Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 0 out of 25
  1. Mar 29, 2012
    90
    There's no doubt 'Nocturniquet' is amongst the band's best work, and sufficiently different – witness for instance the loud bass-heavy synths that pervade the heavier tracks – from their career highlights that it should satisfy all comers. It's f***ing brilliant, and that's really all there is to it.
  2. 83
    Noctourniquet still packs enough sonic buzz saws to liquefy an ox.
  3. Mar 27, 2012
    80
    Noctourniquet has everything that makes the Mars Volta one of prog's most important acts, and more importantly it cuts away much of the dead weight that dragged prior releases down.
  4. Mar 26, 2012
    80
    Sonically capricious in the best possible way, it takes in rasping electro, hardcore riffing, rock-opera camp and continues to throw up new surprises with every listen.
  5. Mar 26, 2012
    80
    There are so many ideas battling it out here it takes numerous listens to make sense of it, but persevere and this is perhaps their strongest set to date. [Apr 2012, p.101]
  6. Mar 26, 2012
    80
    For those with the stamina, it's tremendous.
  7. Mar 23, 2012
    80
    Their narratives have been stronger before, but 'Noctourniquet' remains abject absurdity masquerading as sexy heroism.
  8. Mar 22, 2012
    80
    Absurd lyrics still abound ("Your colour seems to flower from your hissing tongue, your livery of siblings cut from saffron cloth") but whatever your view on prog rock, this is an unexpected treat.
  9. Mar 22, 2012
    80
    Power and passion haven't sounded this vibrant in a while.
  10. Apr 17, 2012
    75
    In a sense, the veil is lifted ever-so-slightly with this new [album]: although they still wump you with weird on sonic gauntlets like "Molochwalker" and the title track, they also hit on some great choruses and comprehensible songcraft that, unlike most of their earlier work, is commendable for something other than the effort it took to create it.
  11. This new collection is most certainly not a pinnacle for the group, but it is a welcome rekindling of the same spirit and sonic magnitude that fueled their last undisputed gem, 2005′s Frances the Mute.
  12. Mar 30, 2012
    70
    Taken as an hourlong whole, though, Noctourniquet really does feel like the band's most accessible effort in years.
  13. Mar 30, 2012
    70
    The way it continues to go to the extreme within more conventional confines seems to have extracted both more emotional engagement as well as energy from The Mars Volta.
  14. 70
    For those who respect The Mars Volta for continuing to evolve after all these years, their latest offering will continue to inspire hope in the band's future.
  15. 70
    Noctourniquet's greatest strength--or, to hardcore prog-trolls, its unforgivable weakness--lies with its melodies.
  16. Mar 22, 2012
    70
    While Noctourniquet sits at the more accessible end of their sonic spectrum, it still walks a fine line between visionary and indulgent with no little skill. [Apr 2012, p.105]
  17. Mar 22, 2012
    70
    This is a powerful reminder of the pair's quite brilliant lunacy.
  18. Mar 27, 2012
    68
    Noctourniquet is not the band's best effort, but it is pleasing and interesting.
  19. Mar 27, 2012
    67
    The fresh focus on organic songwriting and sturdier, more evocative melodies renders Noctourniquet a welcome oddity in The Mars Volta's catalog: a work that shoots not for perfection, but for balance.
  20. Apr 25, 2012
    60
    Assured and challenging. Unlikely to convert the uninitiated, it will thrill the Volta Nation. [May 2012, p.92]
  21. Apr 18, 2012
    60
    Noctourniquet, while not completely successful, finds The Mars Volta at their most pop and their most reasonable.
  22. Mar 29, 2012
    60
    Noctourniquet highlights the more intellectual, esoteric sound the band has championed over the years, but even though the album soars creatively, it feels emotionally restrained.
  23. Mar 27, 2012
    60
    Some songs explore emulsive alienation (see "In Absentia"), but TMV are at their best dabbling in shades of aggro.
  24. Apr 12, 2012
    55
    Even album highlights "The Malkin Jewel" and the almost serene "Vedamalady" aren't likely to do much more than appease the group's most ardent fans. [No.86, p.60]
  25. Mar 29, 2012
    44
    It's a mess--not without some tidy bits--but what's better: these songs could be the death throes, finally, of these guys' unfettered id.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 51 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 19
  3. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Mar 27, 2012
    9
    The Mars Volta strike lucky once again after a string of good but nonetheless average releases. Noctourniquet, builds on the groups OctahedronThe Mars Volta strike lucky once again after a string of good but nonetheless average releases. Noctourniquet, builds on the groups Octahedron but thankfully moves back into more experimental territory. For die-hard fans of Bedlam or Ampatecture, you may find a lack of sonic lunacy, but while Noctourniquet fails in scope it more than makes up for in melody and immediacy. Whilst most Mars Volta albums take a staggering amount of listens to fully appreciate their sound (hence mixed and impatient reviews from critics), Noctourniquet spits in the face of its detractors by remaining true to their unique sound of prog-rock without forsaking or alienating the actual sound and melodies. It isn't perfect but by all accounts if this is to be their last album, it's one hell of a way to go out on. Best Tracks: Empty Vessels Make the Loudest Sound, Aegis, Lapochka, In Absentia. Full Review »
  2. Mar 27, 2012
    10
    At last something exciting and inspiring from TMV. In my opinion, second best album to date, after Frances the Mute. Noctourniquet renew myAt last something exciting and inspiring from TMV. In my opinion, second best album to date, after Frances the Mute. Noctourniquet renew my love to TMV, thank you! Full Review »
  3. Oct 1, 2012
    9
    Good album to evolve, not such to remain the same. Clearly not your average The Mars Volta Jon Theodore on-the-drums, but a nice new travel toGood album to evolve, not such to remain the same. Clearly not your average The Mars Volta Jon Theodore on-the-drums, but a nice new travel to embark upon. Full Review »