Mentioned The Mars Volta not so long ago because Adrián Terrazas-González, a past member and collaborator of the band because of his involved in the T.R.A.M. project.
The sixth full-length studio album of The Mars Volta is scheduled for release on March 27th, 2012. It is the first studio album to feature drummer Deantoni Parks, and the first not to feature contributions from both long-time keyboardist Isaiah “Ikey” Owens (De Facto, Look Daggers, Free Moral Agents, etc) and guitarist John Frusciante (ormer lead guitarist of the rock band Red Hot Chili Peppers). Cedric Bixler-Zavala – vocals, Omar Rodríguez-López – guitar, Marcel Rodríguez-López – keyboards and synths, Juan Alderete – bass and Deantoni Parks – drums delivered another colorful journey into the deep space of Progressive Rock having roots back to the 70’s psychedelia, but simultaneously looking into the big wide future. Lars Stalfors was in charge for engineer, mixing, but also for some additional synths, while Sonny Kay took care of the artwork and layout.
“The Malkin Jewel”, is the album’s lead single, and it was first broadcast on February 13th, while “Zed And Two Naughts” was added on March 5th, as an instant download to those pre-ordering the album from the official store.
01 – The Whip Hand
02 – Aegis
03 – Dyslexicon
04 – Empty Vessels Make The Loudest Sound
05 – The Malkin Jewel
06 – Lapochka
07 – In Absentia
08 – Imago
09 – Molochwalker
10 – Trinkets Pale of Moon
11 – Vedamalady
12 – Noctourniquet
13 – Zed And Two Naughts
Founded in 2001 by guitarist Omar Rodríguez-López and vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala, the band incorporates various influences including Progressive Rock, Krautrock, Jazz Fusion, Latin American music, and the rhythmic complexity of math rock into their sound, and they are known for their concept-based studio albums and their energetic live shows.
The roots of The Mars Volta are found in the band At the Drive-In when ATDI members Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodríguez-López started flirting with an experimental, dub reggae-influenced side project called De Facto, which featured Bixler-Zavala on drums, Rodriguez-Lopez on bass, Isaiah “Ikey” Owens on keyboards, and Jeremy Michael Ward on vocals, loops and sound effects. Due to creative differences and discomfort with mainstream success and drug abuse, Rodriguez-Lopez and Bixler-Zavala quit At the Drive-In in 2001 while the remaining members of the band formed Sparta.
Eva Gardner joined the members of De Facto on bass, and they recorded two songs with drummer Blake Fleming and producer Alex Newport, which became the first demo by The Mars Volta.
Their debut full-length album, “De-Loused in the Comatorium”, was produced by Rick Rubin and released on June 24th, 2003. Though lyrically obscure, the album was an unified work of speculative fiction telling the first-person story of someone in a drug-induced coma, battling the evil side of his mind.
In 2004 the band received the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers Vanguard Award.
“Frances the Mute” was released in 2005 selling 123,000 copies in its first week, and debuting at #4 on the Billboard album charts.
“Amputechture” was written by Rodriguez-Lopez on a trip to Amsterdam and was released in September 2006. John Frusciante was featured on every track on Amputechture, except for “Asilos Magdalena.”
Their fourth LP, “The Bedlam in Goliath” was released in 2008, along with an online game called “Goliath: The Soothsayer”.
“Octahedron” was released next year, in 2009.
In 2011 Rodriguez-Lopez spoke about the band’s upcoming album in several interviews, saying that it would feature thirteen songs which, “are a simplified version of what we’ve done before”. Bixler-Zavala took the opportunity to make a few remarks on the sound of the album, indicating a drastic change in sound for the band, referring to the new sound as “future punk.”
Sounding like a mixture of Rush, Morphine, Siouxsie and the Banshees, King Crimson, Yes, Marillion, David Bowie and a long-long line of other legendary artists and bands of different genres from the 70s up to the 90s, “Noctourniquet” it’s a dizzy trip through sound and space, through different vibes and moods.
It’s a very unique experience. Scary and beautiful, captivating simultaneously. This is a spiral or the eye of a hurricane which gonna suck you in.
The Mars Volta – Official Site
The Mars Volta @ Soundcloud
The Mars Volta @ Facebook
Three years without a new release is a very long time according to the usual Mars Volta standards and the evolution in their sound and composition style is more than noticeable. Very different from their previous releases, this album is one really, really weird killer and a welcome change: Bedlam and Octahedron were good but I felt they were starting to run in circles.
A few things though: I miss the expanded formation with the brass, especially Isaiah (this guy is one hell of a keyboardist!), there’s no long progressive song like they used to make and the cover is quite basic and really ugly (I loved the surrealism of their previous covers).
Note: This band is an absolute must-see in concert! I saw them live in Paris during the Octahedron tour and it was an amazing experience: almost 3 hours of a psychedelic trip with a fair amount of long instrumental improvisations. By far the longest show of one single band I’ve ever seen, even Pink Floyd didn’t play that long back in ’88.
Not an “unconditional fan” of the band, but an interesting listening always!
Regarding the “must see in concert” issue, honestly, don’t know if there is a band except Nine Inch Nails which I would like to see live, but even more honestly, I really don’t feel the need to go to a concert for a few years now. Last time I saw The Thing in a small club, but still, I’m totally and completely sociopath! 😆 😆 😆 The upside is I do not discriminate, I equally hate everybody! 😆