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Buckethead - Kaleidoscalp CD (album) cover




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3.83 | 10 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars Continuing the trend of releasing multiple albums in a year, 2005 saw BUCKETHEAD release three with the second KALEIDOSCALP continuing this ever growing prolific restlessness. Of course, it pales compared to what would be released during the Pike series but at this point ALL his albums were of high quality with very few throwaways. After a more "normal" album emerging due to the collaborative forces of guest appearances on "Enter The Chicken," BUCKETHEAD was back to his avant-garde tendencies once again with KALEIDOSCALP. On his 15th album he utilized the art of circuit bending to add a whole new level of weirdness. As most of his early albums were scattered amongst countless labels, this one found a home on John Zorn's Tzadik label and features Zorn as executive producer with Dan Monti and Albert also helping out in the production department. In addition this album was in the works when Dimebag Darrell of Pantera was killed while playing live and the track "The Android Of Notre Dame" is a tribute to the great groove metal guitar god.

Generally speaking, KALIDOSCALP is primarily based in the world of alternative metal with a solid metal guitar grunge groove and then augmented with all of the circuit bending avant-madness that as insinuated on the album cover. While the tracks are similar to other albums in the compositional style (much of the time), this is one of those albums that dawned the era of BUCKETHEAD taking liberties of switching styles, dynamics and even genres all together in the middle of the track at any given moment which adds the element of surprise around every musical corner. As with most BH releases, there is always the presence of funk lurking around the corner and on this release the funk grooves are ubiquitous as heard in the metal grooves themselves as well as the outstanding guitar solo on the opening "Frankenseuss Laboratories" which features samples of the Kyrie movement of György Ligeti's "Requiem" as well as snippets from John Carpenter's "Dark Star" film.

"The Last Ride Of The Bozomobile" sounds like some sort of folk anthem, like "Yankee Doodle" or something before turning into an avant-garde mix of heavy guitar, darkened moody dissonant grooves that ultimately merge with the introductory folk lick to makes a fairy tripped out and bizarre soundscape of schizophrenia. KALEIDOSCALP is one of the coolest early roller coaster rides in BUCKETHEADLAND where twists and turns are plentiful although the overall sound is fairly accessible for metalheads since melodic developments usually develop before jumping off into hyperspace. The track "The Sticker On Hallucinogens" is completely carried out as a bizarre parade of circuit bending as BH strives to eke some sort of melody out of the freaky feedback. Although "The Android Of Notre Dame" is a tribute to Dimebag don't expect a Pantera cover or even close to something resembling groove metal. This is one of the weirdest tracks on the album with avant-garde groove mixing and melding with circuit bends, angular guitar rhythms that burst into all kinds of lugubrious classical sounding passages that have more of an industrial metal riffage going on when it comes in. Actually i don't get the connection but this is in the world of BH of course.

The final track "She Sells Sea Shells By The Slaughterhouse" displays BH's mellower side with those lullaby type acoustic tracks that have been done ad nauseum in recent years but works here because it doesn't last overly long. While the track itself is over eleven minutes long that's because there is a long pause of silence before breaking into the ultimate avant-garde metal and circuit board workout which lasts about four minutes before ending yet another wild and whacky BUCKETEAD album. This album has a great balance of accessible and avant-garde so not a bad album to recommend for those who want to wean themselves off the easy listening BH and venture into the more bizarre and technical constructed albums. Personally i love this one quite a bit and one of my faves of the earlier years.

4.5 rounded down

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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