Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic 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. Amputechture is the most complete, most listenable, and most accomplished album from the band to date.
  3. 80
    It’s epic, mercurial, high-impact progressive rock that moves like a whirlwind.
  4. The album is little different than their two previous atom bombs, De-Loused in the Comatorium and Frances the Mute -- tense and anxious, continually pushing the boundaries of extreme production, with long periods of dynamics that rise ever higher, followed by an explosion of release (usually screaming hard rock with storms of atonal brass and horns).
  5. Mojo
    Strikes a perfect balance. [Sep 2006, p.96]
  6. Amputechture shows a band honing their eruptive sound and bringing it into tight focus for the first time, routinely pushing their music to the wall without ever risking a breach.
  7. Entertainment Weekly
    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]
  8. The punishing nature of the fusion furiosity is relieved by more soothing vocal sections. [12 Sep 2006]
  9. Rolling Stone
    It's on the second half where the Mars Volta catch fire. [21 Sep 2006, p.88]
  10. All in all, Amputechture can be compared to watching a Hollywood car chase: impressive, but ultimately a heartless experience.
  11. Amputechture, with its obsessive exploration of religious fanaticism and the physical expression of devotional desire, is not an album wanting to be loved so much as feared and listened to with a sense of awe and taxed exasperation.
  12. Sequenced into one long, continuous piece of music, most of Amputechture's tracks arrive at impressive jazz-fusion pit stops that are all too brief.
  13. Uncut
    It initially seems as if the moments of inspiration between self-indulgences are becoming scarcer. A bracing middle section resuces Amputechture. [Sep 2006, p.89]
  14. Spin
    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]
  15. This record isn't for casual listening, so those checking out the Mars Volta for the first time should take it slow to prevent a sonic hangover.
  16. Under The Radar
    With each album, the band seems to grab for so much, reaching further and further into the musical abyss, and still and managinge to craft songs that boggle the mind and dazzle the ears. The only question is whether all this is just too academic. [#15]
  17. Alternative Press
    All Amputechture does is test patience. [Oct 2006, p.200]
  18. It's solid, but as with Radiohead's Kid A follow-up Amnesiac, it highlights its predecessor's brilliance rather than asserting its own.
  19. New Musical Express (NME)
    There are bits of 'Amputechture' that sail perilously away from good honest prog into the realms of free jazz. [9 Sep 2006, p.37]
  20. Amputechture, though not near as spam-handed as Frances, is a bumpy ride, registering somewhere between the latter and debut full-length De-Loused in the Comatorium.
  21. 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.
  22. After an album's worth of tiring, spastic jazzy post-punk that smacks of musical masturbation, chances are you'll really miss At the Drive-In.
  23. It's sad to see a band that touts itself as experimental sounding like a watered-down, unfocused version of its younger self.
  24. Amputechture is more a series of events than a complete experience. It's as though the Mars Volta is simply seeing what they can get away with.
  25. Q Magazine
    With nary a tune in earshot, it sounds like an explosion in a guitar shop. [Oct 2006, p.124]
  26. Synths lap, strings weep soppingly, ham-fisted fingers tap, time signatures flash, and the amphetamine Beat amphetamine Beat poetry.
  27. Magnet
    Where 2005's harrowing Frances The Mute strikes the right balance between inspiration and indulgence, the Mars Volta loses its equilibrium with Amputechture. [#73, p.96]
  28. Maddeningly diffuse at best, and an engorged sonic clusterfuck at worst.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 124 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 124
  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 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. Full Review »
  2. Oct 22, 2013
    Although it may not come together like Frances or De-Loused, the moments where TMV is at their most progressive (Tetragrammaton, Baphomets,Although it may not come together like Frances or De-Loused, the moments where TMV is at their most progressive (Tetragrammaton, Baphomets, Viscera) are some of the best songs that have ever graced my ears. Full Review »
  3. j30
    Dec 1, 2011
    This roller coaster ride of a third disc disc, from the Mars Volta, is hard to look away from, but nearly crumbles under it's own ambitions.