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The Mars Volta - The Malkin Jewel CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.40 | 31 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars The Malking Jewel is the first single from THE MARS VOLTA's upcoming album sixth studio album, Noctourniquet. After their fifth album, Octahedron, made a drastic departure from some of the staples of their earlier "sound", lowering the dosage of heavyness and overall sound density, as well as making the individual songs more concise, curiosity about where the band "would go next", as it were, was running high. This first single was, according to the band itself, bound to split the fandom and alienate some of the fans. with such an ominous declaration, many were looking forward to getting a taste of this new LP.

now, on to the music itself. indeed, The Malkin Jewel is a very polarizing affair, and while it does not feel as stripped down (by TMV standards, that is) as Octahedron did, it is definitely not a return to the earlier albums. The most surprising about it is the way Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's guitar, which had been a staple of the band, is eclipsed by the other elements of the song. Here, the most emphasis is placed on Cedric Bixler-Zavala's vocals. The song starts in a chaotic fashion, with an acoustic string instrument (banjo? bouzouki?) punctuating the surrounding noise. While the song does settle into a more melodic sound, the drums continue to propagate this feeling of disorder, and so do Cedric's vocals, which go from whispering to desperate shouting in the space of two seconds.

This song is not going to be enjoyed by all, and it is certain that this is a poor choice for a single. The whole song has a rather Beefheartesque feel to it, in my opinion, and that is very enjoyable, and while it makes me curious as to what the album it comes from will be like, it's not among the best songs TMV have ever made.

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 stars.

BnT | 4/5 |


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