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Editors’ Notes

The Mars Volta has steadily built steam since debuting in 2003. The title of its fifth studio album, Octahedron, refers to an eight-sided geometric shape and the full-length features eight epic tracks that characteristically hold unexpected twists, turns, and tempo shifts. As usual, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez is credited with writing the music, Cedric Bixler Zavala is responsible for the lyrics and vocals, and a host of members comprise the larger band (including John Frusciante of Red Hot Chili Peppers). About five minutes into the gradually evolving opener, “Since We’ve Been Wrong,” snare-heavy drums join the fold and then pick up the pace on “Teflon,” where reverb-drenched guitars kick in and Zavala’s slightly sinister vocals deliver wounded, seething sentiments. Following a funky, head-bang-inducing “Cotopaxi,” the “Copernicus” ballad walks down a seven-minute path where listeners briefly encounter electronica-esque instrumentation. The theatrical cauldron continues to fester until concluding with “Luciforms” — with Zavala sounding as vengeful as ever throughout the apocalyptic journey.

Customer Reviews


Mars Volta - there are so many hooks and different melodies, which are excellent, but my only wish is that they repeated their awesome melodies more consistently - for me, there isn't enough repetition and familiarity throughout their songs - maybe thats a positive for some people - just my opinion, but the sporadic-ness could be turned-down. Besides that, the new album blows my mind - excellent first listen - at some moments in the songs, its as if they know exactly how to please the listener with the perfect arrangement of notes. "Since We've Been Wrong" is awesome, but I have to say "Copernicus" is my #1 track, with "Halo Of Nebutals" coming in third best. Also, the long intro at the beginning of "Since We've Been Gone" bothers me - the volume is too low at the beginning, and if you turn your volume up at that point, you may have to turn it back down again when the song picks up.


I've been following these guys since De-Loused and have to say I am impressed with this album. It is softer, and much more accessible than I expected, but every song is beautifully crafted and well worth listening to many times over. Omar's solo albums are also great, especially if you are a fan of the earlier and weirder stuff. For me, every album has it's own identity that I can appreciate and enjoy. This album is no exception. The Mars Volta are a truly unique band that I can only compare (in a very nebulous way) to Pink Floyd with their constantly evolving sounds and sonic risk taking.


Wow i didnt expect this. such a weird album but after a few listens it really sunk in. its much slower than their usual stuff especially since bedlam but its nice to hear something "acoustic" from them and i fully support their changes! because no one wants to hear the same old garbage thats out these days!


Formed: 2001 in El Paso, TX

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Picking up the pieces from At the Drive-In, Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Omar Rodriguez-Lopez formed the Mars Volta and wasted little time branching out into elements of hardcore, psychedelic rock, and free jazz that expanded on the boundaries of their previous work. Although their previous band's demise ultimately arrived before they were able to truly capitalize on their mounting commercial triumphs, the Mars Volta immediately impressed with their willingness to eschew conventional logic and push themselves...
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