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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Go to the Buckethead website  Buckethead - Bermuda Triangle [Catalyst Entertainment - 2002]

A new chapter in the Buckethead saga. He got stranded in the Bermuda Triangle with his buddie Extrakd (El Stew, Gonervill, Bulletproof Scratch Hamsters and others). As one might expect the music has an eerie atmosphere that has been present on many of the more recent releases.

Extrakd provided the beats and Buckethead plays guitar and bass. Long time partner-in-crime Brain plays drums on the old-fashioned Flight 19 but the rest of the tracks are done on the computer. On Buckethead’s previous album, Funnel Weaver, there were surprisingly no solo’s: just riffs, beats and atmospheres in 49 miniatures. On Bermuda Triangle they return, but not very often. He seems to have found a new effect: the ‘chopper’. It pops up in various songs and he leaves his harmonizer virtually untouched. So no trademark dissonant laser guns on this one or high speed shredfests. The lead guitars are either (a)tonal loops or Eddie Hazel-like solo’s like Whatevas. It seems Buckethead is redefining his guitaristic approach.

The (electro) hiphop beats are present on most tracks and I have to say Extrakd comes up with some pretty dope ones like the almost gangsta-like Mausoleum Door. Big B keeps his guitarparts rather minimal, tasteful and in favour of the 'big picture'. At times his dark alter-ego Death Cube K seems to take over with his scary textures in Sucked Under, Bionic Fog and Isle Of Dead. His more melodic and lyrical side shines in Sea Of Expanding Shapes, Phantom Lights and 911 and those tracks will surely please the people who appreciate the romantic wailing he’s capable of.

Bermuda Triangle is not structured like an average 10 song album. Like many of his albums it’s more like a ride in a theme park where you jump in, fasten your seatbelt and are led through different rooms with different atmospheres. As spooky as the Bermuda Triangle is, this is an exciting and fun parkride version of it.

Although the ‘beats ‘n’ riffs’ approach seemed to wear thin lately, this album proves it still can be great. I think this is one of the better Buckethead releases since his Guns ‘n’ Roses adventure. The future seems to hold more different things like sequels to Bucketheadland, Colma and Thanatopsis. Other projects include the long awaited Deli Creeps debut. He’s been in the studio with Bill Laswell, Gigi and Karsh Kale for a solo-album and the Ipecac label, for which owner Mike Patton expressed a wish for ‘something different’, will release something eventually. And of course Chinese Democracy (when hell freezes over, I’m afraid... no: I hope ;-).

Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5Rating: 5 out of 5

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