The Mars Volta - Octahedron (3 stars)

The Mars Volta - Octahedron

For five albums now Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and Cedric Bixler-Savala (for they are the heart of The Mars Volta) have been relentlessly pounding us with their dizzying musical overload — music of such frenzy it read like the musical manifestation of a fly writhing to escape the spider’s web. Something had to give, and on Octahedron they pull back from the brink, employing more diffuse acoustic guitar work over Bixler’s impassioned tongue twister trills. The effect is still the same: this is pure drama out of a crisis and adds a few more shades and colours on the already cramped palette. Too much as ever but still compelling listening.

(Mercury)

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