Sound — 9
I think it's impossible to accurately classify The Mars Volta into a real genre, a la Tool. When you think you got them in a genre, they come out with something so crazy, you can't find a genre to organize them into. The sound is my coinage; experimental post prog psyche-jam. It's that really, they experiment with sounds and Ikey Owens keys, they're prog, and a little psychedelic, then they just jam out. The sound on this album is very straightforward. Not a lot of messing around like Frances the Mute. It's very, "Here's our sound, take it or leave it." I'd take it if I were you. This is definitely a concept album. It's about Julio Venegas, a friend of the band who fell into a drug-induced coma. He is known as Cerpin Taxt during the album. During the coma he discovers his own self and who he is, when he comes out of the coma he is dissatisfied with the world and chooses to end his life (Televators). They jam. It's simple, they jam, there is muchos innovations. Definitely a lot of experimenting here. Cedric offers one of the most amazing voices in music today, rivaling Claudio Sanchez (Coheed and Cambria) and Maynard James Keenan (Tool/A Perfect Circle). Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is an incredible young talent. I'm glad he is sober now, although he wasn't during the making of this album, it's safe to say we'll be seeing this genius for a long time. Ikey Ownes is the keys guy, and he is very good at what he does. He doesn't do much, but when he does, you know. Great keys player. The bassist on this record is the infamous, Flea (RHCP), 'nuff said. Jon the drummer has many influences, ranging from Black Metal to ZZ Top, you can tell he does not have one track mind on this record. I'll give the sound a 9. Only because sometimes the experimenting goes a little too far.
Lyrics — 10
Cryptic. It's simple. Unless you talk to Cedric Bixler-Zavala (singer/lyricist) you will never fully understand the lyrics. I'm sure he has a dictionary/thesaurus with him 24/7. The lyrics are very close with the music. They communicate very well. Mysterious lyrics for mysterious music. Cedric's singing is so amazing, it's just wow. Couldn't find another man for this job. 10; even though some is in Spanish, it's still amazing.
Overall Impression — 10
You can't compare this album to anything. Not even other Volta albums. Everything is so differen. The most impressive songs are "Inertiatic ESP," "Drunkship Of Lanterns," "Televators," and the finale, "Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt." I love everything about this album, it's so mind-blowing, I don't hate anything, but some of the sounds and effects could be downgraded a little. If it was stolen I'd definitely get it again, good thing it's on my iPod.