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The Bedlam In Goliath

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iTunes Review

Part-metal, part-funk, part-prog rock, part dada art project, the Mars Volta slice and dice rhythms, riffs and concepts with little concern for their overall cohesion. In fact, sharp, disparate chaos only excites them further. The string-mangling comes from all directions throughout their fourth studio album, 2008’s The Bedlam in Goliath. The excited hot rail lead guitars of the tune “Goliath” jumpstart singer Cedric Bixler-Zayala’s manic inquisitions until he screeches like an excited puppy midway through the seven-minute epic. It stands as a message coded in tongues. (The lyrics were allegedly inspired in part by a Ouija board guitarist-producer Omar Rodriguez-Lopez found in Jerusalem.) Mythmaking is part of this ensemble’s stock in trade, and the mystical titles are met with music every bit as cryptic and deliberately weird. Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante adds his share of twisted riffs, and the band play tug-of-war within the time signatures of each tune, creating a funk that isn’t always danceable but remains consistently guttural and alluringly middle-Eastern. “Metatron” breaks down into near incoherency. “Cavaletta” pummels with nervous tension. Score one for chaos.

Customer Reviews


With the departure of Jon Theodore from the band, i was worried, as most TMV were, about this new album, but with the addition of one of the best drummers out there, Thomas Pridgen, i was blown away. He is by far the most precise drummer i have ever seen. 1. Aberinkula - 8.5/10 Great way to start off the album, great grove at the end. A very solid song and a good way to start off the album. 2. Metatron - 10/10 The chorus is one of the best that TMV has ever created, and while it goes into a interlude in the middle, charges back at the end with it. This song was amazing live. 3. Ilyena - 10/10 One of if not the best song on the album. Great bass groove and a great bongo by Marcel. Next single and should do very well. 4. Wax Simualcra - 9/10 Thomas Pridgen is a beast. The intro is godly. If only the song were a little bit longer, but I think it being short is understandable too. 5. Goliath 9.5/10 "I'm starting to feel a miscarriage coming on" Pure genius. Great song. I dont want them to release it as a single cause i dont want a crappy radio edit of this masterpiece. 6. Tourniquet Man - 6/10 Starts off as a really cool ballad, but the vocal distortion at the end does get kind of annoying. Good relaxing break 7. Cavalettas 9/10 Very strong song. Energetic and amazing. I dare anybody not to have the urge to start rocking out to this song. 8. Agadez 10/10 Another great intro for Pridgen. Bass in this is greatly written by Omar. Has a very smooth feel to it, but at the same time intense. 9. Askepios 8.5/10 Very different intro from the rest of the song. If only the main part of the song was a little longer this could be even more of an amazing song. 10. Ouroborous 9.5/10 Even without a crazy difficult guitar part, Omar has once again written a part that serves its purpose perfectly. Great song overall. 11. Soothsayer 7/10 Has a great atmosphere to the song. Captures it perfectly. Just isnt one of my favorite songs on the album. 12. Conjugal Burns 9/10 Great end to the album. Goliath coming awake through music is genius. Ending is perfect for the album. Overall, Cedric's vocals are amazing. Even though some people dont like him, he is the band. Omar wrote a perfect album. Thomas Pridgen is incredible. Juan and Adrian add perfectly, each in their own way and each perfectly. You have to give this album your full attention, and it deserves it. One of if not the best albums of 2008.


Like a donkey choking a waffle

Good album, not the same Mars Volta

Don't get me wrong, this is a really good album, the songs are all really good and it has a great sound, however... It's not The Mars Volta I used to love. They don't have the tight latin-tinged grooves so prevalent on De-Loused and Amputechture, they don't have the free jazz inspired breaks and spacey solos of Frances. The songs, while very well performed, are for the most part pretty straight forward, and some of them kind of sound the same. I never really thought I'd say that about TMV, but it's true on this album. Also, as a drummer, this was the first thing I noticed, Thomas Pridgen (don't get me wrong, he is a beast) is not as a good of a drummer FOR THIS BAND as Jon Theodore was. On a pure skill level, yeah, Pridgen owns, but The Mars Volta was so awesome with John Theodore. He definitely locked in with the bass player better, and he wasn't as busy. He didn't over do it on the kick drum like Pridgen does on this album. Plus his kit sounds so much better for TMV than Pridgen's does. Good album, but not the same Mars Volta.


Formed: 2001 in El Paso, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Picking up the pieces from At the Drive-In, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez formed the Mars Volta and wasted little time branching out into elements of hardcore, psychedelic rock, and free jazz that expanded on the boundaries of their previous work. Although their previous band's demise ultimately arrived before they were able to truly capitalize on their mounting commercial triumphs, the Mars Volta immediately impressed with their willingness to eschew conventional logic and push themselves...
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