The Mars Volta is quite a unique band. Formed in 2001 by two individuals (Omar Rodriguez Lopez and Cedric Bixler Zavala), The Mars Volta has taken a predilection for various styles of music, largely a progressive style that incorporates jazz and world music. The music they have created sets itself apart from the norm easily enough, and while it may not be for the average music fan, The Mars Volta has built a solid fan base by being true to the kind of music they wanted to make.
Although there are currently five albums in release from the band, the most interesting continues to be their debut issue, De-Loused in the Comatorium. It begins with a mesmerizing blend of instruments fusing what is usually ‘par for the course’ progressive music. Progressive music generally follows few rules. The genre is allowed to be as wildly experimental as it often plays out to be. De-Loused In the Comatorium is clearly an exploratory album.
Subsequent albums (Frances The Mute, 2005; Amputechture, 2006; The Bedlam In Goliath, 2008; Octahedron, 2009) continue to stretch the band’s style in many directions, often with extended tracks exceeding ten minutes and sometimes approaching the 16- and 17-minute marks. Again, long and extended songs are nothing unusual for the progressive style that is adopted by the band.
On March 27, The Mars Volta will release their sixth album, Noctourniquet, to an expectant audience. The album will contain 13 new songs. Like previous albums, time has been taken to help ensure a vibrant experience like the previous five have delivered. It has been three years since the release of Octohedron. If the new single from the album (released on February 13) can be used as a guide, there should be little doubt of the superior content that will make up Noctourniquet.
The single, “The Malkin Jewel,” brings hints of a previous period in rock ‘n’ roll days, most notably the ‘70s. And yet, The Mars Volta is stitched deeply within the fabric of style that can be heard in the song. There is no mistaking the origin of the song. Fans of The Mars Volta should be pleased.