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Octahedron

Released on 22 June 2009

Artist: The Mars Volta

4.0 out of 5 (5 customer reviews) | Write a review

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Results 1-5 of 20

  1. Since We've Been Wrong
  2. Teflon
  3. Halo Of Nembutals
  4. With Twilight As My Guide
  5. Cotopaxi
  6. Desperate Graves
  7. Copernicus
  8. Luciforms

Play.com Review

Experimental rock giants The Mars Volta celebrate their recent Grammy Award with the release of album number five, Octahedron. Bending the very dynamics of what we expect from the melodramatic prog-rock heroes, this themeless, visceral delight takes the former At The Drive-In boys away from their conceptual, riff-heavy signatures and into a more controlled 'acoustic' world.

A change in form from Mars Volta's previous efforts, Octahedron strips back their unearthly indulgences and takes a trip down what the El Paso band describe as an 'acoustic route'. Over a minute and a half of silence ushers in the album opener, 'Since We've Been Wrong'. A pensive introduction, the track builds with Cedric Bixler-Zavala's delicate melodies before Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's orchestral atmospherics construct a sombre groove that floats by with immaculate beauty. Whilst the weeping guitars and fiery vocals of the opening track follow suit within the ambient, Led Zeppelin-inspired 'With Twilight As My Guide', lead single 'Cotopaxi' breaks the calm with short-drumming patterns, a definite chorus and plenty of hook-laden fire. Keeping up the momentum are the dizzying 'Desperate Graves' and 'Copernicus': recalling their early hit single 'Inertiatic ESP', the tracks are layered with soft-galloping chords that give way to swelling hooks and thunderous crescendos, undeniably exciting these are two of the most infectious and accessible songs the band has ever produced.

Even though Octahedron is far from being an acoustic album, you can tell what The Mars Volta were getting at when they declared the route they were taking. Uncluttered and joyfully expansive, the straight to the point chords and lyrics deliver an unintimidating introduction for those put off by the band's progressive tendencies. That's not to say that Volta fans will be disappointed, however. Although the band go off on fewer musical tangents, this beautiful and understated album still ignites with the weird and wonderful bite of the experimental rockers' contagious sound.

customer Reviews

 Average rating (5 reviews)

 Their worst in my opinion

| | See all faxmachineanthem's reviews (17)

It saddens me to only give this album a three-star rating but it has to be done. I've been a Mars Volta fan since the start, and an At The Drive-In fan before them. I own all their CDs and love every one, except Octahedron.

First off I must concede that I am a huge fan of their fast, eccentric , energetic and wildly creative music which can be found all throughout their albums. I do however enjoy the balance a quieter, more reflective song creates in the midst of a frenetic storm of music which they usually deliver. This album however is a lot slower and energyless than the previous four.

Sure, this album does still have its qualities but it's not the side of the Mars Volta which I absolutely love with a passion. I've listened to it a few times now and I still end up feeling the same way - disappointed. And that is a terrible feeling to have for a band who always delivered.

There are some other minor qualms which just annoy me, in particular the opening 1 min 30 seconds, which is just pointless (basically inaudible) filler, which they did a lot on Frances the Mute. I'm really not a fan of wasted space in albums and although this only really happens once, it's the opening minute or so, and I have to skip through it everytime.

In conclusion therefore, this is definitely my least favourite album by the Mars Volta, and in my opinion their weakest. It still displays their talents as pioneering musicians, but in a new way which hasn't really shown itself on a regular basis previously. Needless to say I won't choose to listen to this album over any of their previous ones. I really hope this album is a one off and they'll return to making the music I love.

 Usual Prog Genius

| | See all TipsyGiant's reviews (1)

The Mars Volta continually outdo themselves to the point where their albums feel as though you are collection a rare discography of a 1970's King Crimson esque band and you feel as though each time an album comes out, you are adding it to your collection and it sits comfortably and feels as though there is no way the album could have been different.
The album is genius, but of course it was going to be, It had no choice but to suceed, it is written by the band your children will ask you about.

If you already like Mars Volta stop reading and get this masterpiece, if you are unaware of them, get the albums chronologically as I think this will prepare your brain slowly for this.

To sum up, this is musicians music, if you play in a band or produce, you will enjoy the pure depth and beauty this album has uncovered

 For me, the best sofar

| | See all mik999's reviews (1)

My first Mars Volta CD and wow, If long term fans think this is only a three star effort then I had to buy the rest. I did and was not disappointed, they are the 21st century King Crimson, each CD is a masterpiece but in my view Octahedron is the best.

 GREAT!!

| | See all theunnamed's reviews (1)

I've all of their cds and everyone has it's sound! Even if I prefer the older ones, Octahedron is a great album with great songs and great musicians!

 Not as good as the others but...

| | See all kinetic's reviews (4)

I have to admit it took several listens to get into the new album and I think it's too short and it has too many "empty" intervals.Overall it's a good album I think more approachable to new listeners and less from the harcore fans point of view.

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