The Mars Volta is a glorious experience in modern music, but it is also a shroud to which the members will forever wear throughout their endeavors; especially Omar Rodriguez- Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Zavala. The controlled chaos of Rodriguez-Lopez’s guitar is and has always been stunning. Matched by the rapping pace of Bixler-Zavala’s mind provoking lyrics the style is immediately identifiable.
Combining musical creativity with Marfred Rodriguez-Lopez (Zechs Marquise) and Dave Elitch (Vicky Cryer) the practical reunion of The Mars Volta has taken shape; but let’s not go looking to relive De-Loused.
Taking shape under the moniker Antemasque, the collaborative fusion of more musical knowledge than John Travolta has dance moves comes together in a debut record that captivates on a level of The Mars Volta, rocks with power of early (read: “good”) STP, and hits you with the precise ferocity you could ever wish to get out of ten tracks.
The self-titled release keeps all but one song under four minutes, which conveys a sense of self-control considering the lineup, but like audible C-4, it packs a wallop in a small package. And if you haven’t heard Antemasque yet, I suggest you light the match and begin looking for the fuse; immediately.
At times feeling like The Mars Volta meets Meatloaf produced by 80s Billy Joel, it reels in seriousness and dishes up a side of these well-versed, noblemen-of-the-abstract only the gods of music could have anticipated. The sound has an edge that slices the generic music of today with hook-laden lyrics that are as addicting as they are smart. Whether the powerfully catchy “Momento Mori” with “You hit the bottle/you can’t drink the yellow out of your spine” or the anthem of “Wondering in circles/with nothing left to lose/Carved on a mountain where a pale horse rides/The bible, yes the bible is the truth” in “Ride Like The Devil’s Son” the level achieved here wins on absolutely every level.
Those who know these musicians well will notice that this is a sound different. Perhaps I could go as far as saying this is the most consumable sound yet created by those associated, but that would deter the elitists. And if you’re looking for a proper reunion or another Frances the Mute, you won’t find it here. And by me, that is perfectly fine; because the legs to which Antemasque stands tall upon are their own. And those are some beefy legs that are poised to kick some serious ass.
Greg is a regular contributor and co-founder at Nanobot.