That is being followed by an different part - some kind of a fusion of the ethereal spheres and pure power. Then the chorus, then eth--no, what the hell is happening? Some kind of church bells? A radio doesn't work? What the--

Cicatriz ESP, the first "epic" on the album. The first verse is wonderful, until it suddenly stops. Completely. A silent noise... resembling a helicopter, maybe? KABOOM! The chorus blasts! Then a more controlled part, again. Some jamming. Some very cool jamming, I mean. That is followed by many minutes of ambient worlds, a nice break and a journey into mysterious places. A guitar solo and the theme repeated once again. All in all Cicatriz is a nicely controlled but still diverse package which maintains the theme during the whole song.

The next song is This Apparatus must be Unearthed which is pretty rollercoasterish, too. But this song has volume changes that are built up, too! Not only sudden changes... even though they are not absent, either. The vocal melodies of this song are very good, I think, and they are very emotional, too. This is one of the shortest proper songs in the album - I'm not counting the intro or the interlude. That doesn't mean that this would be simple, no, actually this has much more variety than what Inertiatic ESP has. Maybe even the six-minute long Eriatarka is more accessible than this one. Nevertheless, this maintains the awesome quality of the whole album.

Televators is the next song. It's maybe the only ballad (Mars Volta -style ballad, of course, this is no basic song either) on the disc and... it's the most emotional and beautiful song on the disc. Electric guitar doesn't dominate, the only drums are bongo drums, acoustic guitar is used during the whole song and the backing vocals support the melodies very well. Very good, very good, certainly the most beautiful song on the disc and one of the most beautiful songs what Mars Volta has.

Now, this is a part what I've been waiting for. Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt, my personal favorite of the whole Mars Volta song catalogue. The feeling is just awesome and the frantic vocals in the first verse are something that differ from the other vocals. Not completely, but still enough. They give a nice touch to the verse... "You take the veil"-chorus is very Mars Volta -ish (speaking of style and intensity, sounds etc.) and that includes of course complete awesomeness. Then we got a chaotic mess of sounds as an some kind of a interlude, just to be followed by a blast, a wonderful verse. The next part is an ambient -thingy, very nicely fitting into the song, I think. And then, one of my favorite parts Mars Volta has ever done - the robotic part! The guitar sounds like a robot and it's supported with a wacky drum beat. Just... great. Then a bass thingy, which is soon supported by the whole instrumental section. A very funky part, if you will. Very easy-going in a sense. Slowly we wander to the massive nuclear explosion preceded by before mentioned "snare-machinegun". This is a recurring theme, too. Then very intense howls are heard... Cedric succeeds (again)! The end is very frantic and chaotic... a brilliant ending.

De-Loused in the Comatorium is besides a brilliant debut also an awesome album. On this album Mars Volta has achieved the essence they have yet to achieve again in the future - when every song is a masterpiece. Not too short, or, as many times a problem for Volta songs, too long, usually caused by too much jamming. Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Omar Rodriguez-Lopéz has composed 10 masterpieces which are hectic, but musically very deep and multilayered. Nobody who dares to explore and listen to new things open-mindedly should miss this piece of art. But you are warned - don't set any expectations about the music, or if you set, you should be careful because those exceptations probably shatter to pieces already when Inertiatic ESP blasts on. One of the best albums ever and that is an even more respectable achievement for a debut. Listen to it.

PS. If you've seen this on Rate your music written by Exodeus, it's me, don't worry. :D

Tzibo | 5/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Share this THE MARS VOLTA review

Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives