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 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
    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 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. JimV
    Jun 24, 2009
    10
    Another addictive masterpiece that further broadens the band's range.
  3. Dec 6, 2011
    9
    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. TomW
    Jul 2, 2009
    8
    Really something special, especially in the Mars Volta cosmos. Beautiful melodies and arrangements without destroying them by adding more and more layers to the songs. Well done and an awesome counterpoise to Bedlam. Expand
  5. Dec 4, 2010
    8
    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
  6. Paul
    Jul 3, 2009
    7
    Decent in its own right, but not compared to their other work. They should go back to being loud.
  7. KateS.
    Jul 20, 2009
    0
    The worst album of the year.

See all 24 User Reviews