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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 1138 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

The Monodrone
5 stars An astounding album full of detail, ambience, and raw power and performance. When I first heard the name "The Mars Volta," the first thing that popped in my head was the image and sound of some indie/punk-emo band.... but when I first HEARD them, it was unlike any experience I've ever had.....

First off, I heard about the Mars Volta from some old Guitar World magazine, which featured some up-and-coming creative guitar-oriented bands. It showed some comparisons of their sound, which included the likes of Rush, Fugazi, Pink Floyd and King Crimson. I was already a big fan of Rush and Floyd, so I decided to go to my nearest record store and pick up the album. The cover art is very intriguing, by the way. If you look closely, you can see a boy in the background with his hands over his mouth. Strange but brilliant art.

When I popped the album in the CD player and heard about the first two songs, I knew this was a very special band and a very important album in regards to Modern Prog. The Mars Volta seemlessly channel old 70s bands like King Crimson, Pink Floyd, Yes, and the sporadic craziness of The Mahavishnu Orchestra. The band never over-channel, though, or go retro; they're always going for something original and unforeseen. Most notably, Cedric Zavala's vocals hit Robert Plant-highs, but his voice is slightly higher. His vocals can seem very annoying to some, and they do take some getting used to, but after that you realize that he's the only vocalist capable enough for the rest of the band.

The music in this album features loads of jazz rock/metal, metal, ambience, and much Latin-influenced beats and rhythms. As one of my first tastings of free-jazz, this album has made me respect and like the genre much more. The bass guitar and drums work so well together to paint the background beats and rhythms that the added guitar, vocals, effects, synth add to the music to create a sound that is musically genius. This is a concept album but can often times seem very cryptic and nonsensical: don't be afraid, though, as the lyrics are catchy and fit very well with the music. The lyrics are also very narrative. ( For more info on the concept, The Mars Volta distribute a free PDF-file of the whole story, along with the lyrics and where they fit in with the story ).

The strongest songs in the album have to be: "Inertiatic ESP," "Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)," the groovy, pounding "Drunkship of Lanterns" (great mystic lyrics!), the explosive "Eriatarka," ambient-drenched "Cicatriz ESP", "This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed," and the punkish/mellotroned- "Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt." Every song is above a Four Stars, though these are the most powerful and creative.

Overall, an amazing album that, without any hesitation or problems, blends several genres (free-jazz, metal, punk, rock, ambient, acoustic, Latin, bass & drums) together to create the beginning of the stand-alone Mars Volta sound. My favorite album of all time, and a MUST- HAVE for ANYONE, no matter what your favorite music styles are. Get this album. Enjoy every last breath-taking sound. 5+ Stars.

The Monodrone | 5/5 |


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