Amputechture

Studio Album by released in 2006
Amputechture's tracklist:
Vicarious Atonement
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Tetragrammaton
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Vermicide
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Meccamputechture
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Asilos Magdalena
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Viscera Eyes
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Day of the Baphomets
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El Ciervo Vulnerado
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Amputechture review

Intellectual progressive rock

The Mars Volta is an American band, playing progressive rock. The term ‘progressive rock’ is the quintessence of the band’s music, since it implies rejection of the mainstream and creating of the music for serious listening, often turning to jazz, classical music, punk or ambient. And this is who they are – a serious group with a fascinatingly charming rock compositions, that take you to the world of images, emotions and subtle melancholy. As the leading vocalist of the group, Cedric Bixler-Zavala stated himself, the name of the band is associated with Federico Fellini’s book, where the latter describes the term ‘Volta’ as the changing of the mood of the scene, and ‘Mars’ appeared from the guys’ love for sci-fi. Moreover, taking into account a reference of ‘Mars’ to the Greek God of war, Cedric believes that the combination The Mars Volta should indicate the bringers of peace. These guys are apt to mental activity and, therefore, may be fairly called an‘intellectual group’. The Mars Volta is the group that demands a lot of patience from their fans, not every song can be understood at hearing just once. And this is what they are loved for. Their new third album once more proves their uniqueness.

The sound of Amputecture is very diverse

The Mars Volta’s new album, Amputecture (just like the first two albums, this one, of course, has a highly creative name) is the first album that doesn’t have a single unifying topic or concept. It is practically a compilation of unrelated stories, memories, jokes, musings, all performed in a unique inimitable manner, that comprises the band’s own music style. The sound of Amputecture is so diverse, it is difficult to distinguish the prevailing style or musical instrument – there is a great mix of rock, reggae, salsa, the solos of Spanish acoustic guitar, saxophone, horns contribute to the incredible performance. There are only 8 tracks on the album, ranging from 4 to 16 minutes duration, again proving the band’s reluctance to go with the mainstream. The first track, Vicarious Atonement presents the great guitar solo, that reaches full swing towards the end of the song, accompanied by the soft vocals. The next track, the longest one on the record, represents 16 minutes of pure progressive rock – with enough time for the guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez and the drummer Jon Theodore to show their professional talents. At first the track may sound a bit chaotic, but, as any creation of the band, it requires perceiving through listening and thinking over. The album features an absolutely outstanding and intriguing Spanish ballad Asilos Magdalena, with its mystical sound and beautiful sad vocals.

A band that can derive inspiration from anywhere

The band has already been tagged as ‘the modern ‘Nirvana’, which, of course, has grounds. However it is obvious that one cannot underestimate the uniqueness of the sound of The Mars Volta. Alongside with the screaming vocals and the impressive guitar solos, the band creates their own sound, to be found nowhere else. Amputecture features Red Hot Chilli Peppers’ guitarist John Frusciante, who performed the majority guitar parts, which turns out to be an excellent addition to the record’s advantages. Though the third album of the group has just been released, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez stated in an interview that the fourth one is coming. The Mars Volta already has half of it written. The musicians admit, that they always try to be busy with work, otherwise, they just get bored. They can find a source for inspiration everywhere – on the radio, watching the news, just walking along the streets, and it is amazing. Even if you are not a great fan of progressive rock, this is the record worth listening to – the unique sound and vocals, that have earned fame for The Mars Volta will not leave you indifferent.