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The Mars Volta - Octahedron

The Mars Volta, Octahedron

Review by Hedley Jackson

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

A KALEIDOSCOPE of sound and texture delivered in a bizarre, intriguing and ultimately fantastic album. The fifth studio album for The Mars Volta is delectable.

Omar Rodriguez-Lopez & Cedric Bixler-Zavala make up the band, but the songs are performed by a group of artists from various sources and of differing styles, including Red Hot Chili Pepper’s guitarist John Frusciante.

Opening track Since We’ve Been Wrong is an epic 7 minutes and 21 seconds of brooding, pulsating creativity. Developing into a great tune, it shows that the band have no limit to their vision.

Similarities to bands like Led Zeppelin are inevitable as they push the boundaries of normality in rock music.

Teflon is a more upbeat, scatty rock song with a great chorus, giving weight to the award of “Best Prog-Rock Band” in 2008 by Rolling Stone. Halo Of Nembutals carries this on and shows off great harmonies and mad, tireless drums and a Jazz-piano solo in the middle.

To call them progressive is an insult. Their music transcends progressive-rock, and is an amalgamation of a cocktail of genres. Choosing not to adhere to conventional song structure and make music that just sounds good and exciting is commendable.

Yes, it lacks the conventional or commercial strengths that sometimes are necessary for success, but that doesn’t mean it’s not some of the best music I’ve ever heard.

It’s richness, confidence and refusal to be pigeon-holed make it a joy to listen to.

Cotopaxi is a cracking, heavy rock song with a tormented rhythm while Copernicus is calm and exquisite. Mars Volta vary their style fantastically well with great results.

Octahedron is a must have for any fan of music. It’s mad, it’s chaotic, it’s relentless, but it’s great music in it’s purest form and it’s awesome.

Download Picks: Since We’ve Been Wrong, Teflon, Cotopaxi, Copernicus

Track Listing:

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