AOTY 2023

De-Loused in the Comatorium

The Mars Volta - De-Loused in the Comatorium
Critic Score
Based on 17 reviews
2003 Ratings: #105 / 347
User Score
2003 Ratings: #28
Liked by 209 people
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It sounds like music made by robots that don't know prog rock sucks, which means it flat-out rules.

De-Loused in the Comatorium operates on nothing but lean tissue, and even though songs like the 12 minute epic “Cicatriz E.S.P”appear daunting, they whiz past you before you even realise they’ve finished.

Alternative Press

Like all great albums, De-Loused in the Comatorium takes multiple listens to absorb, and, even then, you're probably not going to have a clue to what Bixler's raving about. [Jul 2003, p.107]

Entertainment Weekly
The songs explode with creativity, fusing jazz riffs, tribal rhythms, hardcore bursts of noise, and addictive rock hooks into one of the most compelling discs of the year.

While De-Loused in the Comatorium may well remove the stigma from the prog and art rock forms it suggests, and is certainly a monument to unbridled creativity, it can also be seen as bombastic and indulgent -- much like prog has been in the past.

Q Magazine

An audacious, bold and provocative artistic statement, an album that raises the bar for any rock band who aspire to re-writing the rulebook.

God Is in the TV
In fact, The Mars Volta never sound anything less than brilliant musicians and original songwriters: just that there's nothing to break up the weighty studiousness of the music.

Imagine a jam session between King Crimson, Fugazi and '70s Miles. Now imagine it working. That's the Mars Volta.

Under the Radar
The Mars Volta has created the antithesis of ATDI, leaving behind any formula or typicality. What they kept was the fire, the fury, and the passion.
Tiny Mix Tapes
Cedric Bixler delivers mind blowing vocal ranges and an intelligent but confusing repartee as Omar and the band accompanies with spine-tingling, disjointed musical instrumentation reminiscent of Led Zeppelin on “Dazed & Confused."
Drowned in Sound
In places, it's an aural jungle; teeming with electronic wildlife, squealing, carnivorous guitars and shimmering words of prey that, under Cedric's command, evade capture or comprehension.
Rolling Stone

Teetering on the brink of indulgence, De-Loused proves just how much art you can pack into steadfastly aggressive songs and still call them punk.

As nuts as they are, The Mars Volta recall the raw potential rock held before it was castrated by radio programmers and corporate control.
NOW Magazine
Rhythms shift rapidly, and songs – often between six and 12 minutes long – unfold in non-linear ways that recall some of the more entertaining extremes of 70s hobbit-rock excess.

If you have the courage to listen to -- and digest -- De-Loused in the Comatorium more than once, it will no doubt stick to your ribs.


My biggest complaint is that De-Loused in the Comatorium just isn't fun.

The Guardian
It's a fascinating notion that deserves more than this almost entirely unreconstructed prog-rock horror. The overcomplicated, overlong songs, with titles like Take the Veil Cerpin Taxt, are crammed with Hawkwind-style synth effects, polyrhythmic drum patterns and Rick Wakeman-like keyboard passages.

the anti-radiohead, pitchfork's kryptonite

edit:this is also just panic at the disco but good you guys know that right


As soon as I heard “De-Loused in the Comatorium” last year, I was addicted Now I have it on CD, this is a fucking amazing album!

It starts off with this trippy, psychedelic intro before it hits you with the main hook of “Inertiatic ESP”: “NOOOOOOOOOOW IIIIII’M LOOOOOOOOOOOST”! This track hits you with every highlight this album has right from the get-go, with Omar’s fantastic guitar playing, the complex, technical compositions and the bonkers, ... read more


Fantastic and enjoyable prog rock. Some amazing influences thrown into the mix as well with plenty of great vocal moments, sonic highs, and a good blend of everything that kept me engaged for the most of it. Will need a bit more time but after like 1.5 listens this thing is really great


Incredibly high quality and consistent. A wild sound that never tires you out or bores you, they're able to keep you invested and interested for the next track. I have no real complaints this album is just super solid from start to finish.
Fav Tacks : Inertiatic Esp, Roulette Dares ( The Haunt Of), Drunkship Of Lanterns, Eriatarka, Cicatriz Esp, This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed, Televators, Take The Veil Cerpin Taxt
Least Fav : N/A


This shit is brilliant, even setting aside the batshit insane story this album tells, the music alone is good enough to make it a 100 in my eyes.


actually incredible highs but the lows are a little boring!
may need a relisten at some point

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