Buckethead
Empty Space


3.5
great

Review

by Kronzo USER (43 Reviews)
December 10th, 2013 | 14 replies | 725 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Buckethead’s prolific “Pikes” series has incited a mixed reaction amongst listeners; some of them find it trite and phoned-in, and others are excited to devour this overdose of new material from our eccentric masked friend. Empty Space is the second album in this massive collection. The Pikes had a very strong start with It’s Alive, it’s definitely a tough act to follow. Empty Space is a similar record to the previous one in some aspects, but there is a big increase in dissonance, funk, and guitar wizardry. Fortunately, while not being a very ground-breaking piece of work, the album (for the most part) succeeds at what it’s trying to accomplish.

The weirdness is way more up front this time instead of its subtle presence in It’s Alive. Title track “Empty Space” is arguably one of the best weirder Buckethead cuts, riddled with strange effects, inhuman killswitch tricks, and some all-around fun guitar wankery. “Portable Pen” is a strange little jam to say the least, filled to the brim with demented guitar playing with funky accompaniment. “Pullets” has a great heavy-soft dynamic, with sections that wouldn't seem out of place on a Death Cube K record.

As previously mentioned, technical guitar playing is much more in the foreground this time around, for better and for worse. Even though parts of tracks like “Wormers” and “Dummy Egg” seem a little bit uninspired, Buckethead’s scattered guitar leads always demand the listener’s attention. The craziest song in this batch is probably “Leghorn”. The leads are mind-boggling to say the least, and it’s hard to even explain what some its content sounds like.

These slight shifts in direction from It’s Alive are welcome for the most part. Two albums in, it’s nice to see that the Pikes series isn’t a completely static one. Sometimes, however, it seems like Buckethead injected too much weirdness into Empty Space. All of the shredding, the kill switch playing, and the synthesized percussion spaz outs can make it all blur together sometimes; desensitizing the listener from enjoying many repeated listens. By the time I got to “Perched”, I was incredibly disappointed that it’s beautiful (albeit brief) mid-section was accompanied by a bunch of stuff I already heard before.

It’s good to see that the Pike series has had a good start. The first two entries have both been successes. Empty Space takes all the fun characteristics Buckethead is known and praised for and amplifies them tenfold compared to the last Pike. The adjustment keeps his music fresh, but can feel like it was overdone and thrown together for the sake of being strange. Still, Buckethead’s second Pike is still an essential addition to any fan’s constantly-growing collection.



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user ratings (42)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
insomniac15
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2013



3336 Comments


Great review, pos. No matter how many Buckethead reviews are coming, there will always be an empty pike for each Sputnik user.

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

Kronzo
December 10th 2013



991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

thanks! I've been really into Bucket lately, enough to churn out a couple reviews. I hope to do some more of the Pikes that haven't been covered yet.

TheSpirit
December 10th 2013



17184 Comments


so i am a HUGE buckethead fanboy but havent really listened to anything post - 2011 ... whats the story with this pikes thing?

Digging: vhmnt / blsphm - vhmnt / blsphm

Weirman
December 10th 2013



203 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

just a serious of albums he started awhile back that introduced shorter albums that portrayed his fun-loving, experimenting side of playing

Kronzo
December 10th 2013



991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I guess it's its own series of albums? I don't fully understand it myself, but he's been releasing them at an inhuman rate in the past couple years with mixed results.

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
December 10th 2013



9687 Comments


So many Buckethead reviews lately :D

Pestiferousss
December 10th 2013



50 Comments


all these early pikes rule

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2013



15800 Comments


I just did the math and it turned out the chances of there being 2 buckethead reviews in one day is unsurprisingly high.
havent heard this one but pos for nice review

Digging: Synaesthesia (UK) - Synaesthesia

Pestiferousss
December 10th 2013



50 Comments


well it should be high

his discog is like half this site's memory

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2013



15800 Comments


more than that mate they had to upgrade the server to cope with him

Froot
December 11th 2013



401 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Production and mixing on this one is some of the best of the entire Pikes series.

Hatched

turnip90210
December 11th 2013



308 Comments


The main problem with Empty Space is that it's so freaking unmemorable. It feels pretty okay while it's playing (occasionally some of the worse moments make me cringe a bit), but it fails to leave an impression.

Nice review though. Pos'd. Someone's overdue for a Twisterlend review, and I sincerely hope it's not me, or it's gonna be a 2.5-3 writeup :P

Mookid
December 11th 2013



1294 Comments


Crazy album art

Kronzo
December 11th 2013



991 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Totally Froot, the one thing with Bucket I've almost never been disappointed about is the production.



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