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The Mars Volta - Amputechture CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.84 | 532 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Queen By-Tor
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Systemized Chaos

Masters of the frantically melodic and melodically frantic, The Mars Volta's third album, Amputechure is a slight departure from their previous works. While previous albums showed music that was not much different than noise, this one still approaches the tunes that same way but... safer. There's nothing in this album we haven't already heard from these guys, and while the songs are so viciously structured as they have previously, that ''safe'' feeling just keeps creeping in. Still heavy and still frantic, the band has changed a bit.

Starting with the Floyd-esque opener, Vicarious Atonement the band immediately decides that you don't get their head shattering noise fest for a good number of minutes. No complaints here, the song is quite the quiet trip which is very nice to hear from the boys. A rare moment of calm before the storm. As usual, there's a number of long songs on the album. Three here that overtake the 10-minute mark and one that comes close to 17. The 17-minute behemoth Tetragrammaton represents everything we've come to expect from the band. Noise melody hidden behind tones of instruments that bombard the listener with all they've got. Then we come into the first of the shorter tracks. It's really these where the band decided to take a different approach - more in kin with their At The Drive In days. Most noticable are the vocals in this track as the rest seems to ambiently sweep along. Hate to say it, but bring back that noise!!

Fortunately they do, Meccamputecture is another frantic song which is likely the standout of the album with it's 11-minute duration, lush melodies once again providing a very mind boggling experience. Day Of The Baphomets is much in the same. The other songs on the album are, again, shorter and, again, more typical in structure. The killer riff of Viscera Eyes starts off a nice rocker which is a great listen and Asilos Magdalena provides a very creepy track with the FXed vocals, once again the unfortunately most noticeable part about the song.

So while there's nothing wrong with this album as it's all quite good the band really failed to simply do what they've done all along by simply doing what they've done all along. 3 stars - good, but not quite as essential as their last 2 efforts. This one simply doesn't step out of the safe zone enough to really make a mark but it still manages to hit up some rocking tunes and some memorable moments. Fans shall be delighted, critics shall be unconvinced.

Queen By-Tor | 3/5 |


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