While De-Loused in the Comatorium was a great first album, The Mars Volta decided to discard any sort of formula and re-invent their own wheel by asking the question: “What if we make a 5-song concept album about a drug addict in search of his biological parents?”
Turns out they wanted it to be 6 songs, but CDs couldn’t hold all of it, so they had to reduce down to 5 and release the 6th song separately as a promo/single.
Each song on this album is essentially a person telling their story that feeds into the bigger story. At least that is my interpretation anyway. The album takes you on a sonic journey where you can just enjoy the surface for what it is or go deeper to try to decipher the hidden meaning.
At times, it even plays like a David Lynch movie where there is atmospheric noises bookending the songs. To seem, it seems unnecessary, but I really like how the song parts punch you in the face and then the ambient stuff lets you recover.