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Album Review: The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet

Album Review: The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet

Friday 4th May, 2012 9:14AM

It might have only been three years since we last heard from The Mars Volta on Octahedron but it certainly feels like a lot longer than that. It could have something to do with the fact that they released five albums over six years that this hiatus feels particularly long. This track record is even more impressive given the legend that the band writes, records, and discards an entire album’s worth of material between releases to keep their creative process vital. Stories of artistic struggles between guitarist / composer / workaholic Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala might explain the wait. The end result is Noctourniquet and it is equal parts excess and restraint which is a hard balance to maintain. The primary complaints against their previous two albums were that there was too much going on (The Bedlam In Goliath) or not enough (Octahedron). Here no song lingers for more than eight minutes but then again there are thirteen of them to contend with. Lyrically Cedric is back in his free-association mode that yielded such head scratchers as “exoskeleton junction at the railroad delay” on “Roulette Dares (The Haunt Of)”. Anybody searching for a grand deeper meaning underneath the surrealist poetry is in for a nasty surprise. I hope they have a thesaurus, an Ouija board, and painkillers at hand.

Click here to continue reading this review of The Mars Volta's new album - Noctourniquet.


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