The Bedlam In Goliath review by The Mars Volta

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  • Released: Jan 29, 2008
  • Sound: 9
  • Lyrics: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (195 votes)
The Mars Volta: The Bedlam In Goliath

Sound — 9
Very energetic, powerful rock music. This album is what the last one should have been. This album is good as the band is able to once again make music that sounds different from their previous stuff, yet sounds like the Volta. The new drummer is really great and they obviously focused on making the drums sound very powerful as they are loud and fast throughout the whole album. This is more a good thing, but sometimes can be overwhelming. Personally I love crazy drums, so I really enjoy it, but it does get crazy. One thing they have improved on is having the "strange-sound" interludes, but not letting them last too long, as the transitions are very good on this album compared to the the previous ones. But lets be honest, The Mars Volta is for a certain kind of music lover, one who likes is sick of boring mainsteam sounds and someone with an adventurous open mind, and sophisitcated musical palette. This album will feed this kind of person sufficiently.

Lyrics — 9
Typical Cedric-type lyrics, mysterious yet pointing toward a certain feeling or notion. There are actually some catchy parts, such as one Goliath "never heard a man speak like this man before." this is a very cool and powerful part of the song, which may be the best on the album. I suppose the lyrics are focused on spiritual/religious ideas as flows from the Jerusalem-inspired concept and is shown through the religious content of the artwork. The overall feel is one of troublesome occurances and deep, powerful, transcending revelations. Not Cedric at his best (frances the mute was cedric at his best) but nonetheless he matches the band perfectly.

Overall Impression — 9
It would have been a much better thing for TMV to have combined the best from this album with the best from last album, that way they would have continued their string of fantastic albums instead of misstepping on Amputechture and putting out a "better" album with Bedlam. But I am pleased with this album because it really does grab you and take you through some pretty incredible musical episodes. There are not any bands that compare, and no other band with satisfy those musical cravings you had after you heard Deloused and Frances. I love that they decided to go balls out and rock hard. But I hate that it's still not as good as Deloused and Frances. It's as if those first two albums were meant to happen, and now they have to try too hard to create their music. This album is great, but even more than the first two, it's music that is more appreciated by someone listing to it my themselves then playing it for other uninitiatd listeners.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Seriously, this album is a total let-down. Their new drummer doesn't even seem to realize there is such a thing as dynamics. Plus, the album as a whole really never slows down and seems way too formulaic. I just really hope that on their next record they come back to their senses and actually think out the music they are writing before they record it.
    Confetti wrote: f1sk wrote: punk metal? progressive metal? I don't think so..... anyway, I agree the album just had more substance, and I by that I just mean more songs, and less white noise. loud? im not sure if I would say that but I guess I see why people say that, there seemed to be less variety on this album (compared to amp) but I guess youll have that when all 12 tracks are actual songs there were definitely less instances where all the instruments quieted down for a guitar solo. What are you jabbering about? Volta is straight out heavy prog. The album is in between Comatorium and Frances. It better then Frances The Mute but still is not as good as Comatorium. The style itself is in between these two also. The punk metal tag is so off place here -_-
    heavy prog??? what the hell is heavy prog??? anyway i think subgenres are getting out of control.....aside from the that, if nothing else these guys definately put their own spin on the ROCK genre (which is good) reminds me of the way incubus did it back in the day, new rhythms and new sounds....solid effort
    floydzeppelin wrote: SL!!! wrote: "they are getting ridiculously pretentious and up their own asses and dont have the songs anymore to back that up" Seriously? The "pretentious" argument is the biggest bunch of bull i've ever heard. So are you saying all jazz musicians who improve are pretentious? There's nothing wrong with showing off your skill or trying to make music complex for the sake of achieving a different feel or sound. That's why they're experimental, that's why they do what they do. So maybe you like simpler melodies and songs, big deal, don't bitch about a band because you don't "get it" or have an appreciation for music theory or people showcasing their skills. CRIPES. are you kidding me!??!?!?! you call this jazz? i dont know what your talking about. this sounds like cedric and omar and the rest ofthem had sex with their instruments and recorded what it sounded like.
    he didn't say that TMV is jazz, just that jazz musicians and the like get bagged for exploring new dimensions. as so. they aren't the most pinoneering group as to get the sex with instruments comment. this isn't avant-noise. they do, however, kick ass and they have definitely stepped it up with this album. so all the tags and labels are rendered irrelevant due to good music.
    adslam3 wrote: any TMV fan shouldn't be disappointed.
    Uh... *raises hand* I am. My expectations were let down horribly. I miss the Comatorium/Frances days where Cedric didn't f*ck with his vocals like his life depended on it and Jon Theodore was the drummer, and I really dig the latin and jazz thing they had going on, which was even in Amputechture a little.
    And to an earlier comment, there is such a thing as making your music too complex. TMV almost did it here. There is a difference between showing off your skill and having people like it, and showing off and having people say "Well they're talented as a madc*nt, but this music sucks"... for example, PsyOpus, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dragonforce, they all try to do nothing but show off how many notes they can play at superhuman speed in every song they ever wrote, and I dunno about you but I think that sh*t sucks. Sounds like they're all just doing their own thing, playing multiple different songs, just showing off. And then there are guys like BTBAM who KNOW how to show off their talent and have their sh*t be complex and yet not inaccessible, by NOT overdoing it. I can dig it if a band decides to take a different direction, but if you try to cram together too many things at one time all you've got is a jumbled mess, which is exactly why the new TSOAF album was bad(also includes whiny b*tch Craig Owens). People always put down change because they think that if their favorite band changes the sh*t's gonna hit the fan, and usually they will listen to it anyway and probably end up liking it. Regardless, next time I hear about TMV going into the studio I am gonna be about as skeptic as it gets until I hear it.
    The review by SeVeN 2 eLeVeN could not have been more wrong. This album was the most energetic and exiting. And anyone who says that this album is not punk and that its not jazz or like their other albums are retarded. TMV favorite music is punk and playing the same thing over and over is boring.