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Buckethead - 8 Days Til Halloween: Flare Up CD (album) cover

8 DAYS TIL HALLOWEEN: FLARE UP

Buckethead

 

Prog Related

3.90 | 2 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars PIKE 199 - 8 DAYS TIL HALLOWEEN: FLARE UP is the 98th album released by BUCKETHEAD in 2015 and the 24th installment in the countdown to HALLOWEEN. Unlike almost all the HALLOWEEN PIKES this one is not a dark ambient album but a heavy rocker albeit a very weird one and of course BUCKETHEAD performs all instrument duties. This one clocks in 49 seconds over the half hour mark and contains 3 tracks titled "Flare Up." These tracks to not blend together and are all quite distinct.

"Flare Up Part 1" one starts out totally different than recent offerings and every other HALLOWEEN PIKE. This actually has a distorted guitar chord reverberate over and over and then a drum beat joins in. OMG! This isn't a dark ambient album at all and a welcome relief from the drenching depressive sound streams of most of the HALLOWEEN countdown. This is by no means cheery. This is a down tuned grungy riff that is quite repetitive with a distant second guitar in the background. There isn't really a melodic development and it is very much reminds me more of early Swans with their post-hardcore no wave sound only this very rhythmic as the drum beat is steady and there are variations of rhythm that revolve around one constantly repeating grungy chord. Eventually a highly processed lead guitar does add a bit of strange melodic counterpoint to the overall sound.

"Flare Up Part 2" is a true free avant-metal piece with no melody and and just random guitar licks doing unpredictable acrobatics around what sounds like an amplified fire burning or something. There are percussive beats that appear now and again randomly as well with some being highly rhythmic keeping a beat and others being totally spastic and irregular. Some even sound like door knocks. This is some crazy, eclectic and frantic stuff. The distortion is turned up to 11 and it is quite jarring. Despite not being ambient and being more metal in overall tones and instrumentation, BUCKETHEAD manages to create sounds that do not bring any genre of music to mind. Weird strange patterns also occur with the guitar but it sounds like some alien chord progressions as a howling wind in the background sometimes whips in to accompany the chugging and weirdness that makes Meshuggah sound tame.

"Flare Up Part 3" tones things down a bit and has a spooky reverberated guitar riff that is repetitive and rhythmic. Percussion joins in and this actually sounds like music but is totally atonal. The rhythm keeps it from feeling totally chaotic but the screeching guitars and pulsating echoes keep the spookfest in full effect. This is perhaps a soundtrack for being trapped in a giant spider's web? Or for being boiled alive in a witch's cauldron? I dunno but this is really jarring and the feel of impending doom is stronger than most doom metal albums with only the deepest recesses of funeral doom metal in the same league.

FLARE UP is freaky, scary, abrasive and downright bizarre. This one is rather unique in the PIKE series and sounds like nothing else i've heard so far. This one has the ability to ratchet the tension up to 11 and never let up. This one totally works for me and is the perfect avant-garde freakout for scaring the bejesus out of somebody!

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |

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