The Mars Volta is a progressive rock band that has been rocking the airwaves since 2001. Their eclectic sound and boundary-pushing style have earned them legions of fans around the world, making them one of the most iconic bands in modern music. Here’s a roundup of the ten best albums they’ve released so far – each of which deserves to be treated as an essential listen.
1. De-Loused in the Comatorium (2003): This debut album is a landmark in avant-garde prog-rock and features a smorgasbord of musical ideas, from swirling Latin Jazz to spooky psychedelia and furious punk energy. It’s an ambitious statement that still holds up more than 15 years later.
2. Frances the Mute (2005): This double album is arguably The Mars Volta’s masterpiece and features some of their most complex compositions to date. It also contains one of their most beloved songs, ‘The Widow’, which has become an instant classic among fans.
3. Amputechture (2006): Their third album sees them dabbling with exotic instrumentation such as woodwinds and strings, resulting in a thrilling blend of prog-rock and avant-garde jazz. Don’t miss the unforgettable closing track ‘Viscera Eyes’.
4. The Bedlam In Goliath (2008): Tipping its hat to metal bands like Meshuggah, this album rocks hard and features some of the band’s most memorable riffs and choruses. It also includes their infamous ‘Vicarious Atonement’ which clocks in at over 11 minutes!
5. Octahedron (2009): This album is a more restrained affair, featuring intricate songwriting that manages to be both melancholic and uplifting at the same time. Lead single ‘Since We’ve Been Wrong’ is an absolute gem.
6. Noctourniquet (2012): Their sixth full-length sees them experimenting with electronica and hip-hop, resulting in a fascinating journey through funk, jazz and soulful rock. Highlights include the haunting title track and the epic ‘Molochwalker’.
7. Corbella (2013): This EP features a remixed version of ‘The Malkin Jewel’ from Frances the Mute, plus four new tracks that span different genres and tempos. It’s a great showcase of The Mars Volta’s creativity and versatility.
8. Noctourniquet: Remixes & Rarities (2014): As its title suggests, this collection includes remixes of some of their biggest hits as well as previously unreleased material. If you’re looking for something fresh to listen to, this is essential listening.
9. De-Loused in the Comatorium: Live at the Electric Factory (2015): Recorded during their 2003 tour in support of their debut album, this live album captures the raw energy and intensity of The Mars Volta’s performances. If you like your music loud and unpredictable, this one should be at the top of your list.
10. Diamanté (2016): This compilation collects all their singles from 2003 to 2016 and is a great place to start if you’re new to the band. It includes fan favorites such as ‘The Widow’ and ‘Cicatriz ESP’.
For more than 15 years, The Mars Volta has pushed the boundaries of progressive rock and created some unforgettable albums in the process. Make sure you check out these ten essential releases – they will undoubtedly add something unique and special to your music library!