The Mars Volta - Frances the Mute
Mar 13, 2023
They've done it again with their sophomore album with an hour long mind-boggling journey that makes you feel like you're on crack.

We are met with the insane first track Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus where all of the band members go full experimental prog throughout and Cedric with his amazing vocal performance again combining Spanish and English lyrics together. If you thought that was a lot in it's own, wait until you hear the next hour of this insane album.

We are then met with the second track The Widow which is definitely the most accessible song on this album and it sound like an unforgiving ballad with the trumpet playing (which Flea plays!) and the rest of the instruments playing their hearts out and is definitely beautiful to hear.

After the two minutes of drone sounds that play, we are met with the great L'Via L'Viaquez which is also an insane track in it's own. The song blends in a Latin genre section into the song like it's nothing while switching back and forth to the rock section and the insane guitar solos by John Frusciante.

Now we are met with peace with the track of Miranda That Ghost Just Isn't Holy Anymore, which has an intense build up that is short-lived and is nothing too special but then soon after we hop right into the 32 minute long track Cassandra Gemini.

Shit, I don't even know where to begin with this. The final 30 minutes of the album is so insane it's just one of those things that you gotta listen to yourself to really experience and understand it. The final track really helps tie in the story of the album together into this big finale that's felt like a long buildup that's been ramping up since the beginning. Basically, the intro Cassandra Gemini gives a warm gun to the head into what's to come and Tarantism is a continuation of the opening with some dissonance near the end, then with Plant A Nail in the Navel Stream we are met with a great orchestration buildup in the song that helps transition greatly into the next track Faminepulse which continues the beat of the whole song with some free-form solos then we finally get to relax with Pisacis (Phra-men-ma) with a bass loop in the background and some sound manipulation we can hear throughout then Con Safo which is a continuation of that track but is a huge buildup which includes funk and an epic sax solo and then we reach the climax with the Multiple Spouse Wounds track which is that huge final ending we got, then the final part of Cassandra Gemini which is Sarcophagi that contains a minute of classical guitar playing.

Yeah... It's definitely a lot of an album to take in, but get's pretty rewarding at the end of it all. The story of the album itself is so much more convoluted than their previous album Deloused in the Comatorium that there are long explanations of the albums that are online and on Reddit that give a good explanation to what the lore of the album is about, so you should definitely check that out if you are so intrigued into this album as I am. It's generally a pretty good album and a step up from their debut album and I had a more interesting experience with this album and the song Cassandra Gemini which is as whole world of it's own.

It's just all fucked.

Favorite Tracks: Cygnus...Vismund Cygnus (personal fav), The Widow, L'Via L'Viaquez, Cassandra Gemini

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