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Buckethead - Twisted Branches CD (album) cover




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4.31 | 4 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars PIKE 158 - TWISTED BRANCHES is the 57th album released by TWISTED BUCKETHEAD in 2015. Yeah, these things keep on coming and with this one we once again find the masked one performing all instrumental duties on all instrumental tracks and like almost all the other PIKES in the series clocks in near the half hour mark at 29:41 and unlike many of the other PIKES has eight shorter tracks instead of a few that seem to never end.

Five of these tracks are basically the title track parts 1 through 5. It starts out sounding like another one of those super slow mellow albums but then after a few second pulls a 180 and rips into highly distorted metal riffing guitars with pounding bass and percussion. As with the other PIKES that have identical track names with different parts, this one simply has all the tracks seamlessly run into each other although styles can shift abruptly in transition for a bit.

As we get to part 2 it simply changes the riffing and rhythm up and keeps all the same distortions and thrash metal intensity with chuggin' guitars. There are some breakdowns that serve as a kind of game changer but it reverts back to the same thrashy riff followed by some calmer less distorted guitar arpeggios. There are also some cool time sig changes that add some spice to the whole thing.

By the time it changes to part 3 the mid-tempo becomes more aggressive and it begins to gallup at breakneck speed. It continues fast and furious unapologetically until it abruptly changes at part 4 where it becomes a subdued space rock with a slow tempo, echoey arpeggiated guitars a strong bass line and restrained drums but that all goes by the way side when it becomes fast and furious thrash metal again with odd stops and starts and crunchy riffs and then back to straight forward speed-of-light galloping.

Part 5 slows down the tempo again but remains thrash metal with some new riffing. It then picks up the speed and becomes fast, furious and frenetic. This is really good stuff. The drumming sounds real and spectacular and towards the end we get some really good and different kind of soloing. Title track parts 1-5 are a hit with yours truly. My tail is wagging!

Track six "Collapse Cliff" at 6:44 doesn't let up on the intensity. The energy is high from the get go. It starts out with a guitar workout more in a classic 80s metal sorta way but alternates with a thrashy counter riff. There are quite a few changes that keep it from getting boring. A traditional thrashy metal sound indeed but so much better than the slunk of many of the PIKES.

Track seven "Mummy In The Wall" at 2:22 starts with an energetic high string guitar workout and then commences into thrashy metal riffing and then reverts back to the higher pitched strings. Energy level is still on sizzling. Another short but sweet audio assault.

Track eight "Swollen Trees" at 1:15 is the shortest track and continues the thrash metal fury. This one has an odd little meter that i'm finding a bit strange but just as it seems to begin so it ends.

This PIKE is highly recommended for lovers of tech thrash metal. It is excellent and another one of my favorites from the PIKE series. It's so nice to find a gem or two in the slunk stack!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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