The Mars Volta - De-Loused In The Comatorium
Alex Worsnip 28/06/2003
Formed of members of At-The Drive In, the Mars Volta, like their former band, are prog and heavy at once: musically accomplished, but treading a line between impressive and overblown. There's certainly a diverse range of sounds to be found on 'De-Loused At The Comatorium': the brilliant 'Roulette Dares' alone marries funk-metal riffage to spaced out passages, hectic drumming, epic vocals and sonic chaos. 'Drunkship of Lanterns' is unspeakably mad in a good way, particular its incredible vocals, 'Cicatriz Esp' is strangely emotional inbetween the punches of guitar thrash that punctuate it and 'This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed' sounds like Led Zep's 'Kashmir' for the 28th century.
In fact, The Mars Volta never sound anything less than brilliant musicians and original songwriters: just that there's nothing to break up the weighty studiousness of the music. At The Drive-In tempered all the “prog-hardcore” and “post-thrash” with the occasional moshalong, screaming anthem (see 'One-Armed Scissor', or even the more sonically advanced 'Enfilade', their best); without their old bandmates, The Mars Volta simply run wild with the experimentation. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but you might have to take breaks in-between tracks for something a little less relentless.