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The Mars Volta - Octahedron CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.64 | 423 ratings

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4 stars An Accoustically Plugged album ...

Long before this album by The Mars Volta was on my hands I was told by my prog-mates that this new album is basically an acoustic one from the band. Then I imagined that it's gonna be something like "12:5" of Pain Salvation or "Damnation" of Opeth. But it's not a live album and not performing the old stuffs with acoustic version. So I was curious about it - how it sounds like? I have always considered the music of TMV is in heavy fashion with electrically driven music and many distortions have been used like in "Frances The Mute" album. And..yeah! Finally I got the album with me and I got 'flat' reaction at first spin even though I was quite interested with the opening track "Since We've Been Wrong" due to its acoustic guitar, mellotron and a bit of bluesy style; and "Desperate Grave" with its unique sound and melody.

It then really grew on me with some more spins and I realized that it finally became my regular album playlist in my iPod or stereo set at home. And I don't think this is something like "12:5" of Pain of Salvation in style and approach as the materials contained here are all new ones unlike PoS' one. I may consider it like Opeth "Damnation" but not really. Why? In this album TMV still maintains its roots in "heavy" side of the music which has characterized its music from the first album with sort of abrasive style. I still find it as The Mars Volta album even though there are many acoustic sounds plugged electrically in the music. While in the case of Opeth "Damnation" I could not find "growling" vocal as main characteristic of Opeth music, and it turns like CAMEL music to my ears.

Let's comeback to Octahedron album. One single strength of this acoustically plugged album is on its cohesiveness of the music as all eight songs form a solid line like a story telling from start to end. There is no one single track that is out of track in terms of style or approach but it is not a boring one to listen to - individually each track is an excellent one to enjoy. Most of melody of the eight songs are good, the composition is basically song orientated style and make it easy to digest. Even though most of them quite straight forward but there are some complexities as well as change of styles by this album. The other great thing about this album is the nuances created from songs played by the band - all of them are really excellent! The high register notes vocal line makes it unique The Mars Volta! "Cotopaxi" sounds heavy and reminds me to to "Frances The Mute" style and the riffs are really great and it becomes my favorite as well as "With Twilight as My Guide" and "Desperate Grave". Don't get me wrong I love all tracks actually ... theay are all excellent tracks!

Highly recommended album!

Please tell your Mom that you still keep on proggin' even though you are now listening to an acoustically plugged album by a heavy prog band The Mars Volta!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - happy progressive year 2010!!!

From your prog mate in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Gatot | 4/5 |


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