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Solstice Coil review of The Bedlam in Goliath


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#1 poetic-killer

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 06:31 PM

The Bedlam in Goliath sees a combination of the two. The songs lengthes are not standard (not as much as on Amputechture, but still), and instead of ending each song with a lot of noise, they decided to record the noise OVER the actual songs. Kill two birds with one stone, aye? Also, instead of having a beginning and an end, the songs simply erupt into existence and then eventually get disrupted and a new song would begin without any warning. It took me three listens to realize that Aberinkula and Metatron are actually two separate songs. Because with these guys, how can you tell, really...

Read the rest on: http://www.solstice.co.il/blog/show/43

And check out the comics. It's hilarious!
Attached File  Mars_Volta.jpg   238.08KB   465 downloads

#2 MEH3000

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:24 PM

I am in almost complete agreement with this review (that might be a first)....except for the David Lynch part...and his take on FTM and Amputechture.

#3 Theory

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:32 PM

Haha

#4 ThaiNoodles

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:39 PM

yeah, I don't trust anybody that says all david lynch movies are bad.

#5 Seyon

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 09:40 PM

Is that Solstice's comic?

#6 Guest_AgentAnaranjado_*

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:10 PM

interesting and eloquent perspective. my favorite of the negative reviews (plus the comic rules).

#7 d0ped0g

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:24 PM

Yea, at least he goes into detail about what he hates about the album even if some of his opinions are retarded

#8 HouseOfLeaves

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 10:38 PM

I don't trust this review at all.

#9 KamratMattis

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:01 AM

God damn I hate webpages with fucking music in them.

#10 TentacleSpine

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:08 AM

Eh. It wasn't terribly written, but I very much disagree with his analysis. Especially the "they forgot how to do it, and have tried to remake it ever since but failed". WTF? It's more like they went trying for something new with every album.

#11 your_furthest_reaches

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:36 AM

I stopped taking the review seriously when I realised he was writing the whole thing as a comparison to De-Loused. There's no point with those people. Reading this was a waste of my time.

#12 francesthemutes

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:12 AM

I don't quite understand the review, either. I mean, a lot of bands like trying to change their sound and they don't get bashed for it. Look at American Idito by Green Day. A lot of reviewers and publications praised it for its evolution and maturity and how it's a progessive move forward for the band. Why must The Mars Volta constantly have to look for how to re-do De-loused? I really hate how a lot of reviewers bash the song writing. It's like "song writing has to be done in one way. The Mars Volta don't follow proper song writing techniques!" Well... that's why I like them. I don't expect a lot of the things they do. I'm lucky because I really like Cavalettas. It repeats itself over and over again but I really like those parts so I'm like "yes. I'm glad it repeats itself."


I dunno. I loved Amputechture, too. I really liked the songs. There was no story line to follow but I just... liked it. I skip El Cievro just because I seriously need to be in the mood for it. I dunno. I just don't understand reviewers because they get something they're unfamiliar with and how it's so strikingly different than their past album[s] and they just bash the hell out of it. Why? I'm pretty sure each band has their own little things that make them unique or whatever and that's The Mars Volta. Whatever is going to happen on album 5 is going to be something totally different. I'm have no idea what to expect and that keeps me really excited for them.


(opinions on what I said would be super great)

#13 poetic-killer

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 09:24 PM

There's no ONE way to write a song. You can start it with a verse, you can start it with a chorus, you can have 30 different sections, you can make it 2 minutes long and you can make it 20 minutes long - when it comes to progressive rock (Even though the Mars Volta aren't really progressive rock, when it comes down to it), there aren't as many rules as there are in conventional pop writing. HOWEVER, there are some things that work, and some things that don't. Musical transitions between verse and chorus on this album are sketchy, the melodies are constantly monotonic. Songs don't end, they just explode.

