Reviews The Mars Volta The Bedlam in Goliath

The Mars Volta

The Bedlam in Goliath

For a band that immerses themselves in creating such an uncompromising and complicated sound, The Mars Volta is a very prolific bunch of musicians. One album released each year shows a very strong work ethic and a determination to never stagnate in their evolution. Not to mention a strong passion for all kinds of music. The Mars Volta sound like they are genuine music lovers first and foremost, and there is no other way to explain how most of the time it sounds like they’re playing three songs at once.

These guys do not seem capable of putting a restraint on themselves and in this instance I mean that as a compliment. The second song, “Metatron” in particular has a slight, and slightly puzzling delay that makes it sound like two different tracks, especially if you’re listening to the album on your headphones in bed and not paying attention to the listings.

The Bedlam in Goliath certainly starts off a lot louder and more frantic than the previous albums, which is always a good thing because this band are use to puzzling their listeners. Last time around it kicked off with a real slow burner, but for this recording things simply explode from the first second and the fact that the album is more bathed in effects than the older ones makes it sound more frenetic than usual. The focus on The Bedlam in Goliath seems to be in having a more noisy approach and truly flooding your senses from every angle. What strikes with opening track, “Aberinkula,” is the truly stellar drumming that continues throughout the record and provides it with its fast paced rhythm. I’ve always had a soft spot for guitars but I do always appreciate a good skin basher when I hear one.

Another difference on this album compared to previous releases is the amount of shorter songs. There are quite a few of them that stay beneath the seven-minute mark and even a few shorter than three minutes, which was previously unheard of from The Mars Volta.

The frantic tempo does let up towards the second half of the album, which is a good thing because in the midst of all the craziness I found myself longing for the mellower songs of old. I’ve always found their gentle, dark songs like “The Widow” or “Asilos Magdalena” just as enjoyable as the experimental ones. It’s good to take a step back and relax from time to time.

It’s been about a week since I bought this and therefore I am still getting used to it, which is why I still find Amputechture to be their finest work so far, but this definitely oozes quality. If you are a fan of this band then you don’t like a specific genre. You simply like music.

8.0 / 10Mirza
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2008

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