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Buckethead - Enter the Chicken CD (album) cover

ENTER THE CHICKEN

Buckethead

 

Prog Related

4.07 | 11 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

siLLy puPPy
4 stars When one encounters an album titled ENTER THE CHICKEN it does bring to mind many inappropriate thoughts especially when delving into the unorthodox musical world of BUCKETHEAD as he sallies forth with yet another mind-blowing album displaying his utmost e-cluck-tic tendon-sees and in this case finds himself in a near perfect syzygy of human and chickenness on his 14th studio album that goes under the name BUCKETHEAD & FRIENDS which finds Señor Cabeza Con Cubo in full collaboration mode offering up a fine pallet of distinctive sounding offerings with a different vocalist on every single track. This is the only album to emerge on Serj Tankian's (of System Of A Down) Serjical Strike label and finds the great Serj contributing his songwriting skills on many of the tracks as well as lead vocals to the alternative metal opening "We Are One."

While Serj is the main producer and label owner and occasional contributor to this e-cluck-tic plethora of plenty, this is really an album that lets the contributors take the lead with BUCKY supplementing his talents where requested, therefore this could possibly be the most diverse sounding BUCKETHEAD album in his gargantuan discography. The other major player on this one is Dan Monti, who has been a regular in the early BH years and on this one he is a significant force in the songwriting department as well as hanging out in the producer's den. The fact that Serj Tankian was involved in this project made this release a lot more known around the world than it would have been otherwise. Likewise BH has a more accessible sound as this is less progressive and experimental as most of his releases and is the perfect introduction into the world of? THE CHICKEN WHISPERER :o

While vocalists are aplenty and BUCKETHEAD obviously is the guitarist it remains a true cooped up mystery as to who plays the other instruments as no credits are given. Generally speaking this is an alternative metal album in the vein of not only System Of A Down in the heavy riffing but basically has that downer 90s vibe that includes a range of influences including trip hop, ambient, indie rock, ambient as well as alternative metal. On the more up side is the inclusion of funk and classic 80s metal. Of course, this is a BUCKETHEAD album and it is an orgy of influences that offers a smorgasbord of styles and genre bending grinding sessions at any given juncture of the album. Each track leads to another totally new sonic experience which is both its strength and because of misplaced tracks, its weakness. While i'm totally enthralled with the short female operatic "Intro" followed by a very System Of A Down type alternative metal track which goes places they never dared as well as the following punk infused "Botnus" with Death By Stereo lead singer Paul Efrem Schulz (which contains a killa guitar solo to die 4) and the following metal rap "Three Fingers" with a stellar performance by Saul Williams (and a nice Hendrix tribute on guitar), things begin to change on the fifth track "Running From The Light."

While i really love that particular track as it adds a new dimension to the mix with the Ethiopian ethnic style of Gigi and Maura Davis lending a feminine alternative rock dimension to the album, and i can even appreciate the trip hop psychedelic feast of "Coma" which features the feminine charm of Iranian American singer Azam Ali doing a psychedelic duet with Serj, things go too far on the awfully cliché and utterly boring track "Waiting Hare," which offers the most saccharin and Alannis Morrisette wannabeism one could imagine. This is another duet with Serj and the worst track on the album. Thankfully the usual BH sardonic qualities pick up on the brief freak folk "Funbus" before jumping into the hyper aggressive "The Hand" which features none other than Maximum Bob finding a second life after his appearance on the debut Mr Bungle album. The album ends with one of the BH's most famous tracks and a staple for live performances. "Nottingham Lace" is a funky rocker that defines his most recognized style. It begins with the same eerie female vocals that began the album only accompanied by aggressive metal riffing in a funk rock form and transmogrifies into more familiar BH territory with rock, metal, funk and ample guitar soloing finding progressive ways of intermingling together.

ENTER THE CHICKEN has been a long time favorite in the BH disco, not because it's the weirdest or wildest but because i love these all too rare collaborative efforts with BH that allows him to step outside of his own weirdo zone and focus on what others are interested in hearing. The results are that he is corralled into a more accessible arena and likewise his avant-garde tendon-sees force the other artists on board to add a little freakazoid persona to their main staples of existence. Except for the badly placed mellower tracks in the middle, i find most of these tracks to be quite the pleasing experience of melodic metal with lots of interesting back alley visitations. This album was released twice. Once in 2005 with the standard 11 tracks ending with "Nottingham Lace" and again in 2008 with the bonus track "Shen Chi" which is nothing more than a funky industrial type rocker that has a decent melody and a few progressive twists and turns in its brief 2 minute and 49 second duration. While i find it to be pleasant it's hardly worth seeking the version with this extra track down especially if it's significantly more expensive. The original album is where all the real goodies lie.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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