Amputechture - The Mars Volta
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 115 Ratings

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  • Summary: Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante guests on the prog-rock band's third studio disc, which features eight tracks clocking in at an epic total of 76 minutes.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. This early-Roxy-Music-meets-late Led-Zep-style third studio album finds the band stepping back from total impenetrability with a pithy, eight-song, 76-minute set, guaranteed to restore the faith of those whose confidence in this grand enterprise was waning.
  2. 80
    It’s epic, mercurial, high-impact progressive rock that moves like a whirlwind.
  3. You'd think these guys would've overheated by now, but they still love channeling chaos into one long river of song. [15 Sep 2006, p.77]
  4. 60
    As over the top as all this can be, Amputechture has little of the thrash influence that's made modern prog so deadening, and the impenetrable lyrics... are easily overlooked. [Sep 2006, p.104]
  5. All Amputechture does is test patience. [Oct 2006, p.200]
  6. It seems to prove a cardinal rule about art and ambition; if you paint in too many colors, you end up with mud brown. The Mars Volta could fill up whole galleries with canvases this color, and with Amputechture, have constructed another monochromatic monument to wild, uninhibited excess.
  7. Maddeningly diffuse at best, and an engorged sonic clusterfuck at worst.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 81
  2. Negative: 10 out of 81
  1. Einar1J.
    Apr 10, 2008
    Truly beautiful. Amputechture is TMV's most mature work, often flying between rock, jazz and soul. Don't get me wrong, this album sounded awful at first, taking perhaps 15 proper listens to realize its immense beauty. From start to finish I feel the amazing composition and praise cedric's vocals. Of course, this album is far from De-Loused on terms of accessibility, but it shines through in the end. 'Vicarious Atonement' is jaw-dropping perfection, with 'Tetragrammaton' bringing the listener to rollercoasters of sound and distortion. 'Vermicide' is one of those oddly placed accessible songs in an album of distortion, fulfilling its place with simplicity. Next, 'Meccamputechture' sounds great then lags, but mainly due to its immense length. However, you fall in love with any flaws. 'Asilos Magdalena' is a stunning near-acoustic spanish ballad, totally crushing any typical mind-set. 'Viscera Eyes' is jazzed-up for action, crushing the listener with sound. 'Day of the Baphomets' is mind blowing and jammin' fun. The finale, 'El Ciervo Vulnerado' leaves you feeling like you just listened to a materpiece, without knowing what on earth, besides amputation, cedric has been taking about. Takes multiple listens, please take your time with this record, and don't rate a record you've never listened to. Expand
  2. MiguelC
    Sep 14, 2006
    the volta's creativity and fluidity make 76 minutes fly by.
  3. YourBoss
    Nov 4, 2006
    Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is a musical Orson Welles. This is what mastery, artistic integrity, and real passion can produce, in a world of celebrated clones playing the game of who is the best clone? (My Chemical Romance seems to be the current leading contender, with Panic! At the Disco and Fall Out Boy catching up). The Mars Volta are playing games with The Doors, Pink Floyd, Joy Division, The Pixies, and all the great bands that never cared about what was expected of them, just about thier art and refused to comprimise. Expand
  4. JR
    Sep 18, 2006
    A great album all the way through. Non stop fun.
  5. JonL
    Nov 4, 2006
    It's not a perfect album, and it is somewhat inferior to Frances and De-Loused. But who cares? There are still tons of enormously jaw-dropping sections here (see Day Of The Baphomets, Meccamputechture) and you will not find another album this year with this amount of attention paid to the composition (something severely lacking in most prog-rock bands who deliver wankery, but not music that actually goes anywhere). Is it self-indulgent? Yes. Difficult? Certainly. Cheesy? A bit. Does everything work? No. But if you are willing to just sit down and listen to where most of the album goes, you'll be pleased. Expand
  6. TedJ
    Sep 15, 2006
    good album with great moments. live, it's even better. pitchfork bugs the fuck out of me. phrases like "piss-soaked indulgence," "hodgepodge of ADD prog trope noodles," "wavy gravy," "heady hand drums," "weirdo Crimson King corn-dogging," "'Been Caught Stealin'-on-DXM shower ballad"... wow. such writing embodies the very excesses and self-satisfied inanity that writer Brandon Stosuy TRIES to decry within the cloying verbiage of his review. Like many Pitchfork reviews, the writer panders to the pretentious philistines, attempting to impress us and deflect any potential rebuttal by stuffing his review with as many SAT vocabulary words and "oh-look-at-how-much-i-know-about-music" references as possible. over it. Expand
  7. tomw
    Sep 11, 2006
    The best new test to the age old question: am I a poser? Best found by answering the question: do I like this album? Nothing reedeming. Talented musicians dissapearing into their own indulgences. They've always sound like they're masturbating... it's just that now, they don't even sound like they're enjoying it. Expand

See all 81 User Reviews