9. Cassandra Gemini - The Mars Volta
For most of the Mars Volta's catalog, it's hard to even keep track of where you are half the time. Even by the standard of prog rock bands, hearing almost anything off of Deloused in the Comatorium is enough to make your brain melt if you're not prepared for it. That may have seemed like the pinnacle, but we were just getting started once we started to hear Frances the Mute.
Telling the story of a man living a particularly seedy lifestyle, this entire album builds to Cassandra Gemini, which runs well over 30 minutes to hear everything sprawl out. Though there's definitely a prog rock construction to the whole thing, the song almost fits into the acid rock genre as well, as Omar Rodriguez Lopez chokes the life out of his guitar while absolute chaos goes on around him. If you had even tried to be under the influence listening to this album, the lyrics are the stuff of nightmares, like hearing about snakes pouring out your eyes and culminating with the main character taking his own life after realizing everything that he has been dealing with throughout the album has been a lie.
What's even crazier is when you realize that there was initially so much more to tell. Before the record was even finished, the title track ended up being pulled because it would be sacrificing sound quality because of the raw amount of material on the album. Think about that though. Here you have one of the most interesting bands of the era with a scope that's so big that the physical medium of the CD couldn't fit it all in.