Sound — 10
This album is the jewel in the Volta's crown in terms of the sound they have been able to produce. The opener, son et lumiere, is a swirling, ethereal lead in to the albums real first track, Intertiatic ESP that sets the standard for the album, with it's roots clearly embedded in the groups former incarnation, At The Drive In, utilizing post-punk attitude but bloending it with the sound the defines the album, which can be described as experimental progressive rock. while these first two tracks get the blood flowing, it's the next few that hit the jugular, with roulette dares hypnotic grinding guitar and drums blasting off only to descend back into a soothing melancholy with cedric's vocals hovering over the top, and simultaneously cutting through the guitars. this trend conitnues on the other tracks, particluarly Eria Tarka and Cicatriz ESP whose experimantal sounds and soft-loud-soft structure keep the longer songs exciting. More somber tracks like televetors help to allow the listener to really sink into the experience of this record, and it is one whose sonic landscape is a continuous entity, which is fully appreciated with a full listen through, althought the appeal of tracks like Roulette Dares as fan favourite singles is noticble. all in all, individual, approcachable yet experimental and worthy of appreciation from muscician and enthusiasts alike, but certainly not for everyone.
Lyrics — 9
A note: Cedric is an amazing vocalist, and his voice does indeed give sucha great dimension to the sound of volta he is comparable with Omar in an insturmental sense at times; the man just takes off. however, it's also the lyrical content of this album that has made it special. the lyrics follow a conceptual theme being the human condition, and it seems that in the haze of prog melodies, the dark often ambiguos lyrics are a great match. the lyrics on the album make the listener feel like they're are descending into the dark, cold, musty room that is created by the atmosphere of the record, and you really get a sense of the inevitability of death juxtaposed with the soaring progressive aesthetic. pretty much every song has some allusion to themes of rotting, dying, being trapped, lost, afraid and helpless... and for the sake of intrigue I'll let others look up the lyrics for fear of misquotation or misinterpretation.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is really something individual and special, and one of my favourite personal albums, however it will alienate some people with it's exerimental nature, however it will also draw in the unlikeliest of fans at times. the prgressive shifting sonic landscape and the dark, oprressive yet uplifting lyrical content match perfectly, and the band just seems to be on the same wavelength on what can be described as a very very organised jam session which blends chaos with intensity, intent and purpose. this is a great album that's worth your time, especially for fans of progressive rock or metal, or a fan of something just a little bit different to the mainstream... think muse in latin america on steroids in full jam ahead mode.