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The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet CD (album) cover

NOCTOURNIQUET

The Mars Volta

 

Heavy Prog

3.67 | 254 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

arcane-beautiful
5 stars This album has been in the foetal stages for a while now. Apparently according to the band, there where a lot of arguments over when this album should be released. In fact this album could have been released a lot early, but after disputes from the band...they decided to take their time with this album...and I'm glad they did.

This album is really one of the bands best achievements. Being very much inspired by Krautrock, the band adopted a more free and experimental sound...now this is true, but even so, all I could think whilst listening to this album is that even though it has a lot more eclectic and art rock styles, the bands songwriting and musicianship has seemed to improve.

While there last album, Octahedron was more of a straight forward album, this album seems to have a similar style, but with more experimentations. And it really works. The songwriting style has improved, with the standard strophic structure being used within the songs, but a lot more interesting musical ornaments are added to the songs.

Lyrically at times, they seem a lot more defined and normal, but with hints of odd metaphors and creative language. The album, being a concept album really does add to the tone of the album, especially the way the songs all roll into each other. Vocally, Cedric really shows off how versatile his voice is on this album, and proves that he is not just a one trick pony.

Instrumentally, the band have ditched the horns and the jazzy instruments for more synths, keyboards and a lot more odd instrumentation. The guitar playing has also seemed to be a lot let less flashy and more straight to the point.

1. The Whip Hand ? What an amazing way to start off an album. You think it's going nowhere, and it just explodes in your face. Quite anthemic, and the dirty keyboard sounds rule. 10/10

2. Aegis ? Another quite anthemic song with a bit of a slower tempo. One of the more easier accessible songs. 9/10

3. Dyslexicon ? One of the more eclectic songs on the album. I love the use of spoken word in the song. One of the albums more dramatic moments. 8/10

4. Empty Vessels Make The Loudest Sound ? Ok, now this song surprised me. Usually when the Volta do a ballad type song, there is still a very eclectic and usually eerie nature behind it, but on this track, it's just very beautiful, with no real eerie moments. Beautiful arrangement. 10/10

5. The Malkin Jewel ? The albums single, and the song that really grabbed my attention. Very Tom Waits sounding, with some clangy guitars and thumping drums, and some very evil lyrics too. The ending is quite beautiful too. 10/10

6. Lapochka ? An amazing song with some great catchy moments. Love the use of electronics and synths. 10/10

7. In Absentia ? Ok...now this song takes a while to get used to. At the start I was thinking, "this is very noisy." I mean it was pretty enough and had some nice slow melodies, but the song was really just a bit too noisy, and the vocals sounded like they where recorded through a Sega Mega Drive. Then it gets to the end of the song...then the song makes sense. Give this song a listen till the end. If you turn it off, you will regret it. 9/10

8. Imago ? One of the more catchier songs on the album. It seems the shorter songs really do make the biggest impact. 9/10

9. Molochwalker ? A return to the older Volta sound. Great chorus and some great instrumentation and virtuoustic passages. It's good to hear them retracing their steps. 9/10

10. Trinkets Pale Of Moon ? A very eerie acoustic song. Very reminiscent of Asilos Magdelana. The electronic sounds also add to the eerie nature of the song. 9/10

11. Vedemalady ? Another slow and more relaxing song. This is probably one of the more meditative moments on the album. A very relaxing song. 9/10

12. Noctourniquet ? Who is Solmon? Now that is the question. A great song with some cool instrumentation. 9/10

13. Zed & 2 Naughts ? The drumming in this song is pretty intense and crazy. Love the chorus...mainly cause my name is said in the song, and turns out I'm a saint. 10/10

CONCLUSION: Definitely their best album since Amputechture. This album is a different step and direction for the band, and it proved that these guys can only get more and more exciting musically. Hopefully there next album won't take as long to make.

8.8/10

arcane-beautiful | 5/5 |

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