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Allmusic Review4/5 Stars

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#1 LouisGilbrook



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:42 PM


For punk, metal, or hard rock bands, the unplugged album is the one that shows whether they've been succeeding simply on energy and volume or because of real talent. (Anyone who remained a skeptic of Kurt Cobain's songwriting skills must have been converted by Nirvana's MTV Unplugged masterpiece.) And Octahedron, a quieter and more subdued Mars Volta album, proves that same fact (if not at the same level as Nirvana) for a band that's perpetually lived on a knife's edge of tension. Recorded in less than a month, Octahedron is by no means an unplugged album - it's not acoustic, it's not confined to ballads, and it includes consecutive hard rockers in "Cotopaxi" and "Desperate Graves" - but it charts a different direction for the Mars Volta, and proves they don't need to shuttle between dynamic extremes in order to succeed on an artistic level. The format allows a greater role and more space for John Frusciante, who accompanies Cedric Bixler-Zavala's vocals well, and also provides his own highlights, channeling the Edge on the emotional "Teflon" and, later, echoing Pink Floyd on "With Twilight as My Guide." With a few exceptions, Zavala's lyrics are as arcane as ever; the glossary for "Halo of Nembutals" alone would include the words "vermin," "sloth," "ringworms," "necrophiliacs," "carcinogen," "asp," "communion-shaped," and "palindromes." Still, they achieve scrutability far more often than in the past, and reveal more of the tenderness that was occasionally visible in Mars Volta material. ("Since We've Been Wrong," the single and first track, is especially affecting.) Calling this an unplugged album is useful only in relation to what the group has produced in the past, but what the Mars Volta created on Octahedron will provide them with more range and opportunities in the future.

By John Bush.

#2 Lewis T

Lewis T


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Posted 21 June 2009 - 03:45 PM

Comin' in fast now! Decent review.. although I wuoldn't call the words "palindrome" or "asp".. well most of those words archaic haha. Thanks for posting :)

#3 Mlilly



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 04:51 PM

thats good 4/5 thats the most a reivew has given them so far isnt it? I love this album and i agree with

" but it charts a different direction for the Mars Volta, and proves they don't need to shuttle between dynamic extremes in order to succeed on an artistic level"
which i agree with.
good review thanks for posting.

#4 Phyrro



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 06:24 PM

Good review. They get it.

#5 Metatron13



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 06:42 PM

all music usually does a good job with their reviews.

but 2 1/2 stars for REM's Out of Time? bullshit.

#6 ArtDamage



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 07:20 PM

all music usually does a good job with their reviews.

but 2 1/2 stars for REM's Out of Time? bullshit.

lol rem

#7 90adZAP


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Posted 21 June 2009 - 07:23 PM

allmusic likes the volta
they gave four and a half for ftm, beldam and dloused i think

#8 Dandelion



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 07:45 PM

They also seem to like Omar's albums

Btw, vote for TMV here, they're going up in the poll

#9 swansong200



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Posted 21 June 2009 - 09:14 PM

thats why i love allmusic!

#10 Deni



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Posted 22 June 2009 - 12:09 AM

c'moon! ok... 4 stars... but if amputechture got 4 stars then Octa must get 3,5 and scab dates 3 not 3,5...

oh well

i dont agree bedlam deserves 4,5 like de-loused and frances :rolleyes:

they need to update:
Group Members

* Jeremy Ward
* Ikie Owens
* Omar Rodriguez-Lopez
* Cedric Bixler-Zavala
* Juan Alderete

#11 rfeprod



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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:23 AM

John Bush? I loved him when he was with Anthrax!

#12 loomis_freeman



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Posted 22 June 2009 - 01:27 AM

Good review. I liked the Nirvana reference.

#13 CokeMonkey



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Posted 22 June 2009 - 06:17 PM

yeahhhhhhhhhhh lol Allmusic

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