The Mars Volta- Intro
Written on January 1, 2010
In 2003 The Mars Volta waged war on the music world with their debut album “De-loused in the Comatorium” in the same way that King Crimson did in 1969 with “In the Court of the Crimson King.”
Crimson’s “In the Court of the Crimson King” was completely revolutionary when it came out. There was nothing that sounded anything like it, and it pushed the boundaries of music farther than they had ever been pushed. It took almost 35 years for another band to come on the scene with the same level of innovation, transmogrification, and fearlessness, and that band was The Mars Volta. Just listen to the lead off tracks from Crimson’s Debut and Mars Volta’s “Frances the Mute”. They speak for themselves. “21st Century Schizoid Man” kicks in at about 30-seconds into the song, and “Cygnus…Vismund Cygnus” kicks in at about 45-seconds into the song.
I’m not saying that there weren’t other inventive and creative progressive bands during that 35-year gap; there certainly were. King Crimson launched the progressive rock music movement in the early 70’s, and bands like Yes, Genesis, ELP, Jethro Tull, Gentle Giant, and Van De Graaf Generator were all cranking out truly groundbreaking and fantastic music, but that scene was really pioneered by Crimson. Then you had Neo-Prog in the 80’s and prog metal in the 90’s, and progressive rock continues today in an almost countless number of incarnations. I’m not knocking Progressive rock. It’s by far my favorite genre of music, but in a way it has become more of a regressive genre, rather than a progressive genre, because the music that these bands are playing are mostly just variations of a style of music that King Crimson invented back in 1969.
In terms of sound, The Mars Volta’s music is progressive rock, but it also combines elements of punk, Latin influenced music, metal, jazz fusion, and every other imaginable genre of music, and they combine all of these styles without sounding regressive or derivative at all; their sound is 100% original and truly groundbreaking.
Styles and Genres
Current Band Line-Up (2011)
Omar Rodríguez-López – guitar, backing vocals (2001–present)
Cedric Bixler-Zavala – lyrics, vocals (2001–present)
Juan Alderete – bass guitar (2003–present)
Marcel Rodriguez-Lopez – percussion, synthesizers, keyboards (2003–present)
Deantoni Parks – drums (September−November 2006, 2010−present)
Lars Stalfors – sound manipulation, keyboards (2009–present)
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