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The Mars Volta - Octahedron CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.65 | 393 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

3 stars Here we have the first record from The Mars Volta which largely does not attempt to push the boundaries of music, and rather finds the Volta with a more relaxed and accessible sound . This effort focuses on production values and ambiance that bring it closer to Floyd or early Porcupine Tree in many ways. It has been said that this is TMV's attempt at commercialism which is far from accurate. Their most popular, commercial, and still well liked record has and might always be De-Loused (although far less groundbreaking musically than the 3 records that follow it). At first I was plesantly suprised by the difference of tone as the constant up tempo ruckus of their previous records was nearly becomming cliche. Now that the record has had time to sink in, it is clear that this is their weakest effort for the same reason as it's strengths. The fact that the record is a deliberate attempt to be more accessable, relaxed and mush less dense seems to have stripped away the quality that has made all their previous records groundbreaking. The album is still very good and of high quality beginning to end, but there is hardly a moment where you are astonished or feel that this is the only band who could produce or even conjure up this kind of music. The fact is that no band that lasts continues to produce masterpieces their entire career. TMV realized that they had capitalized on their sound with The Bedlam in Goliath and needed a change in direction. This change in direction causes songwriter Omar Rodriguez Lopez to leave his current comfort zone in search of something fresh and ends up not being as groundbreaking as a result. However, to continue to tread water with a Bedlam 2 would not be groundbreaking either so what we are left with is inevitability regarding musical creativity and was in actuality the only logical move TMV could make at this time.
massivecombine | 3/5 |


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