The Mars Volta: Amputechture

Having swayed the masses with Frances the Mute, The Mars Volta continues with fresh stretches of experimentalism on Amputechture.

Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez delve into their usual assortment of heavy avant garde acid rock with the help of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' guitarist John Frusciante.  The result is a boisterous opening salvo of shimmering leads and staccato stop-start riffing on “Vicarious Atonement.”

Many comparisons to King Crimson and System of a Down are justified on the nearly twenty-minute opus, “Tetragrammaton.”  At times, Amputechture feels like the sound equivalent of fast food forced through the back end of a tube. 

And, “Meccamputechture” combined with “Day of the Baphomets” can drone on into one overproduced 23 minute collaboration. 

But, The Mars Volta’s winning hand is a stroke of genius involving the off-patterned time changes on “Vermicide” and the esoteric balladry of “Asilos Magdalena.”

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