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The Mars Volta - Octahedron CD (album) cover

OCTAHEDRON

The Mars Volta

 

Heavy Prog

3.65 | 343 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

natewait
2 stars The Mars Volta is a band that I have really gotten into in the past couple years. I really enjoyed their eclectic version of prog that always keeps me on my toes. It is exciting music that hits at you non-stop, and I couldn't get enough of it. They are willing to push the boundaries of modern music and create something truly crazy and brilliant. I loved "The Bedlam in Goliath", especially the first half of the album because it is non-stop craziness that comes at you relentlessly. It is exciting and breathtaking.

And then comes, "Octahedron", their acoustic album on the completely opposite end of the spectrum. Granted, the album is not truly acoustic, there is still the trademark Mars Volta heaviness in certain tracks, but it is somewhat subdued. This is evidenced right off the bat with "Since You've Been Wrong" which starts with several seconds of silence before a slow, acoustic ballad starts up. I think this is a beautiful song and really states the purpose The Mars Volta had in mind for this record. Cedric's vocals are very tender here, not the normal shrill screaming that accompanies some of the heavier tracks from The Mars Volta. Unfortunately, the album takes a turn for the worse from here for me.

The second track is "Teflon" and I just can't seem to get into it. It meanders along without having anything special come out of it. It is somewhere in between the two extremes, which makes the track neutral. "Halo of Nembutals" is another track that just fails to grab me. Similar to the previous track, it just seems to meander and never really find its footing. "With Twilight As My Guide" is slightly better and hearkens back to the mood of the first track. It is mostly acoustic guitar and some great vocals from Cedric.

Then, finally, the album kicks in with the rocker "Cotopaxi". I love this track, it embodies all I love about The Mars Volta in just under 4 minutes. It has groove to it, it rocks hard, and it is the band going full force. I love it. The greatness continues with "Desperate Graves" which really grooves and showcases the excellent drumming of Thomas Prigden. This is why I love the Mars Volta! Unfortunately I'm not a big fan of the final two tracks. "Copernicus" is pleasant, but nothing special and it gets tiring to me after awhile. "Luciforms" is a grower, and I'm starting to appreciate it, especially the jam toward the end, but overall, the track doesn't really move me like the other great Mars Volta tracks.

In conclusion, this album is just not for me. It isn't the same Mars Volta I fell in love with. I know that Bedlam was a little too much for some people, but for me that is exactly what is so brilliant about the band. I'm not a fan of this more laid-back approach. There are a few redeeming tracks that keep this from a one-star, but I can't give it any more than two. Sorry!

natewait | 2/5 |

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