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The Mars Volta - Amputechture CD (album) cover

AMPUTECHTURE

The Mars Volta

 

Heavy Prog

3.85 | 449 ratings

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Alitare
3 stars Amputechture ? 2006

10 ? Best Song: Mecchamputechture

Omar and his friends are a pretty sharp band of fellows. They usually have some heady themes, like with this Amputechture, where the (accepted) title track is a portmanteau of Mecca, Amputate, Technology, and Architecture, which is really a genuine idea. But it seems like every successive year they're wanting to push the limit on overwhelming just a few more inches. If you thought that Frances the Mute took patience to slip into and enjoy, Amputechture's another beast ? and assuredly a monolithic one at that. But don't be discouraged, because it IS possible, though I'm unsure as to whether or not having done so begets a reward.

See, they've decided that long songs are more fun to play that short songs, and we get 'Tetragrammaton', a 16 minute spark jolt jam of blistering guitars (where they've finally succumbed to it and adopted the ideals of Pink Floyd's biting visceral nature paired with King Crimson's drive and vitriol). It's certainly not worth the length, even if they balance things out with softer, more subdued movements. It's just too much to take in one sitting, and there's no truly defining moment like Inertiatic ESP.

The singing has become higher pitched and more 'astral', if I were to plant a term on it. The hyperactivity is something I've grown accustomed to, and it doesn't bite as hard as it did before. It sure is a jazzy concoction, though. I don't always like the way he sings (too punky hardcore or too helium-induced), but to deny these their frenzy, it's simply not acceptable. This is the essence of frenzy without direction.

Alitare | 3/5 |

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