Buckethead Pike Reviews
A review of Pike 212 'Hornet' by Buckethead, released November 17th 2015
Good evening everybody, today we're back with another deep dive into guitar hero Buckethead's Pike album series, with Pike 212 'Hornet'. So, let's begin. Woo!!
Released November 17th 2015, Pike 212 was the 6th of 8 albums released that month, in a year that saw Buckethead release 118 albums. Crazy.
And one of the other Pikes released that month, 2 weeks prior, was the previously reviewed 'Rooms of Illusions'. Both albums were clearly recorded during the same sessions having many similarities in effects and rhythm. Which is why I personally regard Hornet as a sequel to Rooms of Illusions.
The album kicks off with its 2nd longest track, the 5.5 minute 'Hornet Part 1'. Immediately locking you in with some gorgeous reverb and delay chords, backed by some very subtle drums and swells and the occasional bongo style beat throughout.
It's subtle, chill, and the guitar tone is fantastic. Great opening.
For Hornet Part 2 the synthesizer swells are more prominent, elevating the dream like guitar chords to great effect. An excellent composition with great progression. Once again, its subtle, beautiful, outstanding. And for my money, the best part of the entire suite.
Hornet Part 3 is the shortest track of the suite at just under 3 minutes. Its more of the same until around the 2 minute mark when the beat picks up and the guitar subtly changes it's tone, reminiscent of Pike 49's 'Monument Valley'. Leading nicely into Part 4.
Hornet Part 4 is easily the longest track of the suite at just under 11 minutes, and it's all solo backed by more prominent drums and bongos. There's some nice subtle use of the whammy pedal early on and the soloing is low key but effective. The way the previous 3 parts went I'm not sure the album needed a solo, let alone one this long but still, its outstanding and one of the albums standouts.
Hornet Part 5 concludes the album with a more heavier vibe and riffage. Its an enjoyable track though doesn't quite fit with the rest of the album, feeling more like a stand alone song that, with it's cyberpunk feel, would fit right at home on Pike 162 'Four Forms'. Solid track, but noticeably out of place.
Overall, Pike 212 is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, a top tier Pike and one you can come back to many times. The first 3 parts are mesmerizing and beautiful, with part 4 taking it home with its long solo, even if the album didn't really need it and could've easily continued with more of the same.
And although Part 5 is out of place, it's not too far out, it's still enjoyable and doesn't take anything away from the album. As mentioned, I regard Pike 212 as a sequel to the superior Pike 209, but both are fantastic and blend together excellently.
After adding up the rating I gave for each track, It came exactly 80%, which I'd categorize as 5 star Awesome. And you can find my individual song ratings & breakdown on our website natternet.com
So, what's your rating for Pike 212?
To work out what percentage you'd give the album, rate each song out of 5 stars, add up your total and divide it by the total score possible, which for Pike 212 is 25. Then times it by 100.
Pike 212 'Hornet' RATINGS (out of 5)
1. Hornet Part 1 ****¼ (4.25)
2. Hornet Part 2 ****½ (4.5)
3. Hornet Part 3 ***¾ (3.75)
4. Hornet Part 4 **** (4)
5. Hornet Part 5 ***½ (3.5)
Album length: 28:15
Total = 20 out of 25 (Album = 80%, Awesome!)
1-20 % = Poor
20- 40 % = Below Average
40-60 % = Average
60-80 % = Good
80-100 % = Awesome
Buy the album HERE