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.”