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The Mars Volta - Octahedron CD (album) cover


The Mars Volta


Heavy Prog

3.64 | 422 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Sean Trane
Special Collaborator
Prog Folk
4 stars TMV's fifth studio album doesn't see much change in terms of musical directions, especially after their previous (and best so far) Amputecture and (less successful) Bedlamů In Goliath. Obviously the group has now definitely done with Hypgnosis-style artwork, preferring drawn freaky animals and world of Jeff Jordan. The duo of Cedric and Omar is now at its best, while the "group" seems to relatively stable. But what is now-confirmed is that TMV chooses shorter format songs. The previous Bedlam had no songs above 10 minutes and only two above 9, but with the present one, only one track is over 8. Quite a change compared to Amputecture's three above or France's all above 10-mins and one of 32-minutes.. Personally I think it helps the group being a bit more concise and not having total mayhem on the discs.

Starting on a super-low and slow intro, Cedric gives us some of the most gentle singing he's done so far over the superb Rodriguez (or is it Frusciante from the great RHCP?) guitar, and then once the track reaches cruising speed some (fake?) mellotrons and drums come in. A little further down, the album, Halo Of Nembutals is a clear winner as well. The almost 8-mins Twilight As My Guide is however very Yes-inclined with a steel lap and tweer-than-usual vocals, but it certainly brings some fnesse and clam before the Cotopaxi tropical storm. Again a bit further down Desperate Graves is another mellotron-induced track and another very strong track. Copernicus is another quiet track and the closing Luciforms leaves the impression that TMV's latest album is not only their most relaxed so far, but also the most mature

Definitely an album that grows on you easier than their earlier works, which took some "getting used" to them, Octahedron is most likely their shortest album by far, clocking around a normal 70's album, and it makes it that much more enjoyable if you don't mind saying so. Albums above 60 minutes are generally not welcome with me, and when they were above the 75 mins, they not only provide boredom and confusion?. They tire the listener very easily . As with GG's Octopus, MV's 8 tracks were induced by the title

Sean Trane | 4/5 |


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