Before I ever heard the Mars Volta I listened to some Sparta (which i didn't like cause....the lead singers voice just wasn't appealing to me, very forgettable), and I wasn't really sure I was going to like it but my friends put it on one day and damn, it was stuck in my head for the longest time that I had to go out and buy the cd.
Reading some of the other reviews here you can tell some of them probably didn't listen to the whole cd or listen to certain songs the whole way through (like the 12 minutes of cicatriz esp, my favorite song on the whole cd), or they probably believe Nickelback makes good "hard" rock (no offense to trendy music listeners cause I listen to rap/hip hop and pop rock stuff too), or they believe the price of the cd means its not that good (come on now, it was released over a year ago, of course its $10), or maybe some of them just liked Sparta over The Mars Volta, but regardless, this is some of the best music I've heard ever. And who cares if what the singer says doesnt make sense? It fits in perfectly with the music alot better than most groups with lyrics that actually make sense. You must be crazy if you're actually buying a cd based on what the singer is saying!
The only person who I showed showed this music and they told me they didn't like it turned out to be a hardcore sparta fan. My brother likes it, my little sister likes it, and all my friends do too. If you end up not liking it, check your head.