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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.19 | 1134 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

5 stars The Mars Volta's debut is really one of the high points of the 2000's in prog, and easily one of my favorite albums ever written.

Based around a story of a man who attempts to kill himself with rat poison and ends up in a week-long coma in which he confronts his demons, and eventually comes to and throws himself over an overpass. De-Loused is an hour of absolutely fantastic madness.

Son et Lumiere/Inertiatic ESP: Son et is a essentially a mood-setting introductory piece, and it does a great job, the layers of effects and keys fade in, esoteric lyrics commence, and towards the end little bursts of guitars and drums fade into Inertiatic, which is a catchy as all hell firework of a song. Somewhat simplistic being based mainly around one riff, and the song structure essentially being verse-chorus-verse-extended atmospheric break-verse- chorus-verse outro.

Roulette Dares (This Is The Haunt Of): God, as a drummer I just cannot get over how energetic the drumming in this song is, it's another more straight-forward song, essentially remaining interesting in the sheer number of ways that they manage to present the main melodies over the course of 7 minutes, and it really manages to highlight the sort of hard-soft bipolar nature of TMV compositions.

Tira Me A Las Aranas: Transitional piece, cool little guitar diddle with fascinating harmonics, but not much more than that as it fades into Drunkship.

Drunkship of Lanterns: God the drumming on this album, sorry to repeat the point but sweet Jesus I love this mans style. This is the first more progressive piece, song structure is more varied than the previous two lengthy songs, essentially being a verse and chorus and variations then another section that flows out of that. The beat here is unbelievably chaotic, and the guitar work is fantastic, starting to highlight the more Jazz-fusion and Latin music influences, particularly in the solos, while still retaining the high-energy riffing in on top of it all.

Eriatarka: Opens with a relatively calm section, with layer upon layer of guitars, keys, and ambience. Then moves into a rocking section similar to previous songs before taking a brief yet dramatic cut into pure ambience. The guitars then pull you out of the void and after a brief solo back into the calmness of the opening section. Then again into the high energy section and then into a development, which falls somewhere in between and references both sections. Then finally the fast section once more but with a more open guitar sound.

Cicatriz ESP: So here's a longer piece, essentially consists of two similar yet different buildups in a row, based around a great vocal hook. Then a instrumental jam section for a couple of minutes, then a ambient section, then another phase transitioning out of the ambience and back into a more dramatic presentation of the vocal section with more layering and harmonics. Really needs to be heard to be understood, the ambient section always manages to transport me deep into my thoughts, and it's almost like the following phase out signals a return to reality of sorts (which is parallel to what is about to occur in the plot of the album).

This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed: Shorter song as a cool-down, unbelievably great songwriting as with the rest of the album, the band and it's ability to just keep this level of octane going without burning out is just outstanding.

Televators: "Acoustic" song narrating the death of the protagonist, as with the rest of the album there is layer upon layer of stuff that builds over the course of the song, climaxing in a vocal harmony that really just nails the feeling of sorrow, even behind the completely twisted lyrical style. Least proggy track for sure though.

Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt: Holy shit this song. I can't even describe how impossibly epic it is, I really suggest just listening too it, if the last two minutes aren't one of the best closings to an album you've heard, then you've heard a lot of really fantastic album closings I haven't I suppose.

I'd like to make an note to anybody reading this review who hasn't heard the album. If you've notice, many of the songs do have somewhat simple composition, and as a prog fan you may or may not be scoffing at this. I promise you anywhere where there is a verse-chorus- verse going on there are at least 20 (awesome) things going on during those sections. You'll be happy they opted for more cyclical songwriting here, for if they didn't the album would be completely overwhelming.

Redug | 5/5 |


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