Sound — 10
The latest album by The Mars Volta was interesting with Thomas Pridgen as their newest member on drums, giving the band a much quicker, louder, and stronger drum line. However, with the drumming so loud and so much going on in each song at the same time it made it difficult to identify the unique styles and sound of the instruments individual and instead turning it into a mash of constant loudness in such songs as Goliath or Cavalettas. I will admit I do enjoy the environmental and ambient image given by Soothsayer with the image in mind of Jerusalem. And off and on appealing melodies in songs like Agadez and Ilyena or Conjugal Burns are a large appeal to this album, but not letting go of their abstract roots which drew many to this band in the first place.
Lyrics — 10
Like most Mars Volta songs, Cedric Bixler-Zavala's singing accented and cooperated well with instrumentals. The one thing I noticed about the lyrics in this album was that, unlike past albums, not one song featured Spanish in it. A lot of the songs did however include Hebrew and Jewish roots to it, for example: Metatron. I noticed this transition into Judaism on the previous album Amputechture with the song Tetragrammaton and Vicarious Atonement. This album's lyrics may have been easier to write do to the fact that it is thematic because it is mostly a concept album.
Overall Impression — 10
In comparison to other albums, I did enjoy The Bedlam in Goliath, but I would prefer Frances The Mute over it. It is certainly their most aggressive album yet and Thomas Pridgen is a fantastic drummer with many impressive achievements in his younger years. I found the speed of the drumming and the technique very impressive throughout the album and the progression is still their. If this CD was lost it would be an upset and I would probably re-buy it on iTunes. Overall The Mars Volta proved once again to be a valuable part of the prog/rock scene and I hope for more albums epic, diverse, and unique albums from them.