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The Mars Volta - Amputechture CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.84 | 535 ratings

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Symphonic Team
3 stars A huge disappointment following the masterful Frances the Mute, Amputechture is a loud, bombastic mess. Often the tracks are headache inducing, the vocals blare, the bass is merciless and the guitar chords are chaotic jazz at its worst. Many tracks needed to be discarded to trim down the enormous running time of 76 minutes, however some tracks redeem the album from a total waste.

Tetragrammaton is definitely the highlight for me clocking some 17 minutes and it features lengthy jamming with Omar A Rodriguez-Lopez's guitar and wild percussive metrical shapes from Jon Theodore. The Latin rhythms are everpresent and the non sensical banter of Cedric Bixler Zavala, but it hangs together with excellent time sig shifts and breaks. The skull crunching brass permeates through Isaiah Ikey Owens keyboards.

Viscera Eyes is certainly one of the Mars Volta's best compositions, with memorable melodies and aggressive blasts of acid fuelled psyche prog. Latinese embellishments are present in the lyrics and musical style, and it works very well to drive the song onwards.

Day of the Baphomets is a mini epic at about 12 minutes in length and is one I return to with wonderful twists and turns and some sultry Latin rhythms. Juan Alderte's bass is a key feature and in fact he solos in a wonderful detour from all the loud guitar noise. Lurking slices of saxophone break through and cap this off as one of the best from the band in their illustriuos career.

Overall, the highlights are weighed down by some genuine filler material and it appears as though the band were attempting to fill an entire CD. They do just that but it is difficult to sit through all this raucous mayhem. Perhaps in 2 sittings the album works better as I was shocked at how ordinary sections of this album are, even non-prog commercial radio-friendly at times, but the band refuse to conform to any particular genre, accepting a myriad of genres in their music, making this a very challenging and frustrating album. 3 stars is a reasonable rating for the aforementioned tracks.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 3/5 |


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