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Buckethead - Pike 238 - Attic Garden CD (album) cover




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siLLy puPPy
4 stars B U C K E T H E A D PIKE 238 - A T T I C G A R D E N 19th album by BUCKETHEAD in 2016 (released on Nov 21) Clocks in at 30:14 ALL instrumental

"Drawer 1" (2:26) starts with a bouncy little guitar groove and then turns into a dark ominous echoey chord sequence and then jumps into heavy metal riffing with little guitar squeals and then starts to change the time sigs up a bit as the fast tempo slowly slows down. The lead guitar creates a thick atmospheric lead as does the ambient background. It changes around again and becomes cleaner and quieter echoey guitars with string scrapes and then just goes full on new age for a while and then ends

"Drawer 2" (3:15) abruptly begins as a heavily distorted grungy sludge metal type guitar riff style with an accompanying guitar solo lick. The general riff melodic development continues but like the first track sort of drifts in and out of "character" only referring to the shadow of what came before. The thick ambient atmospheric backdrop keeps it shrouded in a thick sonic fog as the metal chugs away but also ends in a totally subdued slow and ethereal vibe

"Drawer 3" (4:28) breaks in energetically to announce a new track and is both weird and heavy. The metal is quite the power chug with guitar licks filling crevices in between and sometimes superimposing upon. The harshness abruptly ends and a clean guitar fluffy arpeggio with ambience ambles on for a while before slowing building back up an intense metal experience. It then jumps into sizzling solo virtuosity with some of the most intense guitar workouts BH is capable of. The proggy time sigs become more angular and oblique and heavy but then also fades out in dreamland. This one is really friggin' cool

"Drawer 4" (2:49) also erupts into a metal fury but the progressive touches get more complex at the beginning of every track as the time sigs get more frenzied, the tempos shift unexpectedly as do riffs and guitar solos. And like the rest, ends peacefully in a chilled out echo chamber

"Drawer 5" (3:33) demands instant respect as a circus type rhythm with an insane guitar riff dance together like possessed clowns on the runway. Everything changes as it becomes a chugga thrash metal attack and a bluesy lead guitar sizzles into the stratosphere, until of course it's time to chill for a few seconds in ambience and then jump into angular riffs that quickly alternate with who knows what! It keeps changing it up often and unexpectedly and then just as expected ends in an abrupt drifting into lush clean guitar passages in fluffy cloud skies

"Drawer 6" (2:05) begins less intense as still sort of in dream land but a chugga subdued guitar riff is chomping at the bit to be unleashed and then voila! It severs its tethers and jumps into brutal thrash metal. It gets proggier as it shifts, wends and winds in myriad directions creating a major dystopia before finally fading out in a more nightmarish dream state

"Drawer 7" (4:38) jumps right into oddly timed heavy metal guitar riffs and freaky higher register runs. The chaotic din has amplified and gained self-awareness. Like a little misbehaving moppet it runs around like a Twinkie-fueled tike. It also doesn't know how to stay put and takes the progginess and chaotic elements to higher and higher levels. The music is frenetic and will cause the faint of heart to pass out from exhaustion at this point. Intensity unleashes itself at ever angular ratcheting effects but just when i can't take anymore it ends in a horrendous slow note of dark arpeggios on a haunted guitar sequence that becomes a full-fledged counterpart to one of those countdown to Halloween PIKEs from yesteryear. It drags on in a nail biting sequence for the rest of the track

"Drawer 8" (7:00) jumps into a strangely processed heavy metal type guitar and bass riff sequence with jazzy drum patterned and then a humungous guitar solo. It abruptly becomes some sort of trippy space rock and then back to the carnival music type weirdness and then slow ambient guitar and background rumblings. Whew! This one has basically just left this world and gone on to another dimension where genre styles square dance together and do-si-do around each other. In the middle it turns back into an ominous ambient segment that makes me think early Klaus Schulze has made a cameo and goes on for quite some time and drifts on to the end of the album and then just fizzles out in utter formlessness

This is one that will bedazzle progheads for its untethered adventurousness and genre agglutinating prowess. This one is by far my favorite PIKE of 2016 and highly recommended for anyone who loves the wild and unpredictable. This one has it all. Ample amounts of accessible melodies as well as heavy doses of dissonance, dystopia and the need for dramamine! Bravo, BUCKETHEAD!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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