The Mars Volta


For their fifth studio album, the Mars Volta replace much of their plasma-ball energy to mine progressive-rock history with measured dynamics, vintage Mellotrons and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s cosmic lyricism in tow. Great-but where’s the fire? There are moments of atmospheric inspiration, but Octahedron doesn’t powers up until past its halfway point, with the spicy “Cotopaxi” and the strident “Desperate Graves” flipping the measured mysticism of the disc’s first half on its chakras. Octahedron will appeal to elderly prog fans immune to attention deficit disorder, who have the patience to let its charms gradually unfold. Listeners expecting a level of urgency similar to last year’s sublime The Bedlam In Goliath might want to open a good bottle of wine before hitting the “play” button.

GO DOWNLOAD: “Desperate Graves"

Warner Bros.