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The Mars Volta - Amputechture CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.84 | 534 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sgt. Smiles
4 stars For my first review I chose an album often scorned by fans of the band. Amputechture is the third studio album by The Mars Volta, following a solid and gripping debut (De-loused), and their masterpiece second effort (Frances). Third time was not the charm for many Volta fans, but it was for me.

This album, like most of the Volta's releases, uses almost all of the available space on a CD with very little filler, something I've grown to appreciate. The Mars Volta continue to encompass endless elements and music styles with Amputechture, all the while creating their own sound of prog/space/latin/jazz- fusion/metal/psychadelic/demon rock. Although this is not considered a concept album like their first two releases, it might as well be, for many of the songs flow or transition into the next very well.

The Breakdown: 1)Vicarious Atonement is a beautiful and creepy intro with a spacey feel, but leads perfectly into the epic 2)Tetragrammaton, which grabs you by the throat and holds on for 16+ minutes. 3) Vermicide is almost a welcome break from Tetra's ups and downs, and has the most fluid structure of all 8 tracks. Vermicide seems like the only radio/single material on the album, but 'twas not to be. 4) Meccamputechture blasts into play with a furious intro and ends in the same fashion (the horns in this song might be my favorite part of the album), but does become a tad repetitive in the middle. 5)Asilos Magdalena is a unique gem of Volta songs, being mostly acoustic and sung entirely in spanish. It is very pretty and strangely dark. 6)Viscera Eyes was the short-lived single, which is understandable due to its length and half spanish lyrics. This song opens and continues with a fantastic riff and has a fun rock 'n' roll energy to it, but then changes tempo completely for the last 1/3 with a great bass hook and guitar solo that fade into keys played in the same notes. 7)Day of the Baphomets has a terrific bass intro, and then turns into a frenzy for 11 minutes with some stellar percussion...great song with a great pace for such a lengthy one. 8) El Ciervo Vulnerado closes the album in a similar way to its opening, weird and spacey and creepy. It has a bit of a middle-eastern feel and overlapped with effects. Very moody.

Amputechture is my favorite Volta release song-for-song, but has one flaw which keeps it from recieving 5 stars: it begins and finishes poorly. Although both the opener and closer are superb songs, they do not pull you in or climax properly enough to give the album a complete experience feel. Vicarious Atonement is a great intro to Tetra, but not a good 1st track.

If the tracklisting had Day of the Baphomets opening and Tetragrammaton closing, it would get 6 stars.

Sgt. Smiles | 4/5 |


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