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Octahedron Review: www.inthenews.co.uk


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#1 Mlilly

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 06:56 PM

Just surfing and found this review... i don't know if anyones posted it yet.

http://www.inthenews...036;1304375.htm

Mars Volta: Octahedron
Tuesday, 16 Jun 2009 12:39
Mars Volta release their chilled-out fifth album Octahedron Printer friendly version

Music reviews archive... Mercury, out June 22nd.

In a nutshell...

Esoteric, psychedelic, experimental, yet relaxed and accessible

What's it all about?

Octahedron is the fifth studio record in six years from the Mars Volta and sees the group eschew grand concept albums and instead focus on channelling their creativity into eight bluesy numbers which all stay on the right side of the ten-minute mark. Not only does the album title mirror the number of tracks, but there is a discernible method to this madness, which is more than can be said for some of the band’s previous indulgences. There is enough flamboyance to appease hardcore fans, but newcomers will be drawn in by the lilting melodies of With Twilight As My Guide and the swaggering rock of Teflon.

Who's it by?

It's hard to know where to start trying to explain the Mars Volta, but that's partly the point of this sprawling prog-rock monolith. The brainchild of former At The Drive-In members Omar Rodriguez Lopez (guitar and producer) and Cedric Bixler Zavala (vocals and lyrics), the Mars Volta have consistently proved themselves to be one of the most enigmatic bands of the 21st century, producing labyrinthine records held together by epic concepts. For example, 2008's The Bedlam in Goliath was about finding a Ouija Board and burying it in the desert. Eight-minute tracks are more of a norm than an exception and several mind-bending solos from Red Hot Chili Pepper John Frusciante are thrown in for good measure.

As an example...

"How could you turn your back on me?/ I've summoned the stampede of infidel feet/For all I ever wanted is all you ever flaunted." – Halo Of Nembutals

Likelihood of a trip to the Grammys

The bombastic riffery of Cotopaxi may prove to be a strong single, but the Mars Volta have never been too concerned about such frippery. Their inclusion on Guitar Hero: World Tour has no doubt swelled their fan base in much the same way as Guitar Hero III did for fellow prog pioneers Dragonforce, and this may have influenced their decision to release a more accessible record. Octahedron looks set to help them reach beyond their cult-like following and critical acclaim will be widespread and enthusiastic.

What the others say

"These eight tracks make up the Mars Volta's most consistently compelling slab since 2005's salsafied Frances the Mute. But make no mistake: Rodriguez-Lopez still favours 12 solos where one will do." – Spin

"As intoxicating as they are infuriating, the Mars Volta flow between Latin flavoured jazz-fusion and tight, muscular rock." – Guardian

So is it any good?

Resisting the lures of obscure noodling is a talent that the band seems to be perfecting and there is a fine balance struck here between the esoteric moments of experimentation and the overall structure of the record. Octahedron is a slightly more restrained affair than usual, with opener Since We've Been Wrong lulling the listener into a false sense of predictability.

In lieu of a concept, Rodriguez-Lopez has described this as the band's acoustic album, and whilst this is hardly a Travis record, the overall tone is much more relaxed than on any other Mars Volta record. The rhythms are less syncopated, but the melodies are still as haunting and eerie as always, with Bixler-Zavala's unique voice guiding you through this aural maze, often doubling up in echoing harmonies.

Octahedron is the most approachable record that the band has produced since their 2003 debut De-Loused In The Comatorium, and their restraint has resulted in a fulfilling and highly colourful listen.

8/10

Chris Jefferies

#2 WhoAreThePatriots

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:01 PM

One of the better reviews.

#3 Mlilly

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:03 PM

yeah i thought so, and it sounds as if he has actually, listened to past a present to come to a good conclusion... not a copy and paste job like we've seen.
i think the missing 2 percent is probably because its not this exact taste in music?

#4 somber_vertigo

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:10 PM

Seriously doubt they would decide to release a more commercially viable record just because they were featured on Guitar Hero.

#5 WhoAreThePatriots

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:12 PM

Seriously doubt they would decide to release a more commercially viable record just because they were featured on Guitar Hero.


Yeah exactly, guess that shows how much he can't know tmv very well.

#6 Mlilly

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:16 PM

Seriously doubt they would decide to release a more commercially viable record just because they were featured on Guitar Hero.


Yeah exactly, guess that shows how much he can't know tmv very well.


well yeah, he's most likely not a big TMV fan/geek like all of us. :afro:

#7 itsgonrain

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:24 PM

He doesn't know the TMV's attitude, but he does like Octa it seems, and proly doesn't care much for Amp nor TBiG...overall a good review though.

#8 sickotriz

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:27 PM

What TMV song was on Guitar Hero?

#9 VismondIcepick

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 07:48 PM

What TMV song was on Guitar Hero?




It was Guitar Hero World Tours and the track was L'Via L'Viaquez from Francis the Mute

I totally agree that TMV would not create a more commercially viable album just because of being on Guitar Hero. Didn't they say early on that they didn't even want this album to be released on a major label?

#10 trentagrammaton

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Posted 16 June 2009 - 09:19 PM

haha, one armed scissor was on GH III, thats probably the only possible reason ATDI may re-unite.

#11 Dandelion

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 12:51 AM

"These eight tracks make up the Mars Volta's most consistently compelling slab since 2005's salsafied Frances the Mute. But make no mistake: Rodriguez-Lopez still favours 12 solos where one will do." – Spin

Writing this quote: FAIL
Quoting it: DOUBLE FAIL

I thought reviewers listened to the albums before writing their reviews

#12 ArtDamage

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:25 AM

fellow prog pioneers Dragonforce

ughhhh.....no.

#13 drunkship123

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Posted 17 June 2009 - 03:54 AM

fellow prog pioneers Dragonforce

ughhhh.....no.


hahaha, dragonforce is 90% computer MIDI sounds and 10% drum machine. if thats prog then im confused

#14 90adZAP

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Posted 18 June 2009 - 06:36 AM

Likelihood of a trip to the Grammys

remember this night
ahh that was good






this'd be cool
grammy's are fun
to say
fuck you people



anyways

not bad




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