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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.52 | 526 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The Mars volta is a band fom El Paso, Texas, and all of its band members is a hispanic descendant. They do a very diferent style of Prog Rock, like Hard-Electronic-Salsa-Jazz-Punk-Fusion. Frantic guitar riffs, very fast drumming, high-pitched vocals, and many effects. It may sound very chaotic and weird at the first time you hear, but with the time you'll notice their music is sensational. The Bedlam in Goliath has all of these elements, and a bit more. A great album, with 12 songs (most of them with very weird names), 77 minutes of chaotic and organized sound of one of the best bands of today.

01 - Aberinkula (5:45) - An aberinkula is a kind of drum used in Nigeria, and also can be translated as Non-believer. This is truly one of the best songs of the album. It Begins with an amazing chorus, with great drumming, frantic guitar and vocoded singing. Everything on this song is perfect. The chorus part intercalates with a slighty funky sessions with clean vocals, and solid bass guitar playing and drumming. Check the awesome instrumental part from 3:15 onwards, with a great riff, great bass playing and frantic saxofone. Check also the disturbing music video of this song! (10/10)

02 - Metatron (8:11) - Metatron is an angel, considered the harbor of the voice of god. We have a 14 minutes two-part opener. This song is in the same style of Aberinkula. The first 3 minutes is a heavy rock tune with great drums, frantic guitar and vocoded vocals. At 3:09 the song becomes a semi- ballad, with clean high-pitched vocals and a very nice riff, with some good drumming. The song backs to its heavy form at 4:28, with a slightly funky feel, with some cool slap bass, some rap-like vocals and good drumming. At 5:35 there is a great guitar solo by Omar, followed by awesome drums and slap bass. The first part is revisited around 7:27. Metatron is a nice epic, but not so good as Aberinkula, and a bit tiring too. (8,5/10)

03 - Ilyena (5:35) - Ilyena is a reference to Ilyena Vasilievna Mironov, which is the birth name of actress Dame Helen Mirren. It start with some distorted vocals, wich I really don't like. Around 1 minute mark, the other instruments come in a slightly funky song. The drums and the bass guitar are very good. The guitar does a very nice work too. Around 4:10 the song stops and became a weird number, with some vocals,wich recalls the singing of Reggae female backing vocalists. The song end with some dissonance and distortion. One of the weakest tracks on the album. (7,5/10)

04 - Wax Simulacra (2:38) - The word simulacrum is used to describe a representation of another thing, such as a statue or a painting; especially of a god. It also describes an image without the substance or qualities of the original. Simulacra is simply the plural form of the word. (Font: Wikipedia). This one is a very great song, but it's quite short. The Song has some amazing drum work, and nice singing. The Guitar is great too. Great track, but i think it could be longer, at least four minutes long. (9,5/10)

05 - Golliath (7:15)- Goliath is a Philistine warrior mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Goliath is another monster track. Awesome guitar and drums and a great vocal performance by Cedric. Omar and Thomas are monsters on their instruments. The chorus of the song is truly amazing!! Again: Omar's insane guitar and Thomas' machine gun drumming are very great, check the guitar solo at 2:33 mark, with fantastic drumming. The bass and the keys are more pushed to background, but they are nice. At 3:50 the song changes in a awesome riff, a l a 21st Century Schizoid Man, and in this part the bass guitar is more on the front. Great drumming and guitar Too. There are some wails by Cedric, and then he sings "Never heard a man speak like this man before". Genius! (10/10)

06 - Tourniquet Man (2:38)- This one is the "Asilos Magdalena" of the album, but also recalls some tracks like "Televators" and "Vicarious Atonement". The song is very calm, almost relaxing, with clean guitars and a sweet vocal line, and with spacey effects and keyboards in the background, and no drums. The first part is very listenable, but then the drums enter, and the vocals become distorted. Awful. This is a shame. Distorted vocals work very well on frantic songs, such as Aberinkula, Metatron, Tetragrammaton and Meccamputechture (The last two from Amputechture), but when they are in calm and slow-paced songs they transform the songs in awful numbers, such as "Asilos Magdalena", the bridge of "Vermicide", "The Widow", and this one. For me is the weakest song of the album. (5,5/10).