I was using De-loused as a comparison not because I want TMV to do the same thing all over again - I want them to surpass it. I'm using De-loused as an example for something great, as opposed to Bedlam, which is not great. This has nothing to do with not being able to accept a new "sound" by the Mars Volta. If you've gotten to the end of my review (grant you, it is long, I don't blame you if you hadn't, but the comic strip is funny, right?) then you would have seen that what I truly want is for them to reinvent themselves. I really don't see how this new album has a "new" sound at all. It sounds exactly the same to me. They're doing the same thing, only not as good, with weaker melodies and more noise to cover up the fact that it's not what it used to be.

I can compare it to the Matrix Trilogy. The first movie was complete. Every sentence there was in place, the concept was cool and well presented, Okay so the concept is stolen from 10 different movies, but it's well done. Then came Reloaded and Revolution - they tried to do everything ten times bigger. More explosions, more Kong Fu sequences, and more philosophy. The explosions and Kong Fu were too much, and the philosophy became bullshit.

#14 TentacleSpine

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:01 PM

If you've gotten to the end of my review (grant you, it is long, I don't blame you if you hadn't, but the comic strip is funny, right?) then you would have seen that what I truly want is for them to reinvent themselves. I really don't see how this new album has a "new" sound at all. It sounds exactly the same to me. They're doing the same thing, only not as good, with weaker melodies and more noise to cover up the fact that it's not what it used to be.

And you've actually listened to De-Loused, Frances and Amp? As well as Bedlam?


:huh:

#15 sangreobscura

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:04 PM

i shit on poetry.

#16 poetic-killer

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:08 PM

If you've gotten to the end of my review (grant you, it is long, I don't blame you if you hadn't, but the comic strip is funny, right?) then you would have seen that what I truly want is for them to reinvent themselves. I really don't see how this new album has a "new" sound at all. It sounds exactly the same to me. They're doing the same thing, only not as good, with weaker melodies and more noise to cover up the fact that it's not what it used to be.

And you've actually listened to De-Loused, Frances and Amp? As well as Bedlam?


:huh:



Ahh... Yeah, I did. Many, MANY times.

#17 Leap Year Is Late

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:15 PM

Maybe these fuckers should stop writing bad reviews for more money and ratings, like they proposed as TMV's deal towards Amputechture. AMP was great, if anything I think TBiG has more unneccesary noise then AMP did.

#18 pacman40

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:34 PM

Although I don't agree with this review, I do have to say it's well-written. There are some inaccuracies, such as the claim that 'most of the songs on Amp are over 10 minutes', the reality being 3 out of 8, which isn't most. Sorry to be a pedant, but it's the little things that matter to me, certainly as the reviewer takes the times (somewhat admirably, it has to be said) to pick out every single little aspect of each song.

The comparison to DITC is annoying, it would be like comparing every Radiohead album to Ok Computer: pointless and takes away the individual merits of both the original and the contender, but easy to do at the same time. He might as well have compared them to ATDI, and then moaned how TMV had lost their hardcore edge. Missing the point springs to mind.

The main misunderstanding he has is that the album should be instantly listenable. Omar himself admitted that the album is a slow burner, or at least put up no fight to the suggestion that it was, and that's how an album should be. A few memorable moments at first, but then eventually the better parts of the album start worming their way into your subconscious. what did the reviewer expect, a James Blunt album? Even an artist as mainstream and broad as David Gray realises the importance of having an album that is going to reach its peak one or two years down the line, and not burn out within the first ten listens.

And another thing, the reviewer admitted to deleting all the Mars Volta material off his hard drive becuase it annoyed him. How then can he be trusted to make a balanced and reliable statement?

Plus, I'd never trust the opinions of a man whose band writes a song called The Upkeep Keeper. it reminded me of a godawful Coheed & Cambria song called 'The Writing Writer', and that's just from the title.

That said, a well-written and eloquent review, if only for the grammar.

#19 poetic-killer

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 04:39 PM

"the reality being 3 out of 8, which isn't most."

You are right, thanks for correcting me. I changed the phrasing.

