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Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #35 on: April 03, 2011, 06:42:16 PM »
Artist: Buckethead
Album: Island of Lost Minds
Genre: Avant-Garde Metal
Year: 2004

Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 11: Island of Lost Minds

After our last adventure to the terrifying amusement park of Bucketheadland, we are treated once again to a batch of insane music from our good friend, Buckethead. This album is definitely one of his more twisted musical excursions. The guitar melodies plod around with dissonance over extremely heavy riffs, leaving an overall chaotic feeling that permeates most of the album. One thing’s for sure, this album is not a boring experience. There’s not much in the way of variety, but the sheer jarring nature of this album can make it one of Buckethead’s more interesting experiments.

As stated above, the guitar work on this album can be best summed up in two sections. First, we’ve got the rhythm guitar work crunching away with riffs that sound like they could have fit right in on Bucketheadland 2. The guitars are again tuned very low for extra darkness. Second, we’ve got the lead work, mainly consisting of little ditties that wouldn’t be out of place as an opening theme to a 90s TV show. Most of them sound like 2 guitars are playing them, but occasionally one of the guitars will miss a note, hit something else, or maybe just not bend the note as long, leading to a very unsettling melody. Obviously, this aspect of the album was intentional. We’ve already proven that Buckethead’s chops are nothing to be scoffed at, so I can appreciate the “mistakes” as artistic integrity. They can be very off-putting at first, but those who stick with it will ultimately be rewarded with the guitar work on this album. Buckethead still takes the time to blow our minds with a complicated lick or solo, such as the bridge of Mud of the Gutter.

The backing band is going for a more minimalist approach on this album. The drums pound away with a nearly danceable beat, while the bass will typically mimic the rhythm guitars very closely. The bass does have a few moments where it will jump forward and take some lead, but gone are the slapping interludes from Bootsy Collins. Full focus is brought onto the guitar work. Whether this is a good decision or a bad decision is entirely subjective. Of course, as a fellow axe-grinder I tend to enjoy the “guitars up front” attitude that this album and most of Buckethead’s other albums tend to display.

Sampling is almost nowhere to be found. To make up for this, Buckethead went absolutely insane with his guitar effects. Pick scraping, pinch harmonics, tremolo picking, you name it, there’s a good chance it was toyed with on this album. As such, this album can prove to be a worthwhile listen just to listen to all the goofy things that Buckethead is capable of.

The best song on the album is kind of a tough choice. Honestly, I’d say Dream Darts is the most interesting song here. It follows the same pattern as the other songs, but it’s probably the most memorable of the album. Most of the songs are pretty consistent as far as quality is concerned.

Unfortunately, the album is not without flaws. While it is overall an enjoyable album, the songs can tend to run together pretty badly. The pattern of “heavy riff-weird melody-heavy riff-weird melody-fade out” can become fairly monotonous rather quickly if you’re not focused. The twisted nursery rhyme style of some of the melodies can be kind of annoying if you’re up for a more serious listen. It’s definitely not an album I’d recommend to a beginning Buckethead fan, but the diehards owe it to themselves to give this album a try.

4/5



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Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #36 on: April 04, 2011, 12:45:11 PM »
Nice review. Got to give props to Korova Binge Bar, Laser Lobotomy.
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Offline Lowdz

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #37 on: April 23, 2011, 02:28:07 PM »
Just wanted to thank you Ultimetalhead for the help in introducing me to this wonderful musician. Before you started this mammoth task I'd never heard a note as was put off by the bucket to be honest. I've picked up a few of these albums but I've just heard the rather beautiful Padmasana and I'm in love. I can't think of any other words for it but beautiful. Listening again.

Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #38 on: April 23, 2011, 02:48:08 PM »
Glad to hear it.  :tup One of these days I'll be so bored that I can't think of anything else to do and I'll start this up again.

Like, right now actually.

