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4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 7 July 2012
When I first heard De-Loused in the Comatorium, I was amazed. I thought it was great prog rock with experimental influences. Frances the Mute didn't have the same unique feeling, it also missed the raw energy of the first album but I felt that it still was prog. The live album Scabdates was also prog.. but it was too much of complex noise and it felt less live than the studio albums...

I haven't heard Amputechture but at least in this album, The Bedlam in Goliath, The Mars Volta has finally lost the prog element completely. What noise is this? Crap? Eh.. I really can't understand this album. There's no 'musical aim' or any other goals. This is so pointless and annoying noise that I couldn't even listen to it completely - I had to stop!

..and a bad mastering isn't helping either. Loud as hell and brighter than white noise. My ears just can't stand the music and the sound of this record

If you wanna listen to MUSIC stay away from this!
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on 25 January 2008
Just purchased The Bedlam in Goliath this morning - new releases come out in Ireland on the Friday before they do in the UK for some reason - and listening to it now, it has a real sense of urgency that i haven't heard on a Mars Volta album since De-Loused. My first impression is, it is a typically brilliant album if you are a fan of The Mars Volta, if not, i don't really think it will convert anyone fast.
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The Mars Volta don't mess about on The Bedlam in Goliath, or to put it another way... they most certainly do. The album is the most instant Mars Volta album to date; litterally, Opener 'Aberinkula,' seems to burst out of the speakers like its trying to escape from something dangerous, appearing almost to start before you've hit the play button.

Gone are the slow burning intros, the slow electronic pieces between songs weaving a subtle web around the album, instead the listener is greeted to pure punk fury basically the whole record, albeit with a proggy aftertaste. The album is heavier than all the other Mars Volta albums, but contains just as much trippy saxophone solos (with a particularly excellent one towards the end of the aforementioned 'Aberinkula') latin percussion, synthesizers, backwards music and bizare lyrics as you've come to expect from this unique band.

The Bedlam in Goliath has shifted its focus from 'Epic,' to 'Imediate,' and while this takes some getting used to, it is an excellent record that any serious fan should be able to enjoy.

Highlights include the catchiest ever Mars Volta song, 'Goliath,' which is a drumming masterpiece, as well as the haunting, effects soaked slow number 'Tourniquet Man,' and the supremely interesting 'Agadez.'

At first listen, the album is very brash, noisy and 'In Your Face,' with many high pitched screeching instruments competing for space in a busy stereoscopic environment that seems to be almost exclusively inhabited by things designed to hurt the human ear. Once you get past the distractions however there is a fantastic album to be enjoyed, and one that I would gladly recommend to you. If you like The Mars Volta's faster or Heavier moments, this is the album for you.
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on 14 June 2009
2006's 'Amputecture' was a record of brilliant moments, but ultimately an impenetrable one even by the Mars Volta's standards. Perhaps the most obviously improv-based album of their career, this led to some spectacular moments of musical vertigo but also lengthy sections of unfathomable squawking seemingly hooked together at random. 'The Bedlam In Goliath' provides a welcome shot in the arm; it's the most energetic and aggressive record this fascinating, infuriating band have released to date, with hardcore punk velocity boiling over from its lava-flow grooves.
This doesn't mean, as some have said, that it's a return to At The Drive-In territory particularly. There's still about five albums'-worth of musical ideas somehow crammed onto one disc. It's still the musical equivalent of downing several shots of tequila in a row. And Cedric and Omar have always been a walking retort to those who think progressive rock is the haven of cloistered, academic chin-strokers. In stark contrast, they seem to live inside a William Burroughs or Barry Gifford novel, with every day taken up with either making music, taking drugs, or having weird/scary experiences. Whether you believe it or not, this album has one hell of a back story - the inadvertent conjuring, via a ouija board, of a spirit calling itself Goliath, demanding to be released from whatever realm it was trapped in. When the bandmembers refused to assist it, it threw a spectacular tantrum and 'cursed' the recording sessions in a variety of ways. So while the lyrics would seem to be, as ever, gibberish, there are an awful lot of references to the occult and parallel dimensions on here if you look closely, and you get the impression they know what they're talking about.
It doesn't really mattter what the Mars Volta's songs are 'about', though. This is what makes nonsense out of the constant accusations of pretention that get levelled at them - the words, like the music, are a constant flux, an action-painting splatter, and they can mean whatever you want them to. Cedric's voice - as ever, able to effortlessly trounce the likes of Buckley and Bjork without even trying - is ultimately just another instrument, an echoing trumpet call in the vortex.
A particularly advantageous addition to the band's ranks is their new drummer Thomas Pridgeon, who lays down some of the most incredible rock drumming this side of Jimmy Chamberlain. Thanks to him, the tracks *surge* like never before, the likes of 'Goliath' itself a vertitable psychedelic locomotive running relentlessly over your skull. The choruses to songs like 'Ouroborous' are so sharp and vehement they practically take the listener's head off with one slice. And while there's nothing quite as utterly barking mad as the last album's 'Tetragrammaton' or 'Day Of The Baphomets', one could spend weeks lost in the hydra-headed ferocity of the opening 'Aberinkula', the swirling wonder of 'Cavalettas', or the sinisterly aquatic-narcotic 'Soothsayer'.
It all gets a bit much towards the end of this unrelenting 78-minute mind-pummel, and by the time 'Conjugal Burns' becomes the playful bonus cover (replete with attempted "English" singing) of Syd Barrett's 'Candy And A Current Bun', it's something of a relief, if only so you can catch your breath again.
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on 23 January 2008
I'm sorry to say, i've heard the entire album through a download. It is insane. From the first to last second, this album pummels you with intricately layered music and awesome drumming that is rivalled only by Tool. And this is completely different to the former. I've been a fan for a few years and this is their best work to date. Tickets are on order for their gig in march and i will still purchase this as any group and their record company who are prepared to produce this kind of quality (of which is severly lacking in todays music) deserve a few of my hard earned pennies. BUY IT. You won't be disappointed
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on 28 January 2008
When I first heard TMV were releasing a new album, the expectation was high. Enormously high. Not only have they managed to hook me completely with their last three albums (excluding live) but it's hard to imagine where they could have gone from 'Amputechture'. Having purchased the CD this morning, listened to the bedlam all day, I am once again amazed. They've pulled it off- an amzing album, from the King Crimson references to the mind-boggling lyrics Cedric has layed down, this record has very few negatives. Can't wait for their live performance, only one month to go...

