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The Mars Volta - Amputechture CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.87 | 622 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars The Mars Volta are certainly a band that can polarize regular music fans and the same applies to the world of prog. However, I think their absolute unique blend of music is one of the most important assets that prog has had to its disposal, particularly in the 2000s where most prog hitting into the mainstream is on the metal side.

1. Vicarious Atonement- Very soulful guitar and vocal emphasis on this entry song. The atmosphere produced by Omar's guitar and Cedric's incredible vocals is quite stunning and works as a good opener to this album. I love when towards the end the piano comes in as well and builds on the atmosphere, eventually descending into chaos. 9/10

2. Tetragrammaton- Brilliance. This has to be one of the best songs written in the past decade, and there really is ALOT going on in it. Omar must have quite a good knowledge of music theory, since this composition is incredibly complex and accomplished. The guitar is perfect throughout in every aspect, the song really is experimental, and the song works amazingly as a piece. It is the longest track on the album, but for me it doesn't feel that long. This is absolute perfection that truly explores new grounds for music. Flawless. 10+/10

3. Vermicide- Good song, but easily the worst on the album. A shorter interlude that is more straightforward in structure. Cedric's vocals are good, the instrumentation is decent, but I could have actually done without this song. Nonetheless, I never skip it. 7/10

4. Meccamputechture- Brilliance strikes again! This, along with Tetragrammaton, is the best part of the album. TMV pulls some punk influences here, but they really work. The structure is very experimental, Cedric's vocals are out of control and spot on, and everything still flows despite the unconventional musical structure. Singing to this song is also nearly as enjoyable as the song, which says quite a bit. EVERYONE STABS---ALL THE TIME! Flawless. 10+/10

5. Asilos Magdalena- Spanish guitar track that is experimental in structure. Very good vocals again from Cedric in an intriguing contrast from the previous song. The Spanish lyrics work quite well and the mood is sustained perfectly until eventually descending into a twist (as usual with TMV) towards the end with dissonance and vocal modifiers. Good song. The atmosphere again is very effective. 9/10

6. Viscera Eyes- Great rockier song from TMV here! Wonderful structure as always, the song is written very well, covers new ground, amazing instrumentation, memorable parts included with challenging, and it flows. This is one hell of a good song. 9/10

7. Day of the Baphomets- Further sonic assault! More of a rockier element to parts of this one much like the previous song, separated with parts that are noisier, experimental, and slower. However, the song covers new ground and nothing that was already said in the previous songs is said again. The guitar here is great, the opening extremely effective and powerful, and again the song feels like it is shorter than the actual length. My favorite parts are the guitar all throughout (of course) and the really cool experimental Latin-esque drums/percussion part accompanied with Cedric's falsetto vocals at the end. Awesome song. 10/10

8. El Ciervo Vulnerado- Very experimental, slower song here. Almost like a creepier version of the entry song, this is an intriguing way to end the album. I'm not sure if I would have ended the album this way, but it works. It's not really my favorite song and it doesn't hit me as well as some of the other absolute masterpiece songs on here, but it still is pretty good. The mood is distorted and creepy; Cedric's vocals combined with the very odd instrumentation work pretty well. 8/10

You definitely need an open mind for this album and be warned that it may never click for you, as this album and band have proven to be an acquired taste. However, that doesn't make this album any less of a masterpiece of progressive music, a title which it rightly deserves for its sheer brilliance in instrumentation, atmosphere, and experimentation.

MovingPictures07 | 5/5 |


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