Artist: Buckethead
Album: Population Override
Genre: Jazz
Year: 2004


Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 012: Population Override

For an artist like Buckethead, no ground he covers should be “surprising”. We’ve had several albums full of instrumental metal, a few melodic albums, some avant-garde experimentation, and even some techno. What else could Buckethead possibly do to secure his title as the ultimate guitar player? The obvious answer is jazz rock. This album is 10 songs with some of Buckethead’s most creative soloing ever. There’s not much in the way of shred on this album, more melodic, soul-filled playing. The variety on this chapter of Buckethead’s discography is truly one of the strongest aspects. Starting out with a rocking jazz song in Unrestrained Growth, the next song is the melancholic, emotionally charged Too Many Humans. The balance is nothing short of perfect.

It’s honestly quite difficult to describe this album in words. It’s what I’d consider the bridge between Buckethead’s heavier material and his soft stuff. It’s not Electric Tears, but it’s definitely not Bucketheadland 2 either. The guitar playing is clearly 100% improvised, in true blues nature. The truly amazing thing about this album is Buckethead manages to play a solo for the vast majority of it, and it never even once feels like he’s played any section twice. The solo changes with the music, which keeps it interesting and an absolute joy to listen to. Blues guitar playing sometimes gets a bad rap because it can become far too self-indulgent for anyone who doesn’t have a pre-existing appreciation for it. Fortunately, with Buckethead’s immense creativity and penchant for effects such as the killswitch, we are treated to the most unique blues soloing ever recorded.

The backing band, like in most blues based excursions, is tasked with keeping the song from falling apart while the guitar player goes nuts. No problems there. However, one of the key additions to this album is the keyboard played by Travis Dickerson, who is in charge of the label that releases most of Buckethead’s music. The keyboard maintains the atmosphere in the slower songs, and jumps in for a quick solo right when it seems like the guitar sound might start grating on the listener’s nerves. It’s one of the twists that keeps the album interesting throughout its 55 minute run-time.

The best song on this album is ridiculously difficult to choose, because while there is a marked change in style between each song, most of them follow the same formula. Like in most blues, there is a backing track which the soloist(s) plays over. That said, each song is still easily differentiated between. They don’t run together at all. I’ll have to give the honor to Unrestrained Growth though. It was the first song I heard from Buckethead that truly gave me an appreciation for how seasoned of a player he is. Before, I figured he was just like every other shredder on the planet who can play fast and nothing else. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

For beginners to Buckethead’s music, this is definitely a good starting point. I’ve gotten numerous people who absolutely despise metal into this album, and they eventually warm up to the metal side. Though, if someone’s expecting some jaw-dropping shredding, they may want to look elsewhere. Overall, this album is one of the highest points in Buckethead’s extensive discography, and it deserves to be heard by anybody who is a fan of the instrument.

5/5
« Last Edit: April 23, 2011, 03:10:25 PM by Ultimetalhead »
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Offline jsem

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2011, 02:04:23 AM »
One of my top 5 BH albums, an epic one indeed.

Offline Ben_Jamin

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2011, 10:31:39 AM »
The one album I bought and found at a local Hastings. I was expecting some, weird crazyness and I got a chill easy listening album.

This gets me in a calm mood and is real relaxing, with a bit of energy to it.

My favorite has to be Earth Heals Herself.
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Offline lateralus88

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #41 on: April 24, 2011, 12:05:47 PM »
Completely disregarded this thread, my bad. Island of Lost Minds is a very cool album, but it doesn't get many listens from me because it kind of seems like standard Buckethead insanity, if there ever was such a thing.

As for Population Override, it might just be one of the best chill albums ever. It's basically a collection of long jam sessions. And the opening track is easily my favourite. Groovy.
I felt its length in quite a few places.

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Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #42 on: June 05, 2011, 10:56:56 PM »
One of the best threads I have read here. Agree with just about everything you have said about every album. Buckethead is just awesome, case closed.
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Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #43 on: June 06, 2011, 02:21:36 PM »
Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 013: The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell

After the brilliant jazz-fusion odyssey, Population Override, Buckethead clearly wanted to prove that he can still shred with the best of them. His mission brought out one of his most insane albums yet, even more than Island of Lost Minds. Making anything more insane than that is an exercise in pure mayhem, but Buckethead of course makes it seem effortless. Buckle up, strap your balls down, and hold on. We're in for quite a ride with this one.

