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Buckethead - Island of Lost Minds CD (album) cover




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3.79 | 9 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars ISLAND OF LOST MINDS is rather unique in the BUCKETHEAD discography. His 11th album (1st of 2004) was only sold at his shows while he was touring and was self-released in limited quantity and long out-of-print and almost impossible to find despite being re-released once in 2006 by TDRS Music. Before the chicken lover was a one man show he had lots of help and on this one Del Rey Brewer handles drums and Dan Monti produced, mixed and recorded in the studio. While BUCKETHEAD was always up for some experimentation in his works, this one takes it to another level and shows that he was utterly fearless in jumping into the avant-garde mosh pits of experimentation and creates some of the weirdest sounds he has ever come up with in his long egg laying career.

Right from the beginning of the title track it's clear that the dissonance and experimental picking techniques are the focus on much of ISLAND OF LOST MINDS. While the percussive beat remains rather rhythmic, the atonality of the guitar chords and sound effects conjures up visions of the most out there jazz artists of music history. Think Sun Ra, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman. On the tech metal side i can't help but think of Gorguts, Portal, Mitochondrion etc at least in some of the riffing. Also heard are strange pinch harmonics, lots of pick scraping, tremolo picking, vibrato and staccato proggy time signatures that sound totally demented. In fact if it weren't for the percussive beat, this one would sound like alien love war songs in another universe! Song structure is almost non-existence most of the time and free form metal might be the best description of this however there are moments of "normal" riffing that take place in between the dissonant guitar freakery. Some tracks like "Dream Darts" are just plain frightening!

Probably one of the weirdest album in BUCKETHEAD's early career. While the focus is on the dissonance and sound experimentation, ISLAND OF LOST MINDS is very playful and Del Rey Brewer tends to keep BH on a leash with an accessible rhythmic drive that keeps the guitar riffs from totally breaking down into unrecognizable gibberish. There are also times where classical riffs, bluesy shuffles, frenetic solo outbursts as well as nursery rhymes like "Mary Had A Little Lamb come from left field!" While many types of metal are involved it sounds mostly like the fit would be in the alternative, sludge and industrial camps but thrash and even boogie type riffing can emerge from nowhere as well but wrapped up with progressive and avant-garde touches. Anyone familiar with BH's Pike series will recognize many of the styles on display but perhaps not in such a concentrated manner. Whether the guitar is simulating a duck quacking or a conversation between demonic forces, it is always changing it up and taking the listener into totally new and unexpected terrain. This is one for the hardcores who love dissonant noise and avant-jazz freedom of expression. While not the absolute weirdest album ever created, this one certainly is one mother of experimentation and one that i quite like.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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