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Buckethead - Pike 241 - Sparks In The Dark CD (album) cover




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3.09 | 3 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
3 stars


P I K E 2 4 1 - S P A R K S I N T H E D A R K

22nd album by BUCKETHEAD in 2016 (released on Dec 9)

Clocks in at 28:47

ALL instrumental

"Sparks in the Dark" (5:30) begins with a dreamy ambient background and clean guitar slowly creeping in with a slow beat that turns into one of those faster picking sessions with a slower subordinating bass line and cymbal action. It picks up the tempo and creates a nice space rock mix of ambience and guitar tones. The melodic development sounds similar to previous PIKEs but the approach is slightly different and the newer means of production give it a refreshingly new stylistic makeover. The ambience gets thicker as the track continues and is actually the steering force on this one. Nice and pleasant

"The Pond of Peace" (12:15) follows suit and remains placid and calm and begins with an echoey clean guitar letting each note resonate a while before the bass and cymbals join in. It stays light and fluffy and develops a cute and cuddly melody that is also dependent on the thick atmospheric ambience that slowly tweaks its tones and bends notes subtly. The track remains on absolute chill mode as it slinks along at ketchup pouring speed. In the past i haven't been too keen on theses super slow ballad types from BH but he's finally gotten the formula down so that the things that irritated me have been remedied. For example, the ambience and the guitar melody are in perfect unison as they play with each other. The bass tone is subdued and resonates instead of trying to imitate and the drums are more subdued as to lend a percussive beat that adheres to the musical dynamics instead of overpowering it. While this is definitely preferred to previous similar offerings, it's still just an OK slice of chilled super slow rock almost frozen in time slowly thawing out on a spring day that finally rises above freezing

"Garden at Twilight" (1:36) in contrast is very short track that starts with a more dynamic temp and jumps right into somewhat clean guitar riffs, heavier bass and drums and has a slight bluegrass country pickin' feel to it. It might be a mandolin that is being played. Catchier melody and is crying out for some balladeer to sing about the good ole days or something

"A Long Days Walk" (9:26) begins with a thick atmospheric ambience and once again what sounds like a mandolin with intermittent bass and drums. It picks up after a bit with the drums really kicking and the guitar overtakes the other instruments as the lead melodic instrument while the tempo stays on chill mode in the slightly above simmer range. After a few minutes it picks up steam and has little intermissions with a rather Celtic sounding folk sound but gets more rockin' at times. Nice mixing job and fairly pleasant to listen to but once again nothing that is earth shattering that blows me away

siLLy puPPy | 3/5 |


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