The guitar work on this album is incredibly frantic, especially on the first two tracks. Due to the overall maddening pace of the album, the songs are quite short, rarely lasting more than 3 and a half minutes. When the guitars aren't pummeling away with the drums, melodies are sometimes played that harken back to the aforementioned Islands of Lost Minds. That twisted sense of melody is what we've come to expect from Buckethead at this point in our journey. Every lick, riff, or solo on this album is executed with surgical precision, and every little bit of insanity seems like it was intended that way. One must wonder if Buckethead simply improvises, or if he sits with nerd glasses over his mask meticulously planning each psychotic episode. That said, the album isn't all 100% insanity. There's a beautiful solo in The Treeman before the drums take off again, but it's not really long enough to make much of an impact.

The backup instruments serve their purpose to keep the madness moving forward quite well. The blast beats compliment Buckethead's frantic riffing very well, and the bass is condemned to mirror the guitar. I wish there was more to talk about with the drums and bass, but the main focus is obviously the guitar work.

In my mind, the best song on the album is The Treeman. As I mentioned, it has an absurdly gorgeous, albeit quick, solo. I feel it also contains the most variety out of all the songs. It's the most interesting song on an album full of speed metal.

Sadly, I have a few problems with this album. The sheer intensity of this album can become annoying after a while. There's often just not enough time to catch one's breath before the next slice of crazy pops up. Because the album has a bit of a stop-start nature, the songs can run together very easily if you're not paying attention. I definitely wouldn't recommend this album to beginners, simply because it only really focuses on one aspect of Buckethead's playing.

3.5/5
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
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Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #44 on: June 06, 2011, 02:57:09 PM »
Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 013: The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell

After the brilliant jazz-fusion odyssey, Population Override, Buckethead clearly wanted to prove that he can still shred with the best of them. His mission brought out one of his most insane albums yet, even more than Island of Lost Minds. Making anything more insane than that is an exercise in pure mayhem, but Buckethead of course makes it seem effortless. Buckle up, strap your balls down, and hold on. We're in for quite a ride with this one.

The guitar work on this album is incredibly frantic, especially on the first two tracks. Due to the overall maddening pace of the album, the songs are quite short, rarely lasting more than 3 and a half minutes. When the guitars aren't pummeling away with the drums, melodies are sometimes played that harken back to the aforementioned Islands of Lost Minds. That twisted sense of melody is what we've come to expect from Buckethead at this point in our journey. Every lick, riff, or solo on this album is executed with surgical precision, and every little bit of insanity seems like it was intended that way. One must wonder if Buckethead simply improvises, or if he sits with nerd glasses over his mask meticulously planning each psychotic episode. That said, the album isn't all 100% insanity. There's a beautiful solo in The Treeman before the drums take off again, but it's not really long enough to make much of an impact.

The backup instruments serve their purpose to keep the madness moving forward quite well. The blast beats compliment Buckethead's frantic riffing very well, and the bass is condemned to mirror the guitar. I wish there was more to talk about with the drums and bass, but the main focus is obviously the guitar work.

In my mind, the best song on the album is The Treeman. As I mentioned, it has an absurdly gorgeous, albeit quick, solo. I feel it also contains the most variety out of all the songs. It's the most interesting song on an album full of speed metal.

Sadly, I have a few problems with this album. The sheer intensity of this album can become annoying after a while. There's often just not enough time to catch one's breath before the next slice of crazy pops up. Because the album has a bit of a stop-start nature, the songs can run together very easily if you're not paying attention. I definitely wouldn't recommend this album to beginners, simply because it only really focuses on one aspect of Buckethead's playing.

3.5/5

I totally agree 100% with you on this one. Some of the riffs in this album are just in your face the whole time and are just awesome in a godly level.
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Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #45 on: June 06, 2011, 03:44:57 PM »
Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 014: Enter the Chicken

So, after our journey into the more psychotic side of Buckethead's music, Enter the Chicken offers something no other Buckethead album has: Songs, with actual vocals. Indeed, this may be Buckethead's most cohesive work to date, the vocals really do help make the album more interesting. Back in the early days, the samples did enough to keep the music entertaining, but as Buckethead gradually fell out of love with sampling, the quality of the music suffered ever so slightly. With this album, we are given a taste of what would happen if Buckethead suddenly turned into Arjen Lucassen and put together a cast of singers to add another dynamic to his music. It is, for the most part, a huge success.

