Amputechture review by The Mars Volta

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  • Released: Aug 22, 2006
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.7 Good
  • Users' score: 8.9 (275 votes)
The Mars Volta: Amputechture
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Sound — 8
My first impression of this album was how different it is from the other albums. There isn't the five minute segments of birds chirping or any strange ambience like that. It is much more straightforward than their Frances The Mute and Deloused In The Comatorium. There is still a lot of fantastic guitar work and great interaction between drums, keys, guitars, and on occasion a horn. They seem to have more songs sounding like Pink Floyd, especially Vicarious Atonement, and some sounding like Tool, Day Of The Baphomets, but they do bring in their own style. The style is pretty much guitar driven, no forays into salsa. Most of the strangeness that I fell in love with on the previous albums is gone. Much less "progressive". Overall I think the melodies and music overall is good, it's just not up to the standard that Deloused set and Frances tried to reach.

Lyrics — 7
Well, most of the time you can't understand what is being said or it is in Spanish. The lyrics do blend well with the music though. There definetly some cool sounds and interesting digital harmonies. I really like the feel of Asilos Magdalena's lyrics. They are in Spanish but they work well with the guitar. Again, comparing it to the past album, these lyrics don't touch Deloused Of Frances'. There doesn't seem to be any epic or mystical lyrics like in Miranda, Cassandra Gemini, and the whole of Deloused. That is probably what I miss the most in this album.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, this album is fair. The biggest disappointment is that this album seems to lack cohesion. It doesn't feel like one big long track. There are breaks or dramatic sudden changes between songs. It just doesn't have a meaning. The strongest points of their previous work seem to be gone or held back. There are a few good songs like Asilos Magdalena with the nylon guitar in the beginning, but it just feels more like an EP than an album. If I lost this album, I would probably buy it again hoping that it will grow on me. Afterall, I didn't really love Frances when it first came out, but it grew on me. So perhaps in a few months I will rebuke this review and write a more adoring review.

63 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The Demiurge
    hmm shame was looking to be something great probs buy it any way like may as well get the set
    DirkLance
    Well let me clarify that The Mars Volta are one of my favorite bands. I never said I didn't like their transitions or "ambient noises". I just like to hear more music, generally. I love the solo on Take the Veil and the incredibly long intsrumentals on Cassandra. I understand that both albums tell a story, and that the "noises" are meaningful. There are just some things that seem to drag, or are hard on the ears. Examples: The backwards drum effect and Omar's repetitive ring mod distortion after This Apparatus Must be Unearthed. And how about the crazy organ switching from pitch to pitch before The Widow? Don't tell me that's "ambient" because it's quite the opposite. And...
    TedZeppelin wrote: Have you heard the album, if not, then you can't say shit because you don't know.
    Look, the point is, NOBODY has heard the ALBUM yet. It's not OUT yet. You have heard demos, and that's it. It's awesome that you wanted to get the word out early, but truthfully, you don't know better than anyone else what the final product will be.
    Rexcore1234321
    TedZeppelin wrote: dw3b10 wrote: Normally it doesn't bother me when I see a tab or review submitted for a song on an album that hasn't even come out yet, but for some reason reviews and tabs for Amputechture really irk me. Maybe it's because I'm a huge TMV fan and I don't like to see their work disrespected like this, but whatever. I don't think it's right or fair to post comments on an album that isn't even going to be out for more than a month. I think it's bull**** that someone would have the nerve to post their review on this CD based on demos they downloaded. A couple months before FTM came out someone played the a few of the demos for me and when I got the album the day it came out it was completely different from the demos. Pretty much, I think TedZeppelin can go f*** himself and his review of this CD. Get over yourself. I don't really give a f*** what you think. I posted this because I could. This is pretty much the album that they will release in august. They may polish it a little, but not much can be added being as they have to press a bunch of albums before release. Maybe you disagree with the review and that I didn't give them a shining gold star for this album, because I felt that it wasn't up to par of the Mars Volta. Compared to other albums it is amazing, but to the Mars Volta's albums it isn't as amazing. Have you heard the album, if not, then you can't say shit because you don't know.
