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The Mars Volta carve out some seriously sickening musical architecture - it's breath taking. Their third studio release builds on the melodic genius of Deloused in the Comatorium (debut album) and the progressive weirdness of their second album - Frances the Mute.
Amputechture was the first album I ever heard from TMV and, if I'm honest, I really didn't enjoy it the first time I listened. That was until I got through to "Viscera Eyes". This track is more accessible than the others and has an instantly appealing guitar riff - it almost makes you want to dance. It's probably the latin influence. After a good few listens however, the rest of the album begins to make sense. Leave the mighty Tetragrammatron to last - it'll make you cry otherwise. It's a real musical beast - clocking in at over 16 minutes, with some, shall we say, "unconventional" musical modes interspersed through it's crazy framework.
But lead singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala really can write a good tune. If you don't believe me, try "Asilos Magdalena". "Meccamputecture" contains within it's structure a wonderfully catchy saxophone riff. Ah yes, didn't mention - the "traditional" rock band line up is joined by a full brass section to churn up some serious heavy jazz/latin/metal fusion work. It you never thought you'd see these three genres combined - well now's your chance to witness the results. Thankfully, every member of the band is a master at what they do. Cedric's voice soars above the cacophony of sound that is weaved beneath... polyrhythms, insane dissonance and some truly wild guitar solos build a musical landscape like no other.
The album requires work but is very rewarding. "Day of the Baphomets" is unnerving and has that bizarre and rare quality of sounding like something you've heard before... something that you can't quite place.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 Vicarious Atonement
5 Asilos Magdalena
6 Viscera Eyes
7 Day Of The Baphomets
8 El Ciervo Vulnerado