2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
What a debut......, 10 Nov. 2004
I am a big fan of At the Drive-In and so I decided to invest in "De-Loused in the Comatorium" about a year ago. It took several listens but soon I was experiencing musical bliss!
I'm sure you already know the whole backstory of The Mars Volta, so I will not go into this.
One of the most notable things about Cedric's singing in ATDI was how rough and punchy it sounded. It made you get up and listen. Here his voice is a lot more experimental. There is still hints of the old Cedric but now there are bits where his voice is just somber and beautiful- "Televators" is a great example of this!
The great energy in ATDI came mostly from Cedric's voice, but what is great about TMV is that now Jon Theodore on the drums provides this energy. His rip-roaring drumming is one of the highlights of the album and you can get the true feel of it in such songs like "Drunkship of Lanterns" and "Eriatarka".
As for Omar, he really struts his stuff! His guitar playing is taken up to another level from ATDI, and he and John Frusciante manage to create one of the most stunning solos I've ever heard in the 12+ minute "Cicatriz esp". Also Jeremy Ward must be mentioned here as most of the effects created on this album were through him. He sadly died around the time this album was released.
If you've listened to De Facto (Cedric and Omar's side band to ATDI), then TMV are similar to them but mixed with ATDI, but that doesn't even scratch the surface. People have made comparison's with Pink Floyd , and the TMV do remind me of Radiohead's "Kid A" album at times. But it is not the same as either of these comparisons. It is not suprising that these comparisons are made, as all three bands are experimental in their own right. There are just so many elements of music that have been infused together in this album- prog rock, punk, latino, funk, jazz, etc. Non dominate, they all work equally together to give off TMV's original sound.
Of course TMV may not be everyone's taste, the weird time signitures and experimentation may not be everyone's cup of tea. But I personally believe there are certain albums that are just ground breaking and that everyone should own- from RHCP "Blood sugar sex magik" to Carole King "Tapestry", etc, etc. I would have no hesitation in putting "De-Loused in the Comatorium" in this category.
Bring on "Frances the Mute"!!!!
"Roulette Dares (this is the haunt)"- I see this as the signiture TMV song. Fast paced and mellow and punchy and catchy and when you least expect it, something new is thrown into the game.
"Drunkship of Lanterns"- feels reckless but it's not. Omar's guitar work reminds me of his ATDI work at times but this song is really about Jon Theodore and Ikey Owens. Fast paced doesn't even begin to describe it.
"Cicatriz esp"- this is a long song and a brave song. Typical brilliance of TMV, we have you're normal verse, chorus etc. And then we have about 4 minutes of...odd noises before going into Omar and John Frusciante's superb playing!