This album is already all over the place. The underground rock and indie scenes are abuzz over this stellar debut album and have quickly claimed the band as their own. Former At The Drive In members Cedric Bixler Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez formed The Mars Volta from the ashes of their former band, deciding to take a more non-commercial approach to the music than the other ATDI departees did with their new band, Sparta. De-Loused In The Comatorium explodes with hardcore crunchy guitars and mind-numbing low end provided by Flea. But saying the album is a hardcore rock record wouldn't do it justice at all. There is so much more, which is why it appeals to the indie crowd as well. There is an aura of psychedelia that leaps through each song and swirls around like dancing hippies at a Dead show. Elements of freeform jazz are even incorporated into the mix, expanding all possibilities even further.
The album itself is a concept album and tribute to the late Julio Venegas, an artist from El Paso, TX, who committed suicide in 1996. De-Loused In A Comatorium is a fictionalized celebration of Julio's life. It tells the story of a hero who tries to commit suicide by overdosing on morphine, but fails and falls into a coma. During his week-long coma, the hero embarks on fantastic good vs. evil adventures and eventually is set free. However, rather than be happy about another chance at life, he chooses to die. This album clearly delves deep into some pretty dark territory, but does it without selling itself short. Intriguing musicianship and soaring (not screaming) vocals have made this album the buzzworthy "must have" that it has become. A VERY discounted sticker price at Best Buy isn't going to hurt them any either when it comes to moving units. Everyone's talking about it, so if you want to keep up, you'd better get yourself a copy. Oh, and the album art was done by the same dude that did Dark Side Of The Moon.