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Omar Rodriguez-Lopez - Mantra Hiroshima CD (album) cover


Omar Rodriguez-Lopez


Eclectic Prog

3.16 | 19 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Prog Reviewer
3 stars Just when I thought the one man that sparked my interest in progressive music had fallen to the Latin side, he releases this album.

I had not known it yet, but the Mars Volta's "De-Loused In The Comatorium" was the singular album that had begun my journey through the hidden world of prog rock. Over 7 years later the picture looks very different. With every successive album release Omar had made, the spastic ingenuity and jam tendencies of TMV had slowly been vanishing before my very, uh, ears.

"Se Dice Bisonte, No Buffalo" and "Old Money" were and are particular gems of Omar's solo career, and the principle concept of flowing tracks (so as to feel like the entire album is 1 song) as constantly grabbed my attention much to my delight more often than not. Eventually, "Solar Gambling" signaled his slow transformation to his "Latino" side, despite not feeling the effects until much later. "Cryptmonesia", "Xenophanes" and the unpredictable, spastic, but still somewhat enjoyable "Sepulcros De Miel" rolled off the line (admist soundscapes like "Despair" and "Tychozorente") before "Ciza'a De Los Amores" put TMV's prog style in Omar's playing to rest, for good. Forever. Dead. 6 feet underground. Done-ski.

Then, I heard about a collaboration with Hella drummer Zach Hill, and my hopes were once again rejuvenated.

Not necessarily a big Hella fan, but as a drummer, I heard Hill mature from a spastic, stupid teenager into a refined drummer that, although there are times where he lets loose during this record, manages to retain the intensity to become a more refined, more detailed, more eloquent drummer. I have also listened to the genre of "math rock" from whence said maniacal drummer originated from. It's mainly based around unusual time signatures and rapid time signature changes along with unusual chord patterns and "stop-start rhythms".

A few listens to random tracks throughout the albums concluded that the entire album is just one big jam fest. And I love me some jam fest.

Heralding back to my obsession with jam bands like Phish and Umphrey's McGee, Omar once again reignited the spark within his magical retro guitar playing. The only significant difference is that this album was released at what I believe to be the climax of his "transformation" to his Latino experimental self.

In other words, if you don't know what you're getting into, do not get this album. If you do, know that there is a lot of spastic maniacal drumming, weird guitar chords and creepy synth effects.

Listen at your own peril. *maniacal laughter* (I love the word "maniacal")

Wicket | 3/5 |


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