2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A more focussed effort than the last two,
This review is from: The Bedlam in Goliath (Audio CD)
After the runaway success of Deloused in the Comatorium, it seemed The Mars Volta were determined not to repeat such mainstream success. Frances the Mute featured 5 very long songs, the last of which was over 30 minutes long, and the rest of which all seemed to descend into bizarre noise collages rather than end properly. Amputechture featured less seemingly-pointless noise, although one look at it's track times would put a lot of people off - the intro is over 7 minutes, while the next track is almost 17 minutes, and it featured what many described as weird-for-the-sake-of-it progness. Musically accomplished as they might be, it seemed that they were almost going out of their way to avoid being accused of crowd-pleasing.
That's not to say that The Bedlam In Goliath is the most accessible album that will be released this year, but it trims off the pointless excesses of the last two albums. You know from the second the first track starts that this album is not going to mess around and risk becoming in any way meandering, and that's confirmed when the track ends and without so much as pausing for breath the second track, Metatron kicks in. The style of the music on this album reminds me a lot of Amputechture, they even seem to have (dare I say it) re-used a few ideas from there, but they've done what I always thought they should have done with Amputechture; rather than cramming a million ideas into a few overstuffed 15-minute epics, they've taken them and developed them into 12 shorter (relatively) but more compact and well-structured songs.
This isn't necessarily an easy record, I'd say that the first half is more accessible than the second for one thing, and it still runs to over 70 minutes in total. It is, in my opinion, the best album they've made since De-Loused In The Comatorium, and definately the most tightly-focussed and satisfying.