The Bedlam in Goliath is the fourth full-length studio release from The Mars Volta, the eclectic vehicle founded by vocalist/lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala and guitarist/composer Omar Rodríguez-López. It is the band’s third concept album since the release of their debut, De-Loused in the Comatorium.
Harrowing elements have surrounded The Mars Volta over the last two years: the abrupt departure of drummer Deantoni Parks (who was already the second replacement for original drummer, Jon Theodore), the intense physical therapy Bixler-Zavala required after undergoing foot surgery, and the sabotaging supernatural occurrences in Rodríguez-López’s home studio in Brooklyn – most notably, the random disappearances of recorded tracks, and even a flood. The band felt that their bad luck was the result of their interaction with “The Soothsayer,” a ouija-like talking board that Rodríguez-López bought as a gift for Bixler-Zavala while on a trip to Jerusalem.
Bixler-Zavala’s lyrics on The Bedlam in Goliath are inspired by the messages put forth by the mysterious ouija, and Rodríguez-López’s expansive compositions are what fuels The Mars Volta’s signature blend of rock fusion, free-form, and electrofunk. Newest recruit behind the drum kit Thomas Pridgen adds a fresh snap into the backbeat – especially on “Goliath,” where he and keyboardist Ikey Owens get to show off some of their chops. Somewhat of note: the band’s Latin influences are curiously subdued on the album, but overall, The Bedlam in Goliath is a hauntingly rich adventure.