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The Mars Volta - Frances The Mute CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.05 | 838 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars In "De-loused in the Comatorium", The Mars Volta presented their original and conceptual musical sensitivities in a record that really made the day, even considering they are what you may call an "extreme" band. With "Frances the Mute", the definition of "extremes" get a new dimension. It is quite surprising that starting with a similar presentation to "De-Loused", that is, a conceptual psychedelic album structurally based on the crazy (and brilliant at the same time) Zabala's vocals and Omar Rodriguez's guitar loops and solos, we can find a quite different album with its own personality.

"Frances the Mute" revolves around three epics, two of them ("Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus" and "l'via viaquez") being the two best songs of the album, an interlude between those first two ("The Widow"), and a set of shorter songs linked each other to form what you may consider as a fourth epic, "Cassandra Gemini".

Like I mentioned earlier, this album goes to the extreme, and I am one of those who thinks that extremes are not usually good. I mean, "Cygnus... Vismund Cygnus" and "l'via viaquez" are two excellent epics that show pieces of the good work shown in "De-loused"."The Window" and "Miranda, that ghost isn't holy anymore" are two contemplative songs that you may like or not ( I pesonally find them rather intrascendent). And finally, the set that revolves around "Cassandra Gemini" is quite irregular, it has its good moments and others not so good and the main problem here is the famous 'noise', that maybe intended to be original but that I find rather disturbing most of the time (although sometimes it seems to fit with the psychedelic nature of the album)

So, I'm not sure to say if this record was a step back from "De-loused in the Comatorium", simply because they are two different things (although there may be the ones who don't think so), but what I can say is that The Mars Volta probably exceeded themselves here. You know, chaos can be something interesting but an excess of it can distort the initial idea. It is a pity because this album has really good moments.

shyman | 3/5 |


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