    Ok Ted...it's not our fault we don't steal music... even if you are gonna buy the final product, it's disrespectful to go ahead and listen to it when this band pretty much askes from us to wait another month. It's the Mars Volta, dude. and to sirpsycho85... OK it's not a very bad review but it's real shitty for someone to download the album and give a review. I mean c'mon. If you think about it when was Frances let out? a year and a half of something like that??? Correct me if you will. and It must of taken 2 years to make Frances because De-loused was made in 2003. What I'm really trying to say is less time was put in this album unlike Frances. That probably would've made a difference but who knows. TMV works in mysterious ways. Anyways... I think this review is bullshit... wait until the album is out at least but you kinda ruined the anticipation for everyone by giving it an 7.7 when we all know it could at least be an 9.6 or something greater. And i know thsi has nothing to do with this... but please stop comparing Omar to Hendrix. Sure Hendrix innovated effects and and changed the way Rock is with his own style but if you really sit down and listen to him play... it's nothing compared to Omar's experimental improvisation. Is anyone with me on that?
    DirkLance
    It's easy to say they're alike because they're pioneers of their time's progressive movement, and they're both freakishly talented left handed players, to boot. But their stuff is nothing alike. They're similar in retrospect, but they're two different people in two different time periods. You can't fairly even compare them.
    Rexcore1234321
    ... touche, salesman... touche I've always said you can never compare guitarists like that... I guess what I really am trying to say is Hendrix's lead parts weren't that great but true different time period. Back then that must've been real crazy. I totally agree how the are the pioneers of of their eras. I mean both have the fro, left handed playing, experimental style playing. If Hendrix was still alive... we would be talking genius here because that he would be... 64? again if I am wrong please correct me. ANyways, the point is that he would still be rocking creating more music and it would be so nuts that we would all die. not really I guess I sholuldn't be talking because I play bass and my music sounds more like Rush and Zeppelin. Still everyone has an opinion.
    DirkLance
    I'm not actually sure how old Hendrix would be...but I don't doubt he'd still be around. Man...I would love to see that...oh well. Stupid drugs.
    Rexcore1234321
    Yeah drugs... wow we got off topic because of me... let's go back argueing about how stupid it was for somwone to review an album that hasn't come out YEAH!
    second_walk
    it really isnt disrepectful listening to there stuff early its more like man i cannot get enough and i cant wait... and yes so you find out it leaks and your smart enough to get it.... you know its not the real finished product you can do a review just to ready everyone who hasnt heard it... whats the difference between him reviewing it and a magazine which does early reveiws all the time so stop being so dumb and shut up
    Rexcore1234321
    dude how is it not disresceptful? the band pretty much makes us wait for the damn release date and some asses think they can't wait and so you download it and it's stealing. Who cares if you are gonna buy the damn thing? At least be courteous and wait for it. I mean they play for us fans so they least we can do is wait. Another thing is when some punk kid from nowhere does a review and gives it a 7.7... we all know The Mars Volta can't be a 8. It's almost like saying George Bush is Jesus Christ. It's blasphemy in a way. Who cares what magazines ****ing say... well at least they have the privilage to hear the stuff first because it's their job and not our job... well not yet because IT'S NOT OUT! and don't tell me to shut up dude because I have a right to say whatever I want. Unlike the other people who do illegal stuff and download it. It's almost like making a movie and using Led Zeppelin's music in it without asking them and they are strict about that. That's how disrespectful it is. ... Man, what's wrong with some of you?
    The_Marshall_Gu
    Way to show 'em Rex. I completly agree. They ask us to wait until they have the album completly finished, so it will be in its most perfect form. They do this a favor to us, and then you, in the most disrespectful way possible, throw that favor back in their faces. Thats like if your girlfriend promised you that on the night you got married, she woudld finally sleep with you, and then you get impatient and rape her instead. Its just wrong in every way.....
