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Will Antemasque Please Fans Of Mars Volta & At The Drive In?

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

As a fan of Omar Rodriguez - Lopez and Cedric Bixler - Zavala previous musical efforts in both At The Drive In and Mars Volta it was with great excitement that I awaited the arrival of their latest musical collaboration Antemasque.

The day finally came when I was able to press play on the latest offering from Messrs Rodriguez - Lopez and Bixler - Zavala and my first impression was... "Have they sent me the wrong album?" such is the difference between Antemasque and Mars Volta.  It was only once it got to the shouty outro of opening track '4am' that I was convinced this was the next chapter in the duo's prolific output.

Now this is no bad thing, the album sounds very much like what could have happened if they had taken a different path after disbanding At The Drive In.  It is as if they have traveled back along the road they've been driving along and chosen to take the right fork instead of the left.

Fans of the energy found in both At The Drive In and Mars Volta would probably like this album likewise people who were fans of At The Drive In but found the prog - rock sounds of Mars Volta not to their liking.  However, I cannot imagine many solely Mars Volta fans falling in love with this latest offering.

After a few listens it is fair to say that the quality of the songs across the album are of a consistently good but this is by no means a groundbreaking album and it did not leave me feeling as excited as after first hearing Deloused In The Comatorium or Relationship Of Command for example.

In fact, I spent most of my time listening to the album and trying to name the various bands they were sounding like at different points.  Tracks that did stand out for me were 'People Forget', 'Drown All Your Witches' (in part due to how much it reminded me of Blind Melon) and '50,000 Kilowatts' because of the heavy influence of Flea on this track.

Would I purchase this album and listen to it on a regular basis? Yes.  Will it go down in the annals of time as a classic? I personally don't think so.

Word by Dominic Munden