"Plus, I'd never trust the opinions of a man whose band writes a song called The Upkeep Keeper"

You have a point there too... Although upkeep is a wordplay on Maintenance (which is part of the lyrics), when I first introduced this title to the rest of the band, they laughed. But we got used to it. I'll consider changing it into something less... Coheedian.

I think maybe some of my points I was trying to make on the review weren't clear.

I don't want another DITC. That is, I don't want TMV to replicate this album. I want them to recreate the artistic success that DITC brought. I want them to bring something of equal quality, not something that sounds exactly the same.

Actually, my problem is that TMV actually sound too much the same. They haven't changed anything significant about their music. Their style stays pretty much the same all throughout the four albums. Omar's guitar playing stays basically the same, Cedric shouts like he always does, and there's a lot of crazy drumming and noisy sound effects along with a lot of screeching Hammond in the background. Nothing about the arrangements really changed. Sometimes there are strings, or a saxophone, but it's not all that different.

Radiohead is actually an excellent example. After Ok Computer, Radiohead completely changed their sound. They turned from a three electric guitars band, to a band that has 1 electric guitar, and sometimes even none. Suddenly, the fender Rhodes and the piano became the main instruments, a long with some electric shit. They didn't try to make an OKC2, they went to a completely different direction.

It feels to me that TMV ARE trying to create another DITC. It's not that they're experimenting, it's that they're recycling. They're just doing everything bigger and louder, and it's all too much. Cedric shouts more and tries to beat his own record of how high he can get, trying to compete with Matthew Bellamy I suppose. And I like high pitch vocals and falsetto very much, but some of the time it sounds ridiculous, and embarrassing, because he's taking it way too far. Omar tries to pack as many notes that don't belong on the scale as he can, trying to beat his own record. Moreover, I don't think that using different noise instead of the noise you usually use counts as experimenting. The concept of noise is no longer experimental, particularly not to the Mars Volta, who practices it on a daily basis. Moreover, what bugs me is that in DITC there was a lot of good noise, excellent noise, noise that sat perfectly with the music, and in the following albums, it's not as good. In Bedlam, the noise is painful, even more than it was on FTM, and that album was like, 40% pure noises. Same goes for Omar's cacaphonic solos - in DITC they were excellent, in others - not so much. I think somebody mentioned it that on DITC they worked with a producer, and after that they started producing on their own - I think that making the noise is not as important as CHOOSING the noise. You can playing your guitar all day long and do all sorts of shit, but you need someone to call you out and say "That's it! That's the dissonance we need!" and that ain't easy. I mean, how can you choose such one noise over the other? Those things really blow my head away. That's what makes DITC brilliant, in my eyes.

Another thing about Radiohead and the albums to follow Ok Computer: One thing that hasn't change about Radiohead, is their solid songwriting. They always write good melodies, no matter which style they choose. Of course I don't expect TMV to turn into Mika, but come on, DITC had some songs that with different a arrangement, in different settings, could have become pop hits. I mean, Televators and Intertiatic E.S.P. were hits, of sorts. What I'm saying is, writing good melodies is not a bad thing. It doesn't make you an evil money grabbing asshole.

And once more, my problem with this album is not that the melodies are too complicated, the opposite! They're too generic, too monotonic. There are some songs where the same melody repeats itself for whole minutes! And I'm sorry, lines like "watch me now" and "maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe maybe got to open wide", that's just laziness.

I pointed out that at first I didn't understand TMV, but I do believe that I understand them now. After listening to their music a gazillion times, I'm not shocked by their style all over again with each album release. Now I know what to look forward to. Bedlam sounded messy at the beginning, and later on became clearer, but I think I've listened to it enough to understand what's going on. I don't expect it to be instantly listenable. I do, however, expect it to be eventually listenable. And it is, somewhat. The grooves are cool, and some parts are really nice, but it just doesn't move me. It doesn't get me excited.

#20 poetic-killer

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 04:41 PM

Oh, and thanks for the grammar compliment. My English teacher would be so proud (that wrinkled old bitch)...




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