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Sheer Bedlam indeed!!
on 8 February 2008
There is no let up in this, The Mars Volta's fourth album. From the full on opening rush of "Aberinkula" there is no room to breath throughout the 12 tracks on this monster of an album. The 13th track here is a cover of the Pink Floyd b-side "Candy and a Currant Bun".
The usual frenetic Mars Volta style is here intact, but there is an increasing maturity coming into the maelstrom of sound. This is especially prevalent on the very excellent "Ouroborous" which is wonderfully arranged and executed. This track itself shows a compositional sophistication beyond which the group has rarely achieved before. Brilliant stuff! That's not to say the rest of the album lacks, it doesn't. There are so many great musical ideas on show here. For instance, the strange way throughout "Cavalettas" each verse fades out and then comes back in is inspired and really works.
For me I can always hear in the Mars Volta style King Crimson, Yes circa "Relayer", electric Miles Davis and especially on this album the be-bop thrash of John Zorn's long gone Naked City project. But the band has developed so much throughout their four albums, to a point where anything is possible in the future. "The Bedlam In Goliath" is a truly individual, inspired and exciting rock album from a band who continually push themselves forward. There are very few who are willing to do that nowadays.