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


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

4.07 | 1006 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
5 stars I like this one a little better than "Deloused...", it's the "Cassandra Gemni" suite where we get some pretty freaky stuff happening that puts it over the top for me. Besides, they use more mellotron on this one. Love the scorching guitar throughout this record as well.

"Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus" opens with strummed guitar as vocals join in. It kicks in before a minute. Absolutely ripping guitar follows.This is intense. Mellotron after 3 1/2 minutes then it turns spacey and calms down. Nice guitar here, this sounds so good. Vocals are back 7 minutes then it gets wild again. It's getting spacy 10 minutes in as it settles.Electronics and samples follow. Very cool. "The Widow" opens with vocals and a laid back sound. It kicks in then relaxes again as these contrasts continue. Omar is lighting it up 2 minutes in, organ follows. It turns psychedelic before 3 1/2 minutes to the end. "L'Via L'Viaquez" kicks in before a minute with some great guitar. Vocals and mellotron come in. It settles after 2 1/2 minutes with spoken vocals. Ripping guitar a minute later as it kicks back in. Contrasts continue. Angular guitar 6 minutes in. Nice. I like the drumming too a minute later. A calm to end it with these weird vocals that sound like they're in slow motion. Birds are chirping as it blends into "Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore" then it turns haunting after a minute. Blasting sax after 4 minutes as that haunting mood changes somewhat. Vocals 5 minutes in, lots of atmosphere here. Sax is back 8 minutes in and then it turns heavy with vocals. A calm with strings 9 minutes in then the sax and other sounds come in.The wind is blowing. It building 12 minutes in with mellotron, drums and bass.

The "Cassandra Suite" is about 32 minutes long broken down into 8 parts that all blend into one another. Part I opens with vocals and angular guitar that lights it up. What an intro ! Processed vocals as it settles, flute too. Sax after 2 minutes with a great vocal section that follows. Part II opens with some amazing guitar and mellotron, in fact this part might be my favourite on the whole album as Omar really shows what he can do with his guitar. Check out the light show before 5 1/2 minutes. Drums are killer as well. Part III is where Cedric shows off his vocals and I like the guitar late. Part IV sounds incredible as they jam. Vocals 1 1/2 minutes in before it settles a minute later with whispered vocals.They're jamming again. Love the guitar and bass. Organ before 4 1/2 minutes. Part V has a psychedelic vibe, this is trippy stuff. Eerie sounds 4 minutes in. Part VI is where the sax comes in.This is dissonant and spaced out, perhaps Krautrock inspired. Part VII is more normal (haha) and Part VIII is too with the acoustic guitar and vocals.

Just a monster of an album in many ways.You can't go wrong with their first two records.

Mellotron Storm | 5/5 |


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