FDF Volume 4 Issue 312 - The Mars Volta De-Loused In The Comatorium
Key Players – Jeremy Michael Ward – effects and sound manipulation. Flea – bass.* Isaiah “Ikey” Owens – keyboards. Jon Theodore – Drums. Omar Rodriguez-Lopez – guitar. Cedric Bixler-Zavala – vocals.
"Inertiatic Esp" which has the band at a frenzied pace. The drums are tight and layers of keyboards balance somethings out but Rodriguez-Lopez attacks his guitar and Bixler-Zavala soars vocally as the pace just breaks all sort of time signatures and Theodore is the leader in bringing it all back to structure. Owens keyboard runs seem to blast off the speakers, but the chaos of the entire song is somehow so well put together yet frantic, its a wild listen. Tracks like “Roulette Dares (the Haunt of)” stretch in to seven minute territory and mesh so many styles (that Latin jazz comes in to play here) but the wings of prog rock and funk also flash from time to time. The listener can feel exhausted at times on tracks like this, but it stretches the bounds of a “rock song” that you dial in and just want to hear where they are going to go. From the full Owens keyboard runs to the monster fills from Theodore. It just leaps out at you. It does flatten some as it winds down and heads towards “Tira me a las Arans” which serves as an interlude with some layers of guitars but its really a palate cleaner before "Drunkship of Lanterns" comes at you. The salsa like percussion and feel has the first real noticeable Flea bass line, but its Rodriguez-Lopez and Theodore who seem to get an equal work out and some of the breakdowns during the track are short blasts of schizophrenic chaos, before the percussion sends it back towards a structure most listeners are used to. The Mars Volta challenge you, I keep saying that, but listen..its rewarding. You hardly get a come down as “Eriatarka” does much of the same. Bixler-Zavala is a little more laid back on his vocal delivery, at least for a bit before the 1:30 mark where they take off, but settle it back down quickly. Rodriguez-Lopez has his first real “solo” but it is short as it is flashy. The track that may sum up what the band is all about comes in "Cicatriz Esp" (live). Just listen to that, it gives you the idea of what the band is about and what they are capable of, even if the last few minutes are sort of this ambient mixture of things...but it all comes back again, see..patience listeners. Patience. The band does seqway in to “This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed” and is as intense and layered as one has come to expect. The final two “Televators” (a surprisingly mellow song for the band) and “Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt” (a terrific closer) continue to fall in to that “challenging yet rewarding” pool.