The guitar is very nearly pushed away in favor of the vocal guests this time around. However, there are still many spots for Buckethead to stretch out his fingers and melt the mind with ferocious soloing. In fact, the lack of solos on this album make the guitar feature song, Nottingham Lace, the best song on the album by far. Buckethead still riffs with the best of them, and the vocalists seem to breathe new life into them. This may come as a bit of a disappointment to some Buckethead fans since he's arguably not the main attraction here, but I feel it was a good experiment that needed to happen.

For the first and last time in this epically long review series, I'm dedicating a paragraph to vocals. This isn't exactly what one would consider a cast of all-star vocalists. Aside from the well-known Serj Tankian, most of the vocalists here are new faces that have worked with Buckethead in the past on various projects. For the most part, the cast is very good. While I don't like the hardcore vocals of Efrem Schulz, they actually work here because they're not over your typical boring metalcore riff. Buckethead can really make anything sound good. For all the Deli Creeps fans out there (all 4 of us), Maximum Bob makes a suitably hilarious appearance.

The backing instrumentalists are shoved even further back with the vocal additions, but it's nothing to complain about really. They do their job of sitting back and letting the true masters of the craft make their stamp on the music. No bass or drum solos here, just good ol' fashioned guitar and vocals.

As I said earlier, the best song on this album is Nottingham Lace. One of the few instrumentals on the album, the song is a stomping ground for Buckethead to lay it all down and show everyone that he hasn't lost his touch (it seems like there's at least one song like this on every experimental album, even Population Override had a shred piece). It's an absolute joy to listen to, and I recommend it highly even if the thought of Buckethead with vocals makes you want to puke out of every orifice of your body. Seriously, it's a gem.

All this praise, and there's really not very many negative things I can say about this one. I already touched on how the purists may not appreciate the vocal approach taking away from their precious Buckethead riffs, but they're not bombastic enough to detract too much anyway. Even the metalcore vocals sound good, so you've got an A+ album in my opinion. It's probably one of the best beginning albums one can experience as well. It's a no-brainer that an album with vocals is far more accessible than one without. Overall, this is not a Buckethead album to be missed. It's one of a kind in his extensive discography, and everyone should hear it at least once.

4.5/5
« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 11:04:01 PM by Ultiboybandhead »
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Offline lateralus88

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #46 on: June 06, 2011, 04:48:09 PM »
@ Cuckoo Clocks - I basically agree with all of it. Surprise, surprise.

@ Enter the Chicken - I am kind of weird about this album, personally. There are only like...3 tracks I ever feel like going out of my way to listen to. Other than that, I hardly listen to it.
I felt its length in quite a few places.

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Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #47 on: June 06, 2011, 07:42:28 PM »
I think you should add me to that number 4 of Deli Creep fans out there because I like them as well. Also Enter the Chicken has some really good songs as well and the vocals go really well as also which means I agree with your review hah.
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Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #48 on: June 06, 2011, 10:25:01 PM »
3 reviews in one day? I must have found my work ethic overnight.

Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 015: Kaleidoscalp

Fans who embraced the chaos and general musical insanity of The Cuckoo Clocks of Hell and Island of Lost Minds can collectively rejoice. This album is yet another foray into the twisted world of Buckethead. However, this album presents an entirely different array of craziness. On Kaleidoscalp, his 15th studio album, Buckethead decided to add a new twist to his music: circuit bending. Some of the sounds on this album are downright frightening, but they fit so amazingly well with the riffs that the man creates that one may wonder why such experiments weren't made earlier.

The guitar playing on this wedge is very similar to the style of Island of Lost Minds. The wacked-out melodies still take the forefront when the heavy riffing isn't already in the way. The big change here is with the guitar effects. Everything just feels fresher with some psychotic mechanical sound effects. My biggest problem with this album is how to discuss the effects. They sound very much like keyboard, but a part of me feels like the guitar is being patched through the circuit bender. Either way, it sounds great, and since it's the lead instrument when it pops up, I'll just discuss it wherever the hell I want.

