THE MARS VOLTA
Frances the Mute
|| "Facilis Descenus Averni"
|| "Vade Mecum"
Relinquish label and limitation alike, and progress beyond the
obsolete categoricals. The Mars Volta have delivered a complex
and intriguing new album that transcends any one genre or style.
In contrast to their debut De-Loused in the Comatorium,
in which the heady tale took place in some sort of sci-fi parallel
dimension, Frances the Mute emerges and transpires in our
reality, partly inspired by a diary found by late bandmate Jeremy
Ward (RIP), of a protagonist's quest for his/her biological parents
along a numinous timeline. Seemingly, the 'songs' unconsciously
emerge in a sort of surrealistic free-associative affectation
-- signifying characters, situations, and circumstance outlying
existent detection yet echoing everything familiar. A quiescent
latency suspended in our dreams, awaiting manifestation and discernment.
These representations are woven into pieces and movements that
articulate the epic narrative.
The narrators hover in a discourse of removal, forging gorgeous
elucidations of resentment, abandonment, addiction, and loneliness.
Vivid aliases, amalgamated characters, fictional fractures, and
divided dispositions all distort paradigmatic fact and fiction,
creating multivalent dialogues for identification, recognition,
and relation. You may not be au fait with what they are saying
(granted nearly half the record is sung in Spanish) you can definitely
feel it, which is significant to the brilliance of this album.
The lyrics elusively accompany the structured chaos of Latin grooves,
Afro-Cuban palpitations, riff-heavy psychedelia, Kraut-inspired
madness, free-form jazzy breakdowns, soundtrack-y Morricone-esqe
segues, minimalist compositions and many more (or none of the
above) -- underlying with the flawlessly constructed rhythms of
Jon Theodore's drumming. He is Bonham's ghost, a sheer Genius,
all of the above. Indefatigably exciting percussives.
Emotionally captivating and undeniably authentic, the Mars Volta
exemplify an extraordinary instance in where musical innovation
is seamlessly matched by this reflective expressive connection.
Paved with a vision that is passionate, intricate, and inexorably
inventive, Frances the Mute is a powerful experience waiting
to unfold. [MT]