THE MARS VOLTA Noctourniquet lyricsNoctourniquet is the sixth studio album by American progressive rock band The Mars Volta, released on March 26, 2012 on Warner Bros..
Inspired by the children's nursery rhyme, Solomon Grundy, and the Greek myth of Hyacinthu, Noctourniquet is a concept album, with vocalist Cedric Bixler Zavala stating, "It's about embracing life for what it should be. There's a view of the elitist lifestyle - that being an artist is unattainable. I'm trying to write this story that reminds people that we're all artists."
Produced by guitarist and songwriter Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, it is the band's first studio album to feature drummer Deantoni Parks, and the first not to include contributions from long-time keyboardist Isaiah "Ikey" Owens and guitarist John Frusciante.
Noctourniquet’ is framed around a narrative based both on Superman villain Solomon Grundy and the Greek myth of Hyacinthus. If you need refreshing, that’s the one in which Hyacinth, the (male) lover of the god Apollo, attempts to impress Apollo by catching his discus, but gets struck by it and dies. The music follows the same recondite, abstruse path as the lyrics - an ambitious, avant-garde swirl of prog, rock, post-rock and quasi-metal that carries the weight of such intense cerebral pressure. Suffice to say, there are no songs about wearing the same jeans for four days…
It is, of course, utterly OTT, pretentious, and - at times - wilfully inaccessible. Opening gambit ‘The Whip Hand’ is a whirring buzzsaw of atonal dissonance that requires severe patience to get through it, while ‘In Absentia’, somewhat aptly, never really finds its focus. But there are times when ‘Noctourniquet’ settles into a spellbinding groove, namely on the paranoid ‘Aegis’ and the phenomenal, off-kilter, Nick Cave-meets-Marilyn Manson-esque of ‘The Malkin Jewel’, a disturbing track which prowls like a homicidal maniac about to strike. Elsewhere, ‘Empty Vessels Make The Loudest Sound’ is bewitching, lovely and accessible, while the frenetic ‘Molochwalker’ recalls the rambunctious volatility of At The Drive-In. Of course, after the announcement of their reunion, all eyes are currently on that former outfit, but, in the interim, this is a powerful reminder of the pair’s quite brilliant lunacy. by Mischa Pearlman, Clashmusic.com