Octahedron - The Mars Volta
Octahedron Image
Metascore
66

Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 62 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth album for the rock band is its first with Warner Bros.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. 80
    This is, however, their most mellow, reflective and tempered release yet. [Sep 2009, p.95]
  2. The panache of the singing, and the radiant complexity of the music--an achievement shared by Mr. Rodriguez Lopez and a handful of regular collaborators, including the Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante--drive the album relentlessly forward. And it’s the subtle touches, no less than the sweeping ones, that leave an impression.
  3. Though 'Teflon' boasts Rush-like guitar thunder and violent lyrics (“Let the wheels burn, let the wheels burn, stack the tires to the neck with the body inside”), the group returns to dark balladry on 'Desperate Graves' and 'Copernicus,' two more highlights from a haunting album full of twilight poetry.
  4. Octahedron isn’t a representation of the best The Mars Volta are capable of, but it is a glimpse into the power they possess when they better harness their capabilities.
  5. Bixler-Zavala is no Maxwell; he's more about sharp pain than voluptuous ache. By the end, he invokes Gordian knots alongside a fractallike Omar Rodriguez-Lopez guitar solo. Dude sounds like he's back home again.
  6. Octahedron will appeal to elderly prog fans immune to attention deficit disorder, who have the patience to let its charm gradually unfold. [Aug 2009, p.111]
  7. 'Cotopaxi' and 'Desperate Graves' are the Volta's most straightforward carbon-burners since Frances the Mute's 'Cygnus ... Vismund Cygnus' yet lack structure and memorable hooks, while the introductory ballad 'Since We've Been Wrong' soars closer to the Eagles than Led Zeppelin.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. JimV
    Jun 24, 2009
    10
    Another addictive masterpiece that further broadens the band's range.
  2. Sep 6, 2010
    10
    one of the most incredible albums i've ever heard. second only to deloused in pure quality and vision. made all the better because it comesone of the most incredible albums i've ever heard. second only to deloused in pure quality and vision. made all the better because it comes after the massive disappointment that was bedlam in goliath. gone are the terrible, disruptive effects on Cedric's voice. now all that remains is pure musical beauty and genius. just the right balance of slow songs and fast songs. if i can level one complaint at this album, it is that there isn't one standout song that is better than the rest. they are all incredible. buy this now or i'll cut you Expand
  3. Jamie
    Jun 25, 2009
    9
    It is not the Mars Volta we all know and love, it is however a Mars Volta with all there previous elements combined with a deeper sense of It is not the Mars Volta we all know and love, it is however a Mars Volta with all there previous elements combined with a deeper sense of emotion. It shows to me that as a group they are growing and expanding their artistic range, as a die hard Volta fan i love it and think it complements their previous albums beautifully. Expand
  4. Feb 12, 2012
    9
    This is possibly the best mars Volta album there is, every song is very good, unlike other albums where most of the songs are good and aThis is possibly the best mars Volta album there is, every song is very good, unlike other albums where most of the songs are good and a couple are weird. Expand
  5. JonathanK
    Jun 24, 2009
    8
    I actually thought this album was very good, but I've always been a fan of TMV's more ballad-like songs such as Vade Mecum and The I actually thought this album was very good, but I've always been a fan of TMV's more ballad-like songs such as Vade Mecum and The Widow. Like their other ballad-like songs, this entire album is hauntingly beautiful, and a move in a positive direction for the band. While the album was good, I have to say it left me a little bit unsatisfied, but like most TMV albums, the melodies take awhile to sink in. I'm sure over time this album will really grow on me as it will most of you. Expand
  6. MichaelW.
    Jul 17, 2009
    8
    Great album from my favorite band. A welcomed change of pace, with beautiful melodies and haunting soundscapes. Teflon and Desperate Graves Great album from my favorite band. A welcomed change of pace, with beautiful melodies and haunting soundscapes. Teflon and Desperate Graves are two of the bands best, while Since We've Been Wrong, Twilight, and Copernicus display the band's versatility to create tender, heartfelt songs. Bixler-Zavala's lyrics and singing dominate this album, and it is the best showcase of his talents since Francis the Mute. I recommend, although it doesn't quite match up to last year's Bedlam. Expand
  7. KateS.
    Jul 20, 2009
    0
    The worst album of the year.

See all 25 User Reviews