A note, however- if you expect TMV to carry on with the sound they first proposed with Deloused and Frances, you'll be disappointed. It's not in their nature, never will be and I'm glad it's not. This is music in evolution.
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on 24 January 2008
I've been listening to this album all day today after getting threw the post (Pre-Ordered the Japanese CD/DVD release way back at the beginning of December).

First thoughts were difficult, but then again; all TMV releases required a huge amount of brain power to digest. Though it goes without saying first thing I exclaimed when listening to this album was "Where is the Sax and Organ!". But that was a reaction to being used to the "Brass-Heavy" Amputechture (Tetra, Mecca, Baphomets). Also to note this is their heaviest album release to date. There is little that gets in the way of a little distortion, be it guitars, vocals, synths, effects or a resonating wah-bass.
Second thoughts were also difficult, as a more song based album, the songs, though all interlinked with a bit of noise and effects, all come at you with no rest to take in what you just heard. Again, as opposed to Amputechture (Atonement, Magdalena & Vulnerado).

Bad first thoughts aside, this album really grows on you. Each song is, in its own right a brilliant construction. I don't think there isn't a song that couldn't be a single on this album. But I suppose they've chosen Wax Simulacra for its length. And as for the Sax and Keyboards, They are there, after a deep listen. They're in the mix to aid the guitars and drums to sound more powerful when needed.

Lyrics, despite the main concept of the album, about Omar on a trip in Jerusalem, purchased an archaic ouija-type talking board at a curio shop as a gift for Cedric. And after using it constantly a string bad luck was cursed upon them.
The lyrics are still as of the same concept of Amputechture, as in they are still very religious. To quote an obvious one, "There will be no eve for adam if your apples have gone." from the song 'Ilyena'. And the penultimate song on the album, 'Conjugal Burns', though is obviously about Omar's studio flooding, Cedric's words twist this incident into an apocalypse. Similar to say the "Noah Ark" story, (based on the fact that around that period of time the mini-ice age (the one that we are still in) ended and the sea levels rose dramatically.)

It takes a little listening, but you really get the feeling that Omar is trying harder to reproduce the bands live experience. At least, from what I can say about their appearance at the Henry Rollins Show, the bands core feature are just eight people trying to get most attention on stage. And with the sound they produce from it, it isn't a bad thing. It really blows you away...
This general feeling is definitely fed through this album. The jam band inside them for the moment is holding back and letting the songs come first, but this is not without loss. They have a funkier groove about them, they sound fresher than ever before. And Cedrics vocals, despite a nearly 15 year old span of a career, are still getting better! Though it would of been nice to have a touch less mangling effects on them, I guess this just adds to the whole general experience of TMV.

Overall, this is a new creature of an album. Born from 'Amputechture', fathered by 'Se Dice' and brother to 'Calibrations'. Just when I thought Omar may be coming out a bit short on material, a greater progression forwards for the band has occurred.

Buy this, though this isn't FTM, you would be any less than impressed or inspired.
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on 1 March 2008
If your into simple song structures like those used by Morrisey or other such tripe then your going to hate this. However if you like twisted time changes, individual ideas and music that although its influenced by other great bands ie: King Crimson, yet sounds nothing like anybody you've heard, then you'll love this.

Yes when you first listen it sounds like a bit of a mess but listen again and again and slowly it reveals itself. I love this album its got everything from the complex to the beautiful, alright theres not much beauty but it is there among all the heavy stuff.

