Noctourniquet

The Mars Volta - Noctourniquet
Critic Score
Based on 30 reviews
2012 Ratings: #500 / 1118
User Score
Based on 282 ratings
2012 Rank: #354
Liked by 25 people
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CRITIC REVIEWS

80
musicOMH

The overall effect is feverish and introverted all at once, discordant and epic and compulsively hypnotic.

71
Beats Per Minute

By going back to the constructs of their early days, they have allowed themselves to simultaneously embrace coherent structures while still exploring their vast eccentricities.

70
Consequence of Sound

Noctourniquet is either the best or the worst album the band’s ever released, depending on the source of your love for the band.

70
Drowned in Sound

The way it continues to go to the extreme within more conventional confines seems to have extracted both more emotional engagement as well as energy from The Mars Volta.

70
NME

The Mars Volta remain rock’s most flawed, most fascinating and most ambitious work in progress. 

68
Paste

The band hasn’t fallen from grace yet, but they have strayed. Noctourniquet is not the band’s best effort, but it is pleasing and interesting. 

67
A.V. Club

The fresh focus on organic songwriting and sturdier, more evocative melodies renders Noctourniquet a welcome oddity in The Mars Volta’s catalog

60
No Ripcord

Noctourniquet, while not completely successful, finds The Mars Volta at their most pop and their most reasonable.

40
The 405

It is strange to see how the band have become less experimental, more reliant on conventional tropes and indeed, their own repeated pony tricks.

Plats
45

Never mind. Gandalf wants back in the womb.

So, there's been a steady-ish decline for The Mars Volta ever since "Frances the Mute" came out. I thought "Amputechture" was a very good album that felt like it dragged on a bit and "The Bedlam in Goliath" was a mixed bag of grating-at-times vocal effects and some forgettable tracks, but it still had some great highlights and it was definitely one of the most out-there albums of their catalog. "Octahedron" ... read more

SnowyFighter
66

I love gradients too

Hmmmmm. So as the last record before their split (ignoring the fact that they got back together in 2022), it’s definitely an interesting one. They add some more electronics to their sound and the production is kinda nuts. It ends up being a bit of a hit or miss experience for me. I genuinely think the first track is one of my least favorite songs from them, it just gets a bit ear piercing. Other moments can be a bit dull too, but then there are moments like the title ... read more

pearathon
83

This one's underrated too! The band return to a proggier sound after the more lowkey Octahedron, but this time with shorter songs some spacey tendencies. It starts off with the very polarizing The Whip Hand, which I personally like a lot. Those blaring distorted synths in the chorus are the main turn off for some I would imagine, but I personally like how they sound. There are lots of other hard hitting songs like Aegis, Dyslexicon, Molochwalker, and Zed & Two Naughts. There are also a lot ... read more

PhillinUp
65

I think this album is pretty decent overall, but the mixing on here, god damn, it really just messes with the album. Had this album got better production and mixing, I'd rate it higher, but I have to stay fair and knock off some points for that.

pearathon
83

This one's underrated too! The band return to a proggier sound after the more lowkey Octahedron, but this time with shorter songs some spacey tendencies. It starts off with the very polarizing The Whip Hand, which I personally like a lot. Those blaring distorted synths in the chorus are the main turn off for some I would imagine, but I personally like how they sound. There are lots of other hard hitting songs like Aegis, Dyslexicon, Molochwalker, and Zed & Two Naughts. There are also a lot ... read more

DontFearMusic
69

Wow I forgot how terrible that intro is. Easily a contender for their worst song full stop, but luckily it improves dramatically from there. While it remains somewhat hit or miss across its runtime, there are enough strong, well played art rock bangers to keep you invested even if the occasionally clumsy electronica/experimental elements do their best to take you out of the experience. The biggest crime is the lack of hooks in comparison to their earlier releases. There are some memorable ones ... read more

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Contributions By
patton, thisisabtlgrnd, erik, MarkyC, domvic


Added on: January 17, 2012