The Mars Volta's debut LP and a static wall of challenging music for those raised on conventional rock or pop. It's also a challenging story, a concept album sung in an almost constant falsetto with stream of conscious dream-poetics.
Originally written as a short story by Cedric Bixler, De-loused in The Comatorium tells the story of Cerpin Taxt who slips into a week long coma after attempting to get high from injecting rat poison and as a half-hearted attempt at suicide. Within his coma he dreams of his judgement before creatures he created within his art, the tremulants. His suicide was orchestrated by the tremulants, they worshipped Cerpin as a god figure and the punishments he faces after being judged are penance so that he can become the leader of the tremulants. Dragged through the comatorium and lapsing in and out of consciousness Cerpin finds himself moved through different horrifying scenes.
Once driven insane by his punishment Cerpin is transformed into the god creature Moatilliatta, considered related to Quetzalcoatl by one of the tremulants, Dr. Wolfram Tarant who has a pair of dogs for his arms. Cerpin is sent to kill the enemy of the tremulants, the boar Koral Mataxia.
Cerpin Taxt passes through a gate created by the Doctor and again finds himself in a new body and form, this time as Ojeno Valaso, the female and final enemy of an authoritarian society created by a group of ant-men hybrids. When she dies Cerpin, in his old body, reappears and is taken to Koral Mataxia who controls a tremulant city and takes children sacrifices.
At this point Cerpin Taxt awakens from his coma and years pass within the story. Again the tremulants convince him to kill himself, this time he does it by jumping off a bridge onto the highway. He is pulled back into their world, his place within it unexplained at this point.
Admittedly the story of Cerpin Taxt is tough to explain or give a full summary of. The Mars Volta leave it all up to interpretation. A concept album also can not be fully explained without a listen, the music being as important as any lyric. However, anyone interested in the album or The Mars Volta should check out the Storybook