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The Mars Volta Returns with the Release of “Noctourniquet”

The Mars Volta: NoctourniquetProgressive rock band The Mars Volta has made their return with the release of Noctourniquet, the band’s sixth studio album. Produced by guitarist/songwriter Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, Noctourniquet features bassist Juan Alderete and drummer Deantoni Parks, who makes his first studio appearance with the band. This is the first album not to include long-time keyboardist Isaiah “Ikey” Owens and guitarist John Frusciante.

Recording for Noctourniquet began in 2009, following the mixing of Octahedron, but was stalled due to a disagreements between Rodriguez-Lopez and singer/lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala. In an interview with Electronic Musician, Rodriguez-Lopez said, “[Cedric] and I have very few arguments after twenty years of being friends, and we sort of got into this argument. He felt that he’s been trying to keep up with my pace for all these years, and it’s not natural for him, and he didn’t think we had to put out a record every year. He wanted to take his time with it, and he didn’t like me being on top of him like I usually am… So I said okay, well, you have the record in your hands. When you’re ready, you’ll call me and we’ll do it. And a year went by, two years went by… It was just a strange record for me. I’m used to taking what I always say are snapshots — Polaroid shots — of where I’m at, and this is more like a long, drawn-out… something.”

Rodriguez-Lopez resumed work on the project and hit the studio with Alderete to add the bass overdubs and some additional guitar work. In our interview with Alderete, the bassist said “[Omar] wasn’t happy about the album taking that long. He was just kind of burned out on it. It’s hard to work on something you created three years ago and then go back to it again. It was hard for me to feel good while cutting it because of him sitting there not wanting to be there. Omar is a guy who is working on things that are way beyond anything that we’re doing now.”

Noctourniquet is a 13-track concept album inspired by the children’s nursery rhyme, Solomon Grundy, and the Greek myth of Hyacinthus. Bixler-Zavala said is “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.”

Preview and download Noctourniquet:

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Noctourniquet Track List:

  1. The Whip Hand
  2. Aegis
  3. Dyslexicon
  4. Empty Vessels Make The Loudest Sound
  5. The Malkin Jewel
  6. Lapochka
  7. In Absentia
  8. Imago
  9. Molochwalker
  10. Trinkets Pale Of Moon
  11. Vedamalady
  12. Noctourniquet
  13. Zed And Two Naughts