07 - Cavalletas (9:32) - This one is the longest song of the album. The song is almost a rondo, cause alternate between some different themes and with the chorus part. The song starts with some rockslide drumming and guitars. Then Cedric starts to sing and the bass guitar does a awesome line. There's some nice guitar on the guitar. Many times the song changes the rythm, but always back to the chorus. "Cavalletas" is a bit tiring but cool. There's a great saxophone/moog solo around 6:40 mark. There's a short section that recalls some parts of Pink Floyd The Wall. There's some children screaming at the end of the song, like "Another brick on the Wall". There's some random flute at the song. (8,5/10).

08 - Agadez (6:43) - Great Song! This song begin with some sinister guitar, bass and drums. Agadez, has a bluesy feel, but with many sinister effects and keyboards. Great chorus and drumming. Cedric's voice is awesome, and Thomas drumming too. The song has a nice break at 3:10, with some sinister keyboards and bolero-like snare drumming. Around the four minute mark there is some nice latin percussion. This song is very sinister. (8,5/10)

09 - Askepios (5:10) - "Askepios" is to "Agadez" what "Metatron" is to "Aberinkula". A species of part 2. The song has some nice effects, but is not so sinister like "Agadez". Cedric voice is also better than the previous song. Effects, Distortion and noises sometimes are annoying, but work very well in this one. Cedric's voice is very good, check at 1:04 to 1:30. His voice is so beautiful on that part. The noisy part backs again, and the "calm" part backs again with some distortion. Anyway this song is so distorted. At 3:21 there's a very good part, with some nice slap bass and solid drumming. A weird song, in which is very hard to get into. For this i will give a (7,5/10).

10 - Ourobouros (6:36) - This is much better than Askepios. It Begins with some great drummig and guitar, and Cedric's Voice is very good. " Ouroborous" is a very lively song, but a bit sinister. The part starting around the Two minutes mark is an example. Omar does a nice guitar work on this one, too. The chorus is awesome! The sinister part backs again around 3:35. But a very nice hard-rock part comes. At 4:32, a great part comes. If you don't like "Agadez" and "Askepios" you'll probably like this one. At 5:30 there's a bluesy part. A very nice song (8,5/10)

11 - Soothsawyer (9:10) - A lenghty song, and one of the best songs of the album. It begins with some nice violins playing a indian-like melody, with some people speaking and singing at the background. Then the drums enter, and a sitar-sounding guitar, playing togheter with the raga violins. Cedric is singing in a mantra-like manner, and the chorus combines his voice with some distortion with some nice guitar and nice drumming. The chorus is lively and calm at the same time. "She's calling me" demonstrate how Cedric's voice is good (He's one of the best singers of nowadays, his range is awesome). There's a great guitar solo by Omar arounf 4:30, with that raga violins always backing the guitar, the bass and the drums. I don't get tired of listening this song, despite only "Cavalletas" is longer. There are some nice David Cross-like violin solo around 6:20 (David Cross is the violinist of King Crimson). The song has a very dissonant two minutes outro, with some mantra-like singing, with some very nice violin.. Soothsawyer can be described as oriental-mantric-rocking-smooth-heavy- beautiful-dissonant. (10/10)

12 - Conjugal Burns - Nice song. It's almost bluesy, and Cedric high-pitched singing is very nice. Very good guitar work by Omar. At 2:17 there's a very good part. Conjugal Burns has a screaming part, wich begins at 4:40, in a explosion of dissonance, weird noises, distortion, rockslide drumming, demonic vocals, ugh. This part is completely awful, but at 5:56 the song gets listenable again. But the song ends abruptely. It's a shame, a very good album ending so awfully. (6,5/10)

"The Bedlam in Golliath" is a very good album, a must have for the New-Progheads!

TheKnife | 4/5 |


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