    Rexcore1234321
    hahaha that's a good one, rhett... but yeah I agree. at least be respectful to the ones that influence you
    ilovemyepi
    Okay, the reason why it lacks "cohesion" is because the leaker of the album messed with the tracks and cut off the endings. If you didn't notice, Meccamputechture's length says 114. However, it keeps playing through Asilos Magdalena to 11:12.
    augustus_gloop
    is viscera eyes going to be the second single? the one version of it on myspace seems like a radio edit. but, if it is, then it's going be an insane single because the edited version is like a solid instrumental song with very few lyrics (it starts right at omar's solo). imagine watching fuse and seeing a music video for an instrumental song by the mars volta. that would be ****ing awesome.
    Rexcore1234321
    i like how you think augustus... i hope they don't cut it down to 4 minutes like L'via. That pissed me off. hey wait a min... what's the first single if viscera eyes is the second?
    Rexcore1234321
    that song has been on youtube for a while... it's used for this funny family guy thing. that's were I heard it
    augustus_gloop
    is viscera eyes going to be the second single? the one version of it on myspace seems like a radio edit. but, if it is, then it's going be an insane single because the edited version is like a solid instrumental song with very few lyrics (it starts right at omar's solo). imagine watching fuse and seeing a music video for an instrumental song by the mars volta. that would be ****ing awesome.
    nevermind what i said earlier. i read on wikipedia that they had to cut the viscera eyes into two halves because it was too long to post on myspace as one song. so i just listened to the second half and assumed it was a radio edit. that sucks. that would've been such a cool single.
    Rexcore1234321
    yeah i think they might do vermicide. i think i heard from someone or read it (idk where) that Juan Alderte has more bass solos/or it has a bigger role in the songs. I can't wait to learn them. I already saw a bass tab for vermicide on UG so I already learned it. it sounds like the bass in that long pause on Cicatriz Esp where theres no singing and after awhile the congas play then it goes back into the chorus for some reason. does anyone know what I'm talking about?
    Dandeman
    I've heard the leaked version and you can judge me all you want. Fact is, it is a sub-par mars volta album. It has lots of endless jamming that tends to be extremely repetitive, very similar to FTM. Although the ambience is gone, the creativity went with it. I guess I was hoping for something much closer to deloused in the comatorium. Their songs all seem to blend together, something I never expected from the mars volta. Maybe someday they will be able to match the caliber that is deloused, but that wont be anytime soon, apparently.
    Rexcore1234321
    well i think this album is coming out to soon and for it not to be a concept you gotta think that. and plus if you noticed the leaked versions are the horrible versions. so from what I read about it from everyone else, it's a pretty good album. i'm not that mad about it getting a 8 but it's stupid how it's not out and some jerk went ahead and did a review acting like he's some guy from Guitar World or some shit liek that. It may have less ambience but they are still the greatest band today.
    Rexcore1234321
    thanks... if you weren't being sarcastic. i couldn't tell because this is an internet forum and it's hard to leave clues of sarcasm or seriousness so the other person really doesn't know. well anyway... i went to my friends house last night and he had the leaked version but I didn't know it was them until he told me. I was astonished on how different. I mean I really found nothing wrong with it but it was so different and that's what volta was aiming for... always doing something different. If you ask me, Frusciante has a better role in this album and their bassist, Juan Alderte also plays a great role in the songs. Take Day of The Baphomets for example... it starts off with a sick bass solo and it just amazes me how different it was. I think it was good though. I agree there's less ambience along with the instrumentals and free jazz but according to what they were aiming for... i think they did a ****ing amazing job! I think I'm done with this review for now. when it comes out I'll give my 2 cents again.
