MARS VOLTA De-Loused In The Comatorium
All of my friends
who know about music have been telling me about The Mars Volta.
No details, no descriptions, just pick it up. And I did. Thanks,
Most everyone has been saying that The Yeah
Yeah Yeah's ‘Fever To Tell’ is the most revolutionary
album in years. I don't know if this is true, nor do I know if ‘De-Loused
In The Comatorium’ is, but it's better (The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
are bloody awful – Ed). Alright, the point: The Mars Volta
goes far beyond just ‘the new incarnation of At The Drive
In’. More than just a mix of the layered guitar sound ATDI
was known for and an electronic element halfway between Sonic Youth
and The Aphex Twin back when they were scary. More than tight production,
tight sound, overwhelming urgency. I mean,
musically - and because of its release on Universal – ‘...Comatorium’
has the potential to rip open the radio in every way that The White
Stripes and The Hives have failed. But that's not the best part.
Alright, the point:
‘De-Loused In The Comatorium’ is a concept album, but
a concept album on a scale never before attempted.
The entire album is written in metaphor, but the explanation of
the concept and the lyric sheet are yet to be released. A lyric
book and the story of ‘...Comatorium’, with paintings
and other art, is in production for release after the double vinyl
release in September. But until then, you basically need to know
the story of the real life death of At The Drive In's bass player,
you have to sit down with your CD player and copy lyrics between
hitting the pause button (which requires a working knowledge of
Spanish and a little Latin), and try to piece together a puzzle
without having a box to look at.
Or, if you're a latecomer
like me ("latecomer" meaning I got it a week after it
came out), you scour the internet. The prevailing explanation of
‘...Comatorium’ is this: the first track is the first
person point of view overdose and subsequent fall into a coma of
the subject of the album (the cause of which is referred to as "rat
poison" in the song but generally considered to mean morphine,
the drug that ATDI's bass player overdosed on, went into a coma
from, and eventually died from use of).
The rest of the album is the internal argument
of the two voices in his head. A back and forth weighing his life
and telling him to fight the coma state and wake, or give in to
the coma and disappear into himself forever. The end of the last
track is his decision and wake, either into life or death.
At least, that's one
idea of what this album is about.
Arpad Crisis is an independent freelance writer. His views do not
necessarily coincide with eyemachine's
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