The backing band is fairly limited to the role it took up with Cuckoo Clocks, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Keeping some sense of order on an album that is so chaotic is important. It helps the lead instrument (guitar, keyboard, whatever it is) stand out even more. Nothing new to talk about there.

My favorite song on the album is difficult to choose. The stronger tracks are all incredibly good. If I was forced to pick one, I'd most likely go with The Bronze Bat. It stuck out more to me on this listen than any other, specifically the circuit bending solo towards the end. It compliments the riff quite nicely.

There's not much to complain about with this album. The songs can run together if you're not paying attention, but that's a common plague with all instrumental albums. Some listeners could be frightened or made uncomfortable by the spontaneity of the mechanical sounds, and I know a few people who just plain don't like the futuristic noises that are so prominent here.

Overall, I'm not sure if I'd recommend this to a Buckethead beginner, since it's pretty wild. One may need a slightly more accessible entry before jumping into this wacky stuff. This was definitely an example of Buckethead's more successful experiments, and it would be revisited frequently for many albums to come. Buckethead was clearly looking for ways to keep his music fresh and exciting, and well, let's just say he really struck gold with the next one.

4/5
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
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Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #49 on: June 06, 2011, 10:34:11 PM »
You have just turned into one of my favorite reviewers of all time.  :hefdaddy
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Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #50 on: June 06, 2011, 10:37:29 PM »
Glad to hear it, I've still got about 35 more to go. :p

By the way, you can probably expect the Inbred Mountain review tonight as well, because I'll be honest and say I fucking LOVE Inbred Mountain.
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Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #51 on: June 06, 2011, 10:41:11 PM »
Well I am very much looking towards reading those other 35 reviews.
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Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #52 on: June 06, 2011, 11:03:27 PM »
Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 016: Inbred Mountain

I'm going to be straight with everyone here and say that I absolutely adore this album. It's easily in my top 5 Buckethead albums. Expect plenty of blatant worship, and very very little complaining. It'd probably be easier to just say, "Get this album right now. 5/5" and be done, but that wouldn't be fair, and to be honest, I've been looking forward to this one. The best Buckethead albums, in my opinion, are the ones that take the listener on a journey. Both of the Bucketheadland albums accomplish this goal nicely, but it's the ones that have no vocals or samples at all that really impress me. The entire story is told through the song titles, and it makes the music paint such a vivid picture. So far, the only album we've heard that accomplished this was Population Override, which is another one of my all-time favorites. The album title alone draws visions of a young scientist, perhaps a modern day Charles Darwin, searching for a legendary mountain where many unheard of species of beast reside, and very narrowly escaping with his life.

Unbelievable. The guitar work on this album absolutely decimates every other Buckethead recording we've heard so far. Within the first four minutes of the album, we're treated to what I call "organized chaos". Albums like Cuckoo Clocks and Island of Lost Minds suffered from a lack of direction. Inbred Mountain has a firm agenda, and it makes the album into a true masterpiece. Nearly every aspect of Buckethead's playing is touched upon here. The shredding is his best yet, the riffs are insane, but not so crazy as to not make sense, and the stylistic shifts are flawlessly executed (Seriously, there's a seamless transition into a banjo solo at the end of Advance to the Summit, a BANJO SOLO). There's a word for this kind of musicianship: genius.

The backing band isn't as decorated as the guitar playing, but that's a small price to pay for a flawless piece of music. The keyboard effects are the most prominenet background music, and they compliment the guitar perfectly. This was no doubt a result of the lessons learned from Kaleidoscalp. The drums do sound more authentic in spots, but they still seem like they were programmed. Still, the quality of this album is so high that no small issue can detract from its aura of pure godliness.

Picking a favorite song on this album is like picking a favorite child. You know you like one just a little bit more than the others, but it honestly hurts to acknowledge it. Regardless, that song is the opener, In Search of Inbred Mountain.While the other songs all have great variety, this song packs it all into one without feeling too choppy. Great musicians have struggled their entire lives to compose something this good, and Buckethead makes it seem like he crapped this whole album out in a weekend.

I'm trying so hard to come up with something to complain about, but it's just not coming to me. I guess, if you're not in the mood for awesome music, you won't like this too much. Buckethead noobs and the diehards both need this album desperately. It is without a doubt one of the greatest Buckethead albums, and possibly one of the best of all time.

