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The Mars Volta

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The Mars Volta Live album cover
3.43 | 49 ratings | 5 reviews | 31% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Live, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of) (9:29)
2. Drunkship of Lanterns (9:38)
3. Cicatriz ESP (16:03)
4. Televators (7:18)

Total Time: 42:28

Line-up / Musicians

- Cedric Bixler-Zavala / vocals
- Omar Rodriguez-Lopez / guitars
- Juan Alderete / bass
- Jon Theodore / drums
- Ikey Isaiah Owens / keyboards

Releases information

CD Gold Standard Laboratories ‎B0001844-02 (2003 US)

Tracks 1-2 recorded live from the Made Vale Studios in London.
Tracks 3-4 recorded live from the Electric Ballroom in London, July 2003.

Thanks to the ryan for the addition
and to The Bearded Bard for the last updates
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THE MARS VOLTA Live ratings distribution

(49 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(29%)
Good, but non-essential (29%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

THE MARS VOLTA Live reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by frenchie
4 stars This is a pretty good live ep. The quality isn't brilliant but the tunes are. Its good to see how The Mars Volta evolve their tunes from the studio to the stage. The Mars Volta play with as much passion and power as on the studio album, but add in more extended jams and solo's. All the guys play amazingly here and this is a good disc to buy if you see it anyway cheap. This is hard to obtain and is more for the collectors/hardcore fans.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This long EP (or short album if you like) is an excellent snapshot of what Mars Volta is able to offer while playing live.

You might understand that there won't be sweet ballads in here. Dynamite 'almost) all the way through. Such an energy is truly amazing.

Three out the four songs recorded on this live album were excellent tracks form their very good debut album "De-Loused". Each track is a bit longer than its original counterpart. In the case of "Roulette Dares" to extend the spacey closing part was not a bad idea after such a surge.

"Drunkship Of Lanterns" was recorded during the same "live" session at XFM studio in London. The high pitched vocals from Cedric (sort of hate or love) are flawless and passionate and this rendition highlights the jamming capabilities of the band.

The next two songs were recorded at the Electric Ballroom in London (Camden Town). The start of "Cicatriz ESP" is deliciously chaotic (maybe a bit too much) and a wave of sound is crawling on you for about sixteen minutes. Play it loud!

The middle part features some call and response between vocals and guitar that sound familiar to me (I'm referring to the Page-Plant ones. some time ago) and a loooooong "guitar" solo trying to emulate Page again to some extent. Not the best moment of this EP as far as I'm concerned.

I think that during this song, "The Mars Volta" are trying a bit too much to glorify themselves. Pay attention guys.Luckily, this version "only" clocks at sixteen minutes. They extended it sometimes to over half an hour in these days...

The closing number "Televators" was not one of my fave from their studio album, but I have to say that it is welcome after "Cicatriz". Poignant, hypnotic. Very good actually in this version.

Three stars for this good live moment.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Wary was I when considering The Mars Volta live. After all, live, there are no exquisite vocal effects for a true singer to hide behind. Likewise, a live guitarist can only utilize so many effects. There's just much more a studio has to offer over a stage. Yet the sound is full here, even if limited in certain respects. All four songs on this EP (funny term, since the recording is around forty-five minutes long) are from the band's first LP. "Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)" is a somewhat faithful rendition of the album version. Rather than use backing tracks for the backup vocals (such as on "Drunkship of Lanterns"), Cedric Bixler-Zavala permits an emptiness, a void filled only by strange sounds, likely from Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's guitar. The instrumental section, the first time I heard it here, shocked me: It's the brilliant instrumental section from "Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus." The sixteen minute rendition of "Cicatriz ESP" begins with some almost unbearable screeching and messing around from the band before the song proper begins. The middle bit is a throwback to the more experimental side of the duo's enterprise. Some fantastic organ can be heard during the second half. "Televators," one of my favorite songs from this band, is given a looser treatment, especially since the singer seems to lose his way around the words in a few spots, allowing emptiness to take over. He also takes some liberties with the melody (singing the harmony at times), which gives it a different feel, but this is largely due to being one man and not using backing tracks or backup singers. It's far messier than the album version, but so what? It's honest, and more importantly, interesting. As a final note, this is a somewhat rare bit of live music, but I was fortunate to have found it, I suppose (though since I got it, I've seen it more frequently on online auctions for not much more than I paid for it), so perhaps it is not as rare as some people make it out to be.

Latest members reviews

3 stars This short but sweet live EP is a forum for powerful renditions of 4 Deloused in the Comatorium tracks (being Roulette Dares, Eriatarka, Cicatrix ESP, and Televators). The Mars Volta sound very ... Mars Volta on this record and every nuance of their performance is thrown into sharp focus. Theref ... (read more)

Report this review (#217323) | Posted by Hicks_was_right | Friday, May 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Three stars: "Good, but non-essential" If you like "De-Loused...", these live performances will entertain you. As you can see, they compiled four songs, and improvised at a couple of different shows. People in the forums seem to like talking about how The Mars Volta improvises and sometimes p ... (read more)

Report this review (#36629) | Posted by The Ryan | Thursday, June 16, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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