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The Mars Volta - "Noctourniquet"
While Noctourniquet was, in typical Mars Volta fashion, written by Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala and produced by Rodriguez-Lopez, the 13-track album explores musical territories previously uncharted in the duo's 20 or so years of creating music together. The spectrum of musical and emotional textures conceived and created by Rodriguez-Lopez on Noctourniquet ranges from the opening bombast of "The Whip Hand" to the menacing crawl of "The Malkin Jewel" punctuated throughout by hypnotic melodies and borderline electro-ambient washes, most notably in the epic "In Absentia. "
The bold diversity of the new material combined with Rodriguez-Lopez's assured producer's hand guiding The Mars Volta's most confident and refined performances to date make Noctourniquet an early contender for this year's most challenging and rewarding listen. As with previous Mars Volta efforts, Bixler-Zavala's lyrics trace a narrative journey with a defined protagonist, this time inspired by disparate elements including '80s UK alt-rockers The Godfathers, Superman comic nemesis Solomon Grundy and the Greek myth of Hyacinthus.
HitFix Reviews and Ratings
BMaking your way through a new Mars Volta record isn’t that it's a challenge; there’s just always the promise of density and compositions that take some digestion. With newest “Noctourniquet,” there’s also bigger bevy of memorable refrains than before, with fewer diatribes. The songs are singular and tighter, too. This may piss some fans off.
1. The Whip Hand
4. Empty Vessels Make The Loudest Sound
5. The Malkin Jewel
7. In Absentia
10. Trinkets Pale Of Moon
13. Zed And Two Naughts