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The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003)

July 21, 2012

[Album 73/1001]

Every so often an album comes along that’s delightfully difficult to categorize.

I suppose when co-producer Rick Rubin has worked with everyone from the Beastie Boys to the Dixie Chicks, his production style is equally difficult to pinpoint.

Lyrically, this album is pretty grim: the 10 songs explore the tale of a man in a coma after overdosing on a combination of rat poison and morphine.

Musically, it’s a keeper.  Great vocals by Cedric Bixler-Zavala, especially early in the record.  There’s plenty of frantic, often dissonant guitar work; it’s surprising Omar Rodríguez-López doesn’t appear higher on most ‘top guitarist’ lists.

It’s heavy, melodic, aggressive, rhythmic & any number of seeming contradictions, but it all works here.

I often moan that there has yet to be a truly great record in the 21st Century (there have certainly been a lot of solid records, just not life-changing per se).  I’ll still stand by that assertion, but I was pleased to waver a little after listening to this one.

From → 2000s

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