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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 1138 ratings

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4 stars Around about a year ago, I was watching MTV. I don't why but instead of their usual boy-bands and lust-inducing underaged girls, MTV was going a "rock show". I barely paid attention as one dull outfit after another came on ... The Strokes, The Stripes, The Strikes, The Strobes (I'm only half-joking here!) ... they all sounded the same to me. And then out of the blue, I heard it ... the awesome spine-chilling sound of The Mars Volta's Inertiatic ESP. It's a song I'm still in love with, and it fuelled my obssession with The Mars Volta. In fact, the little waltz section (towards the end of the song) alone is worth more to me than many a modern progressive rock album.

Throughout the course of this album you will hear evidence that The Mars Volta's main men Cedric and Omar have been listening to Yes (particularly Heart Of the Sunrise), King Crimson, Pink Floyd and even Santana. Yet what sets The Mars Volta apart from many other progressive rock acts of our time is that they have an original sound that manages to sound cutting edge to today's youngsters yet has enough invention to appeal to hardcore proggers. I'm not one of those who's going to go overboard though. Just like Marillion who I believe made some of the best prog of the 80s, The Mars Volta may be best of their time, but still don't compare to the greats of the 70s.

I'd say about 70% of this album is top notch. I love the laid-back tune Televators with that gorgeous harmony vocal part and delicate acoustic guitar playing. I like the chaotic, razor's edge feel of the conluding tune Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt, which also does a great job of "wandering" through a spaced-out jam segment before returning to the main song. I love the melancholy verses and the underused guitar riff (that preceeds the chorus ... and is actually drowned out by it) of Roulette Dares. I think the vocals and lyrics are awesome, but there are times when I get lost, and other times when I feel the band repeats the same brilliant trick too often (for example those rapid-fire drum rolls of Jon Theodore, or the fact that some choruses and guitar solos sound interchangeable.)

I had a tough time with the stars on this one ... if you compare it for example to the 3 stars that I gave most Camel albums, you might think I prefer listening to The Mars Volta whereas I actually enjoy De-Loused as much as Rain Dances, Breathless, etc ... but I've given De-Loused an extra star because of how fresh it sounds in relation to the competition. In some ways, this is an album that made me believe again! ... 71% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 4/5 |


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