Chariot of Saturn (Pikes 301)
**and1/2 out of *****
The last time RtBE checked in on Buckethead was back in 2014 as he was delivering a very emotional farewell to his mother via Pikes 65. Prolific doesn't do the artist justice as Buckethead never stops writing, recording, and delivering his music to his devoted fan base. The Pike series is up to 301 now with the release of The Chariot of Saturn (Pikes 301), and each of these releases display Buckethead's unique twist on instrumental rock and roll.
The Chariot of Saturn is one long outing that runs almost a half an hour and invites the listener into the sonic wandering world of Buckethead. The track starts off ominous and lush with vibrating guitars and shimmering cymbals before clicking into a hard rock expansive sound fairly quickly, then just as easily drifts down again into the spacey abyss. This back and fourth between heavy riffs/crunching drumming to spacey floating is a theme throughout The Chariot of Saturn (Pikes 301) as if the listener is soaring through the cosmos alongside the artist.
Around the thirteen minute mark the hard riffs become scenic and wonderful as they could easily fill up an arena before the chunky grooves come back, dripping once again into the mellowed twinkling. The track continues in the same pattern, a bit repetitively, until the final ebb and flow as the heavy riffs blend with the meditative swirling sections into a contemplative whole instead of a blasting finish.
The elongated piece has a lingering melancholic feel as Buckethead deals with his issues through his music and invites the listener on the never ending ride of his Pikes series, which will take lifetimes to fully absorb. The Chariot of Saturn (Pikes 301) is a must have for Buckethead devotees, but even those new to his bizarre world will easily enjoy this lingering instrumental space rock outing as it cascades throughout the universe.