The Mars Volta Eriatarka Lyrics & Meaning (Operation From A Doctor With Dog-Hands)

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This article discusses the meanings behind the lyrics of ‘Eriatarka’, the sixth track on De-Loused In The Comatorium by The Mars Volta.

Eriatarka begins at the end of “Drunkship of Lanterns”. After losing his mind, Cerpin taxt is jolted into a space that is without any sense of reality. This space is part of the ESP and is part of Cerpin’s deep subconscious.

The space starts to morph into someplace else.

Cerpin sees giant dogs, and can hear their voices as they lead him somewhere. Above Cerpin is a surgeon, whose name is Dr. Wolfram Tarant. The Doctor has Dogs for arms. Cerpin is now in the Eriatarka house of facial and muscular corrections.

Cerpin starts to become angry at the Doctor, but before he can get out of control, the Doctor shows him his new form. Cerpin now has wings, his new form is called Moatilliatta – The last of the great Teraquetzals (Tera and Quetzal are both names for certain flying dinorsaurs, Pterodactyl and Quetzalcoatl).

The Doctor explains to Cerpin that he has no choice in his change of form. Dr. Tarant shows Cerpin who his sworn enemy is, by telepathically putting the image of the the Boar known as Koral Mataxia in his mind. Although Cerpin has no choice in his transformation, he has to make a choice as to whether or not he will go through the “gate” that Tarant has prepared for him, to fulfill his destiny.

Meanwhile, outside Cerpins body, his friends and family gather around his hospital bed. Giving prayers and hoping hopes, they wait for the worst to come. Cerpin starts to regain consciousness, but is pulled back in to the arms of Dr. Tarant.

 

The Lyrics

The lyrics begin with Cerpin describing the voices of the dogs who led him to the Eriatarka house.

And there are those who
Hadn’t found the speaking so wrong
Is it wrong
Feels so wrong

After the dogs led him to the Eriatarka house, Cerpin wakes up to find out he has been transformed. His surgery is described when he says:

Happened on a respirator
In the basements
Stung the slang of a gallows bird
Rationed a dead letter pure
Cartwheel of scratches
Dress the tapeworm as pet
Flinched the cocooned meat
Infra-recon forgets

When he says “Cartwheel of scratches” he is referring to a form of syringe that leaves marks in a circular form. “Flinched the cocooned meat” is saying that any parts of Cerpins body that are not useful, or are sleeping (hence cocooned) are cut off. He says the same thing when he says “Infra-recon forgets”. The word “infra” means below. The word “recon” means reconnaissance, or to retrieve something important. So it is saying that anything less than the most important parts are removed or “forgotten”.

Cerpin begins to talk about the dogs that are tending to his wounds.

Comfort in the breathing
It houses the watchful eyes
They’re panting in a pattern in droves

Cerpin continues to talk about his transformation. How he has now become a hairless, flying dinosaur-like creature.

Evaporated the fur
Because it covers them

This details how he has lost all his hair, because hair is what covers humans and animals, and he is now neither.

He continues to describe how he has lost all the characteristics of his human body.

They used to have pulses in them
But impulse has made them strong

Lastly, Cerpin describes how Dr. Tarant has been hired by the Tremulants to do the surgery for them. It gives a very small insight to the fact that they do indeed “have plans for him”

If you only knew the plans they had for us

We continue to the music.

 

The Music

The song starts out with a quick frantic phrase, but quickly dies down to a dreamy, slightly distorted guitar. This would be the area that describes Cerpin’s inoculated state. As the song slowly builds, Cerpin becomes more and more awake.

As Cerpin becomes angry at the Doctor, Eriatarka becomes more frantic. After the frantic phrase, the song slows down to a unique ambient section. This section would be showing how Cerpin is discovering his new body, the way he must have felt when he discovered he had wings.

After another Verse and Chorus, the musical masterpiece gains momentum. This section, and the one after it, is my favorite part of the song. It just really has an awesome feel, that is just really difficult to describe.

Then next section (my second favorite) is very short, but has a really…almost funky feel to it, which is mainly attributed to the stylistic bass line.

At the very End, there is another unique Mars Volta ambient section, which is to show Cerpin transporting and transforming once again.

Overall, Eriatarka is a bit more mainstream than the rest of the album. Although its uniqueness shows more than enough separation from normal music, I feel that even the most non-alternative listener could like it.

 

Full Eriatarka Lyrics

And there are those who
Hadn’t found the speaking so wrong
Is it wrong
Of Pavlov lore
They ran rampant through the floors
Is this wrong
Feels so wrong
Happened on a respirator
In the basements
Are they gone are they gone

Stung the slang of a gallows bird
Rationed a dead letter pure

Track marked amoeba lands craft
Cartwheel of scratches
Dress the tapeworm as pet
Tentacles smirk please
Flinched the cocooned meat
Infra-recon forgets

Now there are those who find
Comfort in the breathing wrong
Is it wrong
It houses the watchful eyes
They’re panting in a pattern in droves
Are they gone
Happened on a respirator
In the basements
Is it gone
Are they gone

Stung the slang of a gallows bird
Sanctioned a dead letter pure

Track marked amoeba lands craft
Cartwheel of scratches
Dress the tape worm as pet
Tentacles smirk please
Flinch the cocooned meat
Infra-recon forgets

Evaporated the fur
Because it covers them
If you only knew the plans they had for us
Evaporated the fur
Because it covers them
If you only knew the plans they had for us
They used to have pulses in them
But impulse has made them strong
They used to have pulses in them
But impulse has made them strong
Evaporated the fur
Because it covers them
If you only knew the plans they had for us

Track marked amoeba lands craft
Cartwheel of scratches
Dress the tapeworm as pets
Tentacles smirk please
Flinch the cocooned meat
Infra-recon forgets

Gotta be a way
Of getting out
Are you just growing old
Track marked amoeba lands craft
Cartwheel of scratches
Dress the tapeworm as pet

Next, learn about the awesome power of Clavietika in Cicatriz ESP.

 

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Andrew 'The Real Musician' Muller

I love creative art, music, television shows, movies, video games, and a good story. If you had to find me somewhere, you would probably find me down at O’Neil’s home cooking and eating an organic sweet-potato bun breakfast sandwich with ham. Among my friends, it's a "Muller Classic Move" to eat McDonald’s at 2am because it's cheap and open 24/7. The joke here is that I'm an idiot. I play drums, guitar, piano, and I write & perform music for My Goal Is Telepathy.