5/5
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHIT AHHHHHH

Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #53 on: June 06, 2011, 11:16:35 PM »
I don't think I have really ever paid or heard that much from this album but I will certaintely listen to it now especially after seeing how much you worship it. Also Buckethead could write albums like this on a daily basis if he wanted to. I'm just letting you guys know.
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Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2011, 09:53:22 PM »
Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 017: The Elephant Man's Alarm Clock

After the brilliant Inbred Mountain comes a more song-oriented album with similar tendencies. While our last journey was a cohesive piece, and one of the only Buckethead albums that doesn't feel like a collection of songs, this album manages to be just as interesting while being more accessible. The album contains a suite of four short songs very highly regarded in Buckethead's fanbase, Lurker at the Threshold. Lurker would end up seeming like an Inbred Mountain b-side if it was spliced into one track. One of Buckethead's most popular songs, Final Wars, is also here. So, let's dig in.

Guitar playing on this album is quite varied, much like Inbred Mountain. As such, I tend to enjoy it a hell of a lot. Songs like Final Wars are absolutely shredtastic with little bits of beauty spread about, while songs like the rip-roaring opener Thai Fighter Swarm are immensely heavy with lots of musical twists. Buckethead's shredding on Baseball Furies is especially impressive. The most interesting guitar song here is most likely the title track. It retains the intensity of Cuckoo Clocks while giving room to air out (like most of the Cuckoo Clocks songs should have). Overall, fnas of Buckethead's previous heavy work will be extremely satisfied.

The backing band has a bit more prominence this time around, even going so far as to have a quick bass/drum jam culminating in a bass solo during the title track. Other than these moments, the drums keep everything together nicely, while the bass typically mirrors the rhythm lines. The little moments where the background parts jump forward are what makes the album though. Bits and pieces of the Lurker suite really shine in that regard.

My favorite song here is Final Wars, no doubt, but special mention must be made for the rest of the album. This album marked the start of a trend where each Buckethead album would be rather short. These decisions led to a noticeably stronger album, where weak moments were just not found. If the Lurker suite was one piece, this album would have ten songs, which is indeed quite short for a Buckethead album. It's also worth noting that if the Lurker suite was considered one song, it would easily be the best on the album. I consider it as separate tracks though, because that's how they're listed. It seems absurd not to make it all one track, but I respect the big man's decisions.

Not much negative to say about this one. Even the fans who only like Colma, Electric Tears, and Population Override will find plenty to love here. This album is a great picture of what Buckethead's modern material would bring, and is a very good choice for a beginning fan. It remains one of my favorites to date.

5/5

Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHIT AHHHHHH

Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2011, 10:21:11 PM »

Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 018: Crime Slunk Scene

Our chicken-loving friend has released 2 flawless albums right in a row within a year's time. Can he get another piece of perfection out in such a short time?

Well, not quite, but it comes pretty damned close.

This album seems like a more melodic Elephant Man, at least for the first half. The second half amps up the heaviness a little bit, but this album feels mostly like a natural progression to more accessible material.

The guitar playing on this album is just as impressive as one would expect from a mask-wearing guitar player who's released 17 albums within 15 years, that is to say, pretty impressive. There's enough shred to satisfy people like me, and the riffs aren't continuously pummeling. The rest of the solos can be extremely melodic at times. There is, of course, one solo on this album which clearly stands out as one of the best of Buckethead's extensive career, but I'll get to that later.

The background instruments are ever so slightly more limited in their roles here than in Elephant Man. There's not very many moments where they are given the spotlight. It's pretty much 100% guitar all the time. With a talent like Buckethead, this is obviously not a bad thing.

So, the best song on the album should be pretty much universally agreed upon. This song is the 9 minute epic, Soothsayer. Dedicated to whom I assume is Buckethead's passed Aunt, Soothsayer is easily one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing. From the soothing, ambient verses to the heavy chorus, and then to the 5 minutes of emotional shredding, this song delivers on every conceivable level. Within Buckethead's rewarding discography, if one song stood out as the true gem, Soothsayer would be it.

