The Mars Volta
De-Loused in the Comatorium


4.5
superb

Review

by Drbebop USER (63 Reviews)
January 2nd, 2019 | 16 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Clipside of the pinkeye flight, I'm not the percent you think survives, I need sanctuary in the pages of this book

From the ashes of At The Drive-In, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodr*guez-López had big ambitions. At the very height of the popularity of their former Post-Hardcore-cum-emo group, the duo had left, citing boredom and “creative differences”. What were these differences" Prog rock. With the rest of the band wanting to move towards a more stripped down sound, and Omar and Credric wanting to shoot for the moon, At The Drive In collapsed at the seems and from the remains emerged The Mars Volta. Their group’s first album ‘De-Loused in The Comatorium’ was wildly acclaimed but has it held up over the years"

Like the group’s later works, Deloused has a heavy focus on lengthy tracks, which sometimes descend into different genres like jazz or latin. Frantic, aggressive guitar riffs from Omar litter the record’s runtime, boosted by groovy almost funk rock basslines provided by Flea of Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Each song feels like it’s barely holding together at the edges, as the band pummels through the record’s ten tracks with such violent ferocity that for a minute, it almost seems like At The Drive In have made a new album. However, in sharp contrast to that group, Cedric’s vocals are now aggressively high pitched and soaring, each line hitting alarming highs amidst the explosion of guitars. In contrast to ATDI, where Cedric delivered an aggressive punk yell, here he’s oddly more soothing, despite being equally if not more aggressive in his delivery.

The surreal lyrics from At The Drive In return, however now they’re even more cryptic and layered. Lyrics still barely make sense, even after hours of analysis. Nearly every line is full of absurd prose, play on words or puns in different languages. Yet, somehow they connect. The record tells a surreal story of a man named Cerpin Taxt, based loosely on a friend of Cedric and Omar’s named Julio Venegas, who’s real life fate greatly mirrors that of Taxt. In the story, Taxt overdoses on a combo of morphine and rat poison, slips into a week long coma where he experiences a violent, mind bending trip before awakening to the outside world and throwing himself from an overpass into oncoming traffic. Like Taxt, Julio’s hard drug use led to him similarly committing suicide, throwing himself from an overpass. With his death still ever looming over the duo, forming the Mars Volta, which would allow them to further their musical ambitions, Omar and Cedric would craft De-Loused as the ultimate tribute to him. One which would be burned into time eternally, serving as a cautionary tale, a memorial and fantastic record all in one.

Each song is crafted excellently, with every note seamlessly falling into place, only boosted by Omar’s highly accomplished playing and the group’s nearly flawless rhythm section. Even the opening track, the short introduction ‘Son Et Lumière’ (French For ‘Sound and Light’) is incredibly effective and oddly beautiful with a swirl of distorted electronics mixing with Cedric’s vocals to create a sort of electro Emo ambient track. The track explodes into the opener and arguably best track ‘Inertiatic ESP’, which not only demonstrates the band’s violent aggression and Cedric’s vocals perfectly, but sets a gap between ATDI and Mars Volta. What starts as a furious post-hardcore frenzy descends into a Latin drum led section into an experimental guitar track with soft whispered vocals. It’s stunning and one of the most effective openings to any album I’ve heard. Similarly, the finale ‘Take The Veil, Cerpin Taxt’ features some of the most ATDI styles vocals the group set to tape. Other highlights include the 12 minute space rock exodus ‘Cicatriz ESP’ with its soaring high notes and rumbling funk, along with the haunting dirge ‘Televators’ and ‘Take The Veil, Cerpin Taxt’.

Is De-Loused perfect" Almost. While it’s expertly crafted and performed, there’s still a band trying to find its feet. The ending of ‘This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed’ is a distorted noise loop which drags a little too long, and the extended ambient section in the middle of ‘Cicatriz ESP’ gets a little dull after a while. The record is also brickwalled to hell and the subtly and dynamics of some tracks can be obscured in the mix (Thanks Rick Rubin!) Still these are very minor complaints on an otherwise nearly spotless record. A blistering start to one of the strongest Prog rock bands of the 2000s

Standout tracks

Son Et Lumière
Inertiatic ESP
Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)
Drunkship Of Lanterns
Cicatriz ESP
Televators
Take The Veil, Cerpin Taxt



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Gyromania
January 1st 2019


28189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

summary does a good job of showcasing how bad the lyrics are on this album (and all their albums tbh)

widowslaugh123
January 1st 2019


1565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol

Djang0
January 1st 2019


401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lmao^^

JohnnyoftheWell
Contributing Reviewer
January 2nd 2019


15788 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

TMV have meme lyrics, never took them seriously enough to consider them as good or bad

Kalopsia
January 2nd 2019


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

album is tots bad, agreed

MeatSalad
January 3rd 2019


17436 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album gewd



Lyrics bad

BigBlob
January 3rd 2019


5104 Comments


who honestly cares about lyrics anyway lmao

Digging: Ellende - LEBENSNEHMER

widowslaugh123
January 3rd 2019


1565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Uh a lot of people care about lyrics dude

Kalopsia
January 3rd 2019


3384 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

"who honestly cares about lyrics anyway lmao "





people with ears

people who listen to music

people who know words

BigBlob
January 3rd 2019


5104 Comments


interesting

Gyromania
January 3rd 2019


28189 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

not a bad album but a mad overrated one imo. lyrics are distractingly bad most of the time, and the vocals can be extremely grating (inertiatic esp)

ZombieToyDuck
January 3rd 2019


7076 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I understand vocals being divisive for people but the lyrics? Come on now... I could maybe understand someone saying they're convoluted but they are definitely well written.

botb
January 3rd 2019


13162 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I spent most of my listens of this album totally disregarding the lyrics and then found out they do make sense but they’re just so overwhelmingly steeped in nonsensical metaphors that if you don’t have some liner notes to explain them they read like actual gibberish. but also I could never really understand what he was saying with all the vocal effects so that never really bothered me too much

ZombieToyDuck
January 3rd 2019


7076 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah botb the metaphors can be a bit overcomplicated but that's Cedric for ya...

widowslaugh123
January 3rd 2019


1565 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don’t think Cedric necessarily cares more about the lyrics than how they sound coming out his mouth.

BAT
January 4th 2019


685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

actually cedrics process is more or less doing an improvised scratch track than forming lyrics to it later, omar left a bit of the scratch for tetra in the final mix https://youtu.be/MSukXei-XQk?t=715. regardless i'd take volta lyrics over rush any day.



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