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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 1006 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars Mars Volta took their sound to new boundaries, abandoning almost all of their punk approach, and focusing more on their latin/salsa, experimental and progressive vein. While building very complex movements, as the 31 minute last track, they also made possible the interaction with the great masses.

The soaring refrain, allied with the simple and energetic structure of "The Widow", were the perfect balance to catapult Mars Volta to mainstream and, curiously, the one that most resembles to the work of their debut. "L'vi L'viaquez" is another convincing mainstream track, despite its 12 minutes, if blends band's energetic guitar/vocal approach with a danceable catchy Latin salsa. "Miranda..." is the softer of the collection, after a psychedelic noisy introduction it flows into a grandiose symphonic-driven Mars Volta ballad. But the album's gem is definitely the last track "Cassandra Geminni". The use of classic instruments like flute, trumpet and saxophone help to extend to new levels the band's prolific and unique approach, while incorporating Jethro Tull's symphonic flutes, Pink Floyd's psychedelic space rock influences, early King Crimson's magnificence and Mahavishnu Orchestra's virtuous playing and rhythms. The result is an impressive and dynamic epic of the band's peak musicality while, in opposite to some of their longer compositions, in its 31 minutes it does not figures to be extended to exhaustion. A true modern ode to progressive rock.

Nevertheless the band's exaggerations at times, they prove, once again to be an original band and one of the best progressive rock bands of their time. Though not reaching everybody's tastes, it pleases both mainstream crowds and the intellectual elite.

TRoTZ | 5/5 |


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