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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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Prog Reviewer
5 stars My first tast of The Mars Volta was watching the video to the song Televaters. Now I have to say that I wasnt into prog at the time and this didnt seem like my thing so I (mistakenly) didnt pay it any atention, just thinking they were another of these rubish pop bands, or whatever. But, before the release of their second album Francis the Mute, I heard that they were being called a prog group (though vehmenently denied by the band) that makes full use of jazzr rhythms and spacy passages in their music. I just had to get an ear in on these guys. And boy, am I glad that I did.

On first listen it is quite obviouse that in the prog world they have an extremely unique sound, though I have never heard Cedric and Omar's preceeding band At The Drive-In so I dont know how much of the sound came from there. What you get is a huge contrast; bombastic playing that asaults the senses and challenges you to pay attention, to slow atmospheric electronic "noises" that let you catch your breath and drift away before they build up again. Personally I feel that they got the right mix between ambient and all out rock that helps to define this album. The only exception is that they may have had just a bit to much ambient in the song Cicatrez Esp as it starts to drag on for me. Thankfully, just when I'm beginning to wish that theyd pick up again they do.

As a band well known for their on stage improvisations, they certanly give the feeling that, to an extent, they are makeing it up as they go along and hopeing that it all works out. However the rhythem section of Jon Theodore and Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) is so tight and grounded there's no room left for uneccessary self indulgence. Speaking of the rythem section Jon Theodore proves to be one of the most impressive drummers I have ever heard, and his playing gives bassist Flea the freedome to back up the guitars perfectly.

Lyricly is were this album tends to fall down for some people, its extremely dense. For those that dont know this is a concept album but the concept is so impossible to follow from the lyrics that you have to download a 12 page essay from the net that goes through the story! Personally I tend to ignore the story of this album because even with the essay's help its very difficult to understand and instead I try to concentrate on Cedrics voice, which can prove to be an aquired taste but I like it.

I have the UK special edition release that includes the bonus track Ambuletz. This song does nothing for me as it seems to be mainly ambient with a repetative beat. Its far too long and makes for a huge anti-climax after the story has finished on the impressive Take the Vale Cerpin Taxt.

There are few flaws to this album and in Roulette Dares (the Haunt Of...), Eriatarka, Cicatriz ESP, Televators and Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt, The Mars Volta have created four songs that are sure to become modern classics. In fatc, it would be fair to say that the whole album can be considered a modern classic, 5 stars.

sleeper | 5/5 |


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