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The Mars Volta: CD Review

‘Amputechture,’ the latest album from The Mars Volta that hit record store on Sept. 12 is like taking a hallucinogenic drug. The Mars Volta first landed on the music scene in 2003 when they released their debut album ‘De-Loused in the Comatorium,’ inspired by the suicide of their friend Julio Venegas. The album describes a drug-induced coma in which the protagonist experiences a series of surreal dreams.

In 2005, the band released its sophomore album titled ‘Frances the Mute.’ The band’s late sound manipulator Jeremy Ward wrote the album, which is loosely based on a diary he found in a car he repossessed.

The Mars Volta has with their first two albums created a unique sound. Take the fast beats of electronica and salsa, the insane guitar from the psychedelic era,

ambient noise and the high pitched voice of Singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala – who sounds like a screaming banshee – and you have The Mars Volta.

Bixler-Zavala’s lyrics are incredibly obscure and play with the mind.

“Please dismantle all these phantom limbs, it’s the evidence of humans as ornaments, humans as ornaments, humans as ornaments, humans as ornaments,” as an example.

The sounds that come from Omar Rodriguez-Lopez’s guitar will tickle your ears and blow your ear drums out at the same time. The instrumentals build and build until your head is about to pop off, then the music breaks and all is well. The experience of listening to these musicians is truly enlightening.

Rodriguez-Lopez produced ‘Amputechture,’ which allowed the band more freedom. The band’s use of sound manipulators and distortion effects are more evident in this album.

Bixler-Zavala said in an MTV.com interview that he found inspiration for this album from two sources; immigration and a nun who was locked in a room and left to starve after telling how she spoke with the devil.

Now, who are The Mars Volta most like? I would say they’re a mix between the disco electronica band Head Automatica, the storytelling rock band Coheed and Cambria and 1970s psychedelic rock band Led Zeppelin.

Songs off of ‘Amputechture’ to pay attention to include Vermicide, Meccamputechture and Viscera Eyes.