That said, this album feels very much like a slightly watered down Elephant Man. While the album it emulates was flawless, I tend to have issues with attempting to recapture the same vibe twice, within the same year no less. The album is still great, but listening to it right after Elephant Man can be draining.

Overall, this album is definitely one of the higher tiered albums, as long as one hasn't heard Elephant Man first. Even so, Soothsayer is a must-hear.

4.5/5
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHIT AHHHHHH

Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #56 on: June 11, 2011, 08:30:17 AM »
Final Wars and Soothsayer are one the greatest songs ever made in my opinion. I have never been able to get tired of Sotthsayer no matter how many times I listen to it.
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Offline Lowdz

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #57 on: June 12, 2011, 12:49:02 PM »
Ulti, you're costing me a fortune here! Just got Elephant Man and Inbred on you're glowing praise. Already acquired CSS earlier and yes, Soothsayer is everything you said. This was the track that convinced me this guy was the real thing and not (just) some weirdo with an acute case of shyness.

Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #58 on: June 12, 2011, 10:47:33 PM »
Ulti, you're costing me a fortune here! Just got Elephant Man and Inbred on you're glowing praise. Already acquired CSS earlier and yes, Soothsayer is everything you said. This was the track that convinced me this guy was the real thing and not (just) some weirdo with an acute case of shyness.
Hell yeah man. Soothsayer is just awesome in so many ways, I just can't beleive it.
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Offline Lowdz

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #59 on: June 13, 2011, 02:22:27 PM »
First chance I've had to listen to my new acquisitions so first up is Elephant Man. My my, Final Wars is just incredible. Baseball Furries is very good too. This is going well.

Offline jsem

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #60 on: June 14, 2011, 08:31:38 AM »
Gotta shout out some more love for Inbred Mountain.

Lotus Island is one the best instrumental rock tracks ever.

Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #61 on: June 20, 2011, 07:17:23 PM »
I've just been listening to Spinal Clock and I have to say that that album is really something. Hopefully you'll get far enough to review that album so I can read what you have to say about it.
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #62 on: June 20, 2011, 09:55:59 PM »
I was originally going to review all of In Search of The, but I have absolutely nothing to say about it.  :lol Pepper's Ghost is up next.
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHIT AHHHHHH

Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #63 on: July 09, 2011, 12:58:38 AM »
Did you give up???
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #64 on: July 09, 2011, 09:13:25 AM »
Did you give up???
I'm offended that you would think such a thing. Of course not. Just taking a bit of a break. Reviews will start popping up soon, I'm sure.
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHIT AHHHHHH

Offline Tripp

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #65 on: July 09, 2011, 06:51:41 PM »
They better, or I will send killer tires to blow up your head.
hi

Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #66 on: July 09, 2011, 08:05:39 PM »
Did you give up???
I'm offended that you would think such a thing. Of course not. Just taking a bit of a break. Reviews will start popping up soon, I'm sure.
Good. I was starting to get bored.
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #67 on: July 27, 2011, 06:27:06 PM »
Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 019: Pepper's Ghost

After experimenting with an album (or at least a half-album) of semi-accessible songs with Crime Slunk Scene, and creating his most inaccessible project (the 13 disc box set, In Search of The), Buckethead finally fell into a bit of a niche with 2007's Pepper's Ghost. This album gave birth to what I refer to as modern Buckethead. There are three distinct periods of Bucket, in my opinion. From Bucketheadland to Funnel Weaver is old Bucket, middle Bucket is from Bucketheadland 2 until this one. While it may not seem very different, this album started a trend in Buckethead's music that has yet to be stopped (barring a few exceptions). The music is less focused on outright insanity, and more on creating catchy, accessible instrumental rock/metal. While this outing may get a bit samey, this is a formula that would be perfected in due time.

The guitar playing on this album is just as varied as Buckethead's previous efforts. It's not as out there as Inbred Mountain, though. There's plenty of soft sections sprinkled between the classic Buckethead riffing. Speaking of the riffs, this album feels like a lighter version of Cuckoo Clocks in some places, and like a distortion filled Electric Tears in others. This is a great example of all that Buckethead has to offer. If there's not a gorgeous melody over a riff, there's a good chance the riff itself is the melody. Almost any instrumental shred guitarist uses riffs as a backdrop for the shredding. What Buckethead has done here is combined the two. Indeed, many of the riffs on this album are more complicated than any lay-guitariasts most complex solo.

