The Mars Volta

The Bedlam In Goliath

If you couldn’t stay awake through the Mars Volta’s previous disc, Amputecture, don’t feel bad. Instead, revel in the majesty that is The Bedlam In Goliath because band chairmen Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez have created a masterpiece that is the true follow-up to their debut, Deloused In The Comatorium. The key word here is energy: New drummer Thomas Pridgen is positively relentless (“Askepios”) and sax player Adrian Terrazas Gonzales threatens to blow his eyes through his reed, offering both melodic flights and no-wave skronk. Bixler-Zavala’s vocals are as strident as ever (“Goliath”) and guitarist Rodriguez-Lopez is clearly at the top of his game (“Ouroboros”). These 12 tracks of blistering post-hardcore, propulsive Latino-funk jams and progressive-rock segues, peppered with dalliances in neo-psychedelica and abstract electronica, convey a tungsten-hard truth: The Mars Volta have created the first great record of 2008.