There is no let up to the speed on this album except for 'Tourniquet Man' and unlike others i love this track, right from the start they go straight into the action. You'll hear influences from Frank Zappa a lot on this album and others, Led Zeppelin, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Al DiMeola and King Crimson but it never sounds like a clone. Theres world music too with 'Soothsayer'.

If you've an open mind and like experimental albums that grow on you then you may like this, its very fast, very heavy and very good indeed. If you prefer standard rock then don't bother and if you do and you give it a go and don't like it, you've been warned. So don't write a review to slag it off, it says more about the type of music you like than it does about the album.
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on 19 February 2012
well i like the mars volta a lot and i already have the bedlam in goliath but i wanted to buy this version because it's different, or not! this cover don't exist(just in the photo )and it will came as the same as the ''normal'' edition, the site says it's content have 3 cds and there will only be 2. getting this things out of the way it's a wonderfull cd.
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on 28 March 2008
`The Mars Volta' return with their 4th album, `The Bedlam in Goliath'. Like their previous releases there is a story behind the album and if you have a spare hour, and I do mean an hour, you can read the full thing on their website. Basically its all about a Ouija board Omar bought in Israel. Bad things began to happen and they all thought the board was cursed and in order to get rid of the curse they had to bury it. The question is did this make or break the output on the record? Well here is my take on things...

The general feel of the album is a kind of heavy punky prog. Think back to all the heaviest parts from previous albums. Those parts make up the majority of the record this time round. Therefore I would say compared to previous albums where they covered a wide range of sounds, mixing quiet and loud parts creating and also having different styles of songs. This album focuses more on the one style and that style is predominantly loud. The irony of about this is that Cedric and Omar left `At the drive-in' because the other members wanted to go down the punk/rock/pop route while Omar and Cedric wanted go in a more progressive/experimental direction. With `Bedlam', it's like they made it to show how far they have come musically since `At the Drive-in'. They can still do the punkier rock songs, but now they are a lot more polished and expansive than before. Even though it's a heavier record, Cedric does no resort to his old At the Drive-in days where he shouted the lyrics. The vocals are brilliant because the bursts occur a lot more often throughout this album. I just wait with great anticipation for the next vocal explosion to occur.

I would go as far as saying this is MV's most accessible album to date. A big statement I know and one in which would lead many of my friends to laugh a lot as they really don't think they are capable of making an accessible album! But the way I look at it is all the tracks have the same feel to them and relatively speaking it is easier listening than many of the songs on previous albums. Moreover, on each of the previous albums there have always been parts which are weird and take a long time to make any sense. However there are not really any parts like that on `Bedlam'. While I don't think this album will bring in any new fans as it still has `The Mars Volta' sound all over it; I think it may actually put off older fans who fell in love with the band due to the experimentation (weirdness) and pushing the boundaries of their music through the variety in their sound. The other albums usually took me at least 20 listens to understand and I use to relish the challenge of `getting it'. This album took me about 5 listens and if it was a computer game this would be MV on easy mode. I think the album would have been received brilliantly if this was their debut as compared to ATDI it's a big step up and would have acted as a great transitional record between the two bands. But when you compare `Bedlam' to the previous 3 albums the quality is there, but in terms of progression and experimentation it feels like a step back. In saying that it is just that even though it was easier `to get'; you will find yourself listening to it just as much, if not more than the other albums.

The main highlights of the album for me are tracks `Metatron', `Goliath', `Agadez', and bonus track; `Candy and a current bun'. `Metatron' feels like a continuation from track 1; Aberinkula which acts as a great builder/introduction. Cedric instantly kicks off `Meta' screeching the vocals "Maybe I'll break down" oozing passion and charisma. `Goliath' has got my favourite riff on the album. Furthermore Omar's solos on this track are edgy and frantic which really does some up the song. Most notably around the 4 minute 30 seconds mark and again at 6 minutes 40 seconds where the track seems to go into orbit as Cedric's vocals go into hyper mode. `Agadez' is underpinned by a funky bass line delivered by the one and only Juan Alderete. When I first heard `Candy and a current bun' I thought it sounded like a proper old school punk track. Funnily enough I later found out it actually was! It is a cover of the early Pink Floyd song. Cedric changes his vocal style here to one I can't recall him doing before. Each lyric is delivered purposely and precisely with a swagger attached. There is a funky keyboard part which acts as great closer to the album. I have since listened to the original and have to say that TMV make the original seem very ordinary and pedestrian. `Ilyena' and `Tourniquet Man' are the slow chill out songs on the album. However someone didn't tell that to new drummer Thomas Pridgen as he still drums at the same ferocity as the other tracks. This was clearly deliberate though as it does work a treat.

Overall, `Bedlam' is a great album. How a band can make an album with 13 tracks on it lasting 78 minutes feel like mainstream punk/rock/pop/prog record; only TMV know. They are genius, they are not going to go away and they are not capable of rehashing the same three chords on every album. These are extremely talented musicians with the creative force that make them one of the most fresh and exciting prog bands on the planet. I'm looking forward to their next album already...
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