While Noctourniquet was, in typical Mars Volta fashion, written by Omar RodriguezLopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala and produced by Rodriguez-Lopez, the 13-track album explores musical territories previously uncharted in the duo's 20 or so years of creating music together. The spectrum of musical and emotional textures conceived and created by Rodriguez-Lopez on Noctourniquet ranges from the opening bombast of ‘The Whip Hand’ to the menacing crawl of ‘The Malkin Jewel’ punctuated throughout by hypnotic melodies and borderline electro-ambient washes, most notably in the epic ‘In Absentia’. The bold diversity of the new material combined with Rodriguez-Lopez's assured producer's hand guiding The Mars Volta's most confident and refined performances to date make Noctourniquet an early contender for this year's most challenging and rewarding listen.
As with previous Mars Volta efforts, Bixler-Zavala's lyrics trace a narrative journey with a defined protagonist, this time inspired by disparate elements including '80s UK altrockers The Godfathers, Superman comic nemesis Solomon Grundy and the Greek myth of Hyacinthus. Noctourniquet was performed by The Mars Volta lineup of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Juan Alderete de la Pena, Marcel Rodriguez Lopez, and Deantoni Parks
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