Review: The Mars Volta – De-Loused in the Comatorium

Quite simply, I had never heard anything quite like The Mars Volta. I heard rumblings of a new project from former At The Drive-In members, Omar Alfredo Rodríguez-López and Cedric Bixler-Zavala, but my expectations for the music that this band would go on to release would be blown out of the water. De-Loused in the Comatorium is based on a short story by Bixler-Zavala and sound manipulation artist, Jeremy Ward, that imagines a man who enters a week-long coma after overdosing on rat poison and morphine. The record was produced by Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Strokes) and showcases a band taking extreme risks in their progressive-rock sound that exceeded any expectations that their label could have hoped for when they signed the band. The album was both a commercial and critical success that would eventually be certified gold in the United States.

From the quiet opening of “Son Et Lumiere” to the explosion of sound on the lead single, “Inertiatic ESP,” The Mars Volta would bend the minds of all who put on a pair of headphones and sat down to listen to De-Loused in the Comatorium. The band would go on to seven studio albums, with their latest being a self-titled release after a ten-year hiatus, and re-set the bar for what prog-rock could be and become a beacon for music creativity for the foreseeable future.

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