    Rexcore1234321
    dude what's that suppose to mean? you really think I would go to everyone's level and download it. ahahahaha good one, f'ing hypocrite... I was on your side. They even have 2 of the songs on purevolume so I've heard 3 songs... you can go check and the other one was vermicide and it's on youtibe as a family guy music video type thing. and the song I heard at my friends was Day of The Baphomets. At least I'm no thief so there's some judgement. So I really don't care what ou think I'm just telling the truth and that's all that matters. At least I'm respectful to the band in that sense.
    Bombtrack
    yes but you are saying it is disrespectful to listen then judge before it is released, it is still unfinished yes from the version i have heard, but it still is mostly done, how much are they going to change in a month or so. The only thing is the breaks in between songs which are obviously going to be filled becuase it begins to build up at the end of each song. My only criticism is that it is not as catchy as de-loused, but there is no reason having a fit at the reviewer he is only trying to inform, he isnt syaing it is crap just that the other albums are better. TMV are one of my favourite bands but you still need to be able to admit that it isnt as good as the others, it may grow on me with time though.
    Rexcore1234321
    yeah i know but he made me seem like a thief and God everyone that has myspace has listened to Viscera eyes on Myspace. My point was at least I didn't listen to the whole album and that I haven't downloaded it and I think you guys think I'm lying but I am not. Ok youre right I was being hypocritish when I listened to 3 of the songs that no one has heard of but tha means I've only heard half the track and I haven't heard the songs ever since because I am gonna wait and try to stay loyal again. Ok but hey... what is this review really about? It's about how absurd one man was to listen to the leaked vesion, then deciding he's gonna give it a review and now it is gonna make everyone lose anticipation fo it because everyone is saying that it's not great. I;m trying not to fight here and everyone gets a voice but i'm really trying to say that this review should of never happen until EVERYONE could have heard it so EVERYONE has a good opinion about it.
    it consumes me
    Amputechture is The Mars Volta's best album. 100 times better than Frances the Mute. And also, there is plenty of strangeness from before. If ambiance was the only thing that made TMV different from other bands, that's incredibly sad. This time around, the ambiance is still there, but inside of the music, not on the outside of it. If you were to take the ambiance out of FTM, it'd seem like a completely normal state of music. It basically has a funk, blues, Spanish rock, and 2 fusion rock songs. That doesn't sound very different at all, so I don't know what you're talking about in the sound section. I'm posting my review soon.
    Rexcore1234321
    Yeah I like how It consumes me thinks... I mean so I have heard 4 of the songs. Big whoop. Wanna fight about it? Nah jk I got that off Family Guy. Anyway, from what I got out of those songs... I think TMV went beyond experimental prog. I like how he said how the ambience is in the music. That's not what made TMV different. Omar's experimental psychopath improv, the free jazz instrumentals, the band members' talents are really equal so no one is left out and they are intentionally known for fusing punk and prog which use to be two totally different genres! all I have to say is I can't wait to read your review, it consumes me.
    it consumes me
    Thank you. I have the review down already, it's three full pages on a Word document only for the sound section, I went in depth about the music. Amputechture is definitely something people haven't heard before. Jon Theodore is also the best he's ever been, I mean, holy shit, just listen to Tetragrammtaon... This album shows a side of TMV that is completely different from the other bands out now. Dramatic and abrupt musical changes (first listens will find it startling), complex and sophisticated music, insane improvs, and the inability to be labeled. In one words, the only way you can describe Amputechture would be to say it was alien.
    dw3b10
    Okay dude. Why don't you go review Guns N' Roses Chinese Democracy while you're at it.
    morello_man
    i havent got this yet, but bear in mind, the longer the music, the more time it takes to get into it, especially with progressive music.
