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The Mars Volta - The Bedlam in Goliath CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.53 | 530 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
1 stars Oh man, what happened to them? I apologize for the 1-star rating, but even if the musicianship is competent, the music is simply unlistenable throughout most of the disc and it does not help that the album is as long as a Flower King album. Unlike the daring previous album and the debut, the harshness, high vocals, progressive elements and avant-garde go overboard in a way that it makes this album have the Mars Volta elements ruin the music rather than be what would attract me to the band in the first place. The album has a horrid raw production that hurts the music, the vocalist wails like a madman, sings usually terrible vocal melodies on most verses, and sometimes edits his voice in a way that makes me exit winamp.The progressive elements (such as song structure, time signatures and choice of tones) is so exaggerated and forced that they hurt the songs half the time.

I admit not all of it is bad. the opening track has some frenzied instrumentation that works in several spots, Goliath has a decent groove despite having a chorus that sounds very similar to previous album's refrains, and Soothsayer has a nice riff and finally good melodies, though the riff is repeated for 104 times if I counted correctly. Soothsayer is easily the most listenable tune in here and I actually enjoy listening to it as well as the very energetic opening track.

On the other hand, Metatron ruins a somewhat listenable beginning with some ugly vocals over painful guitar riffs for three minutes. the next track Ilyena starts and ends with unnmusical processed vocals sandwiching an unmelodic tune. Wax Simulacra is not among the worst offenders but it sounds too complicated to be enjoyable and the vocals are very irritating to me here. Tourniquet Man is probably the second worst song in here, starting with a listenable but poor ballad and transforming into some of the most painful stuff I ever heard: terrible processed vocals and random arrangements that don't sound right at all. However, the worst song is Cavalettas, starting with unmelodic and unpleasant uptempo rock, it segues without any transition whatsoever into a pathetic math-rock one-chord riff, hilariously bad sound effects, awful atonal instrumental arrangements and once again: terrible vocals. A different theme is played after a minute that is slightly less bad, but the hilariously bad math-rock riff reappears with equally bad accompaniments. The rest is very bad music to me, but at least that riff is not played again. Agadez is an unmelodic mess with unpleasant background synthesizers that bring no substance. Askepios is much worse, featuring cell phone interference noise, unpleasant dissonance, very bad melody-crafting, those horrid edited vocals, a laugh-inducing slow guitar solo that reminds me of kids at guitar center unable to play guitar, followed by an unintentionally funny guitar solo over an awkward King-Crimson style groove. Ouroborous is a failed attempt at making a good latin-influenced song. It is definitively their worst latin-influenced tune so far. the closing track strikes me as a track where only the chorus manages to be listenable. Not good at all.

Overall, be careful when buying this album. Even if you enjoy previous Mars Volta albums (I do like the debut and the 3rd studio album), this album seems to sacrifice the art that the band was presenting in order to sound progressive. They have lost a customer.

Zitro | 1/5 |


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