Octahedron - The Mars Volta
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Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 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. Guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala are the creative duo driving the band and once again deliver on a standing promise to blow any mind that is willing to stay open.
  2. it’s an excellent change of pace for the band, and proves that they can indeed write spacey, esoteric mid-tempo songs instead of...well...spacey, esoteric breakneck songs.
  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. It shows that for the first time they really can do restraint, without compromising the overall impact of the instances where things are let rip.
  5. 60
    As ever with The Mars Volta, there are enough flashes of brilliance to make up for the wearying material elsewhere. [Sep 2009, p.86]
  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: 21 out of 24
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 24
  3. Negative: 3 out of 24
  1. Sep 6, 2010
    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 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
  2. Sep 10, 2010
    Not on the level of some of the better Mars Volta albums in my opinion but still a great album to listen to. It shows their versatility and for that reason it is still impressive. Expand
  3. Dec 6, 2011
    Its sensation consists in both being recognisable in sound as The Mars Volta album, and becoming almost utterly something of a new and unheard quality. Unalterable and mostly slow paces filling Octahedron may not match the band's image at first, but nothing more erroneous. Powerful and melodic at the same time, it is a beautiful combination of Cedric's voice, ranging here from the lowest of all albums to time ("Luciforms") to definitely high-pitched ("Cotopaxi"), and strangely simple-layered melodies dragging into listening them over and over. A great piece of music made by a great band, once again showing us their skills in creating something theirs, and still entirely fresh. Expand
  4. Feb 12, 2012
    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 a couple are weird. Expand
  5. Apr 1, 2012
    The Mars Volta delivers their most triumphant and cohesive record since Frances The Mute with Octahedron. It retains its listenability long after the initial honeymoon phase is over which is more than can be said for The Bedlam In Goliath, as massive as that album was upon first listen. Octahedron's songs are compelling, bittersweet, and beautiful with the band getting in touch with their more emotional songs. The guitar is used here as an instrument of music more than noise here which bucks the trend of their recent albums. Highlights are Teflon, Since We've Been Wrong, Desperate Graves, and classic TMV track Cotopaxi Expand
  6. Dec 4, 2010
    From Their first album to their fourth album, The Mars Volta's sound have always sounded the same. Each with a different style but nevertheless it usually sounds all the same. But this album, Octahedron, The Mars Volta went for a different kind of sound. More acoustic, more slower burning songs, and some really dark lyrics. More darker lyrics than usual. And the verdict is, a very solid album. This album proves that they can do anything musically and it will still sound very good. All In All, the least of any Mars Volta album, but still a very good album that shows that The Mars Volta still has it going for them. B Collapse
  7. j30
    Dec 1, 2011
    I never thought I'd listen to a boring Mars Volta album, but here it is, the completely forgettable Octahedron. The two points is for Cotopaxi, a song that belongs on a better, more concise album. Even Omar Rodriguez Lopez in a Rolling Stone interview said the album was boring. Expand

See all 24 User Reviews