The backing band won't be having much of a presence for the next several albums, so I'll be eschewing this paragraph until further notice. Both the bass and drums compliment the guitar perfectly. Of course, with guitar wizardry from Buckethead, the last thing anybody would care about is the drumming.
My favorite song on the album is Brewer in the Air. It's a great riff fest populated with what most fans call "chicken picking", a staccato feel with very intricate playing. No guitarist has mastered this technique as flawlessly as Buckethead.

This is definitely one of the best starter albums any aspiring Buckethead fan can pick. It's a great introduction to Buckethead's modern material, while still being interesting enough for the fans who have been with the masked marvel since the beginning. The only problem I can find with it is it loses a bit of steam towards the end. Thankfully, this problem would be eliminated on future albums.

4/5
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHIT AHHHHHH

Offline Obfuscation

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #68 on: July 27, 2011, 10:26:58 PM »
Well now, finally we got something. I agree that it does tend to sound reprtetive towards the end and that's why I mostly only listen to lets say the first half of the album, but it's still one of my favorite albums from him no doubt.
“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Offline Ultimetalhead

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Re: [Music] Buckethead - All Albums
« Reply #69 on: September 19, 2011, 08:37:14 PM »
Buckethead in a Year: The Reviews Project
Part 020: Decoding the Tomb of Bansheebot

After a 13-disc box set and another great album in the same year, one would have to assume that this bucket-toting guitar wizard might take a break for a few years. Of course, like clockwork, Buckethead released yet another album in 2007, and it most definitely holds up to its predecessors. I really can't fathom how Buckethead manages to keep his music interesting with how many new albums he puts out in a year. If there's one thing I've learned to appreciate on my journey so far, it's Buckethead's passion for music. It just conjures an image in my mind of a fiercely creative individual who just can't stop making awesome music. Anyway, enough sentimental ranting, back to the album. This one channels a similar vibe to Pepper's Ghost, but it's a bit faster (not as intense as Cuckoo Clocks though, more Elepahant Man than anything). Still, there's plenty of chilled out moments to accent the shreddy moments even more.

The guitar work on this album should be pretty easy to guess without even hearing the album (If you've been following these reviews, anyway). At any given moment, in can be frantic riffing and shredding, beautiful melodies over a catchy riff, or even a chilling clean tone setting up the stage for a guitar solo master-class. Buckethead's fascination with the octave jump becomes more present (This becomes a rather large component of the next few albums). If you don't know what an octave jump is, listen to Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song". The main riff is exactly what I'm talking about. Another great aspect of this album is how seamlessly it shifts gears. The transitions don't seem choppy at all, and every second of music feels like it belongs (not an ounce of filler to be found). Any guitarist (or aspiring guitarist) is going to find plenty to love here.

The backing band is becoming much less of a focus as we delve deeper into Buckethead's career, and that's alright with me. I don't know a lot of people who listen to Buckethead for the drums (though there are some great double bass moments that really add to the chaos). The drum and bass work was much more prominent on the early albums, and it gives them a unique flair that the newer releases don't have. That's not to say the rest of the band isn't bad here. They're doing their job of keeping the beat and making sure the songs don't fall apart.

There's not a lot in the way of extra effects here. There's some nice electronic stuff (similar to Kaleidoscalp) every now and then, and it's a great change of pace when they pop up. This album is pretty stripped down, focused on the guitar and not much else. But really, why else would you be listening?

The album is very consistent, so picking a favorite track is a bit difficult. In the end, I have to go with Ghost Host. It conveys an eerie mood like a lot of Buckethead songs, but there's just something about this one that I really enjoy. I can't put my finger on it.

Beginners and old-timers alike will feel right at home with this album. It's Buckethead doing what he does best. It won't change your opinion if instrumental metal isn't your thing. This is just another great album to reward the faithful fans who would buy a nugget of poop if it had the man's name on it.

4.5/5
Orion....that's the one with a bunch of power chords and boringly harsh vocals, isn't it?
LOOK AT THIS AWESOME SHIT AHHHHHH