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Buckethead - The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell CD (album) cover




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4.04 | 7 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars After a dip into a mellower retro 70s vibe on his previous release "Population Override," BUCKETHEAD turned up the adrenaline several notches and returned to a more extreme metal sound with his 13th album THE CUCKOO CLOCKS OF HELL which was also his 3rd and final album of 2004. This one has been called one of BUCKETHEAD's most extreme metal releases and that is probably true at least up until some of the later Pikes like "Twisted Branches," however this one dishes out a series of frenetic heavy spastic metal riffs at the speed of light with absolutely no regard to any sort of traditional songwriting orthodoxy. Many of the tracks are quite progressive in their sophistication with time signatures run amok, brutal passages that could at times fit in on tech death metal and avant-garde guitar workouts like there's no tomorrow. Like most BUCKETHEAD albums, this one is totally instrumental with BH abusing the stringed instruments and Dan Monti helping out on drums.

THE CUCKOO CLOCKS OF HELL is also one of the more famous BH releases for the fact that it contains the track "Spokes For The Wheel Of Torment" which is one of only four BH tracks ever set to video and i must say that it is one of the coolest videos i've ever seen as it features a semi-animated horrorscape cape set in the Bosch painting "Garden Of Earthly Delights" and the animated segments correspond to the progressive outbursts as heard on the track. There are also two cover versions. One with BH peeking out of a charcoal grey CUCKOO CLOCK on the wall and another with more colorful display of different artistry. Many of the track titles make reference to Dante's Inferno, the first part of Dante Alighieri's 14th century epic poem Divine Comedy.

This album begins with a tick-tocking of a clock and then a CUCKOO bird ushers in an industrial metal riff explosion that fully fueled and head banging to the max. The riffs are followed by a series of guitar solos, funk passages and avant-garde jittery riffing segments which pretty much sets the stage for the entire aggressively delivered progressive punch into the avant-garde metal world. One of my favorite tracks are "The Treeman" which has little guitar runs that sound like insects talking to each other as well as doom-laden crunch slow riffs however it has so many style switch-ups that it's impossible to name them all. A funky bass line is never far behind either. Another favorite is "Bedlam's Bluff" with its off-kilter timings and altering of aggressive riffing with avant- funky licks. "Moth To Flame" has some of the most technically horror filled guitar workouts i've ever heard!

THE CUCKOO CLOCKS OF HELL is a stellar release of avant-garde metal with each track changing things up enough to create its own identity while keeping an overall feel to the entire album. This album displays some of BH's most diverse guitar playing skills with everything from extreme metal and jazz to cartoonish type rhythms as well as the expected invented musical scales that sound as alien as anything you could ever imagination. This one is highly recommended for the adventurous music lover of avant-garde instrumental music that takes all the ingredients of metal, jazz, classical, funk and even gypsy swing and boils them down into a hellish concoction that is quite the adventurous ride.

4.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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