It seems we have a more whimsical Mars Volta on our hands since the release of its new album "Octahedron."
The band's new sound is a complete change of pace since its "At The Drive In" days, but the guys continue to build steam. The Mars Volta's talent as artists only shows through more with the development of this new album, in specific, the first track, "Since We've Been Wrong."
It hardly compares with anything the band has ever come out with- except maybe for the song, "Televators" from the band's first album released in 2003 called "De-loused in the Comatorium."
This mostly acoustic progressive tune is not the norm for these guys. You can feel the emotion coming from Cedric Bixler-Zavala's voice, giving you the impression that he's back home.
The biggest surprise to me came when the fourth song hit my speakers. "With Twilight as my Guide" immediately caused me to feel a little like Jack Skellington walking through a misty graveyard. Harmonious and powerful vocals combined with the eerie sound effects, mixed by Ikey Owens, puts you right in your own version of dreamland. And a dark dreamland at that.
Lyric snippets including, "My devil makes me dream, like no other mortal dream..." are refreshing in that the band hasn't lost the twisted edge that reminds us of the suicide tale told in "De-loused in the Comatorium."
Some of Mars Volta's older fans may not agree with its sudden bout of mellow, however, I believe this album unleashes the unseen capacity to completely morph and still remain epic. The consistent message to listeners about having an open mind rings clearer to me than ever, which is why I definitely have to give this album a four and a half lightning bolts.