    Miasmatic
    It's not even close to being out yet... a review shouldn't really be allowed, especially on a leaked album that doesn't give you a final look at the finished product.
    marsvoltaguy
    to be honest the leaked album feels like it had something missing because their are parts where it skips to a different random assortment of progressions. i belive their is more to the tracks on the actual cds. so brovo cedric and omar for not letting the full cd out brovo
    Covin
    Miasmatic : It's not even close to being out yet... a review shouldn't really be allowed, especially on a leaked album that doesn't give you a final look at the finished product.
    amen. I don't think they should allow reviews the day of the release either. There should some sort of 3-day limit or something, to force people to actually absorb it and not some blind fan that thinks everything's great will review it. I'm looking forward to this new record...but unlike the last one, I'm listening to it all the way through before I buy it; any of that "nothingness" that dominated Frances the Mute and there's no way i'm buying this one.
    GuitarGod610
    You're referring to Cassandra Geminni and Miranda, aren't you? That's nothingness to you? Cassandra Geminni takes a while to get through, but once you do it, it feels like the album is complete.
    augustus_gloop
    If I lost this album, I would probably buy it again
    it's funny how he's trying to legitimize himself in a review for a cd that doesn't come out for another month. i've listened to the cd and there's none of that "nothingess" like in frances the mute. there is, however, a lot of very long jamming that doesn't seem to go anywhere. but, i've only listened to it once and like that guy said, it'll probably grow on me.
    Hi9
    I've listened to it a couple of times now. And then a couple of more times. And then a few more times just for good measure. I'll probably be listening to it again in a few minutes. And all I have to say, having it pretty well digested, is that this album is wonderful. It only has a tiny bit of noise between a couple of tracks, nowhere near as much as frances, and the songs are all shorter than 30 minutes (the longest is about 17), yet seem to have more in them. The solos are definately shorter, but also much more fun to listen to. All in all, everybody give this a chance, I know you'll love it.
    DirkLance
    Yeah, sure Hi9, I'll give it a chance...WHEN IT EFFING COMES OUT, YOU JERK. What the heck is this review doing up here, the album is at least a month away if I remember correctly. If you like the band so much, support them, and if you don't, what in the world are you doing stealing their music to listen to it? Pshh...anyway, just letting off a bit of steam...theives. So yeah, on a lighter note, I'm really glad the Volta have cut out the long, sometimes annoying intermissions. De-Loused was classic, and Frances the Mute was way different than anything I've heard, but they both (especially FtM) suffered from some over-extended transitions. But overall I'm excited for some new stuff, especially being a huge fan of Omar's psychopathic guitar. But I'll WAIT FOR IT TO COME OUT. I hope the rest of you do, too.
    jump_haround
    I'm waiting... but it comes out the day after I go on holiday, so i'll have to take my cray-zee retro CD player. And 11th of August for England
    Padenbang
    Hold on a minute! Did this freakin guy review a cd that isn't even out yet. Even with the pirated version you have to listen to an album a couple times through to see if you like it or not. U know to get passed all of the Honeymoon if you want to call it that and really listen to it. Frances the mute was a great album that had alot of originality. I have been waiting for Mars Volta for a long time so if you are going to bash them in a review atleast do them justice and wait till the album comes out. Ass!!
    marsvoltaguy
    De-Loused was classic, and Frances the Mute was way different than anything I've heard, but they both (especially FtM) suffered from some over-extended transitions.
    oh and they didnt suffer from anything. ambiant noises are genious effects to music. also on the theives comment i have the stolen album and im going to buy the real one when it comes out so just because we are impatient doesnt mean we wont support them. besides their not in it for the money
    Arkane
    and they are definetely one of the best or the best band to come out recently
    Social Hazard
    i dunt really think there is a "standard" they have to meet. there juss always tryin out new stuff, and thats what keeps us listenin. im glad its not same or even similar to deloused or frances, cuz if it was, it wouldn't have such an impact. there kinda new grooves and sound to explore and thats what makes them them. even if they put out a crap album (not sayin that amputechture is, cuz frum the shit i heard its awesum), but if they do then o well, they learn, they write and they make better stuff knowin what goes and what doesn't, cuz its always a learnin process. o yea, even if u have all their music off leaked stuff, go otu and actuall buy the album anywayz and show sum decency and respect for their hard work. Peace