The ever mysterious guitarist/theme park manager Buckethead has opened the doors to his famed Bucketheadland once again, and this time, he has asked his friends to help him provide thrills and chills to his guests. Produced by Serj Tankian of System of a Down, Enter The Chicken, the latest musical attraction by Buckethead & Friends takes riders aboard since its release on October 25.
As the arcane story goes, Bucketheadland was opened back in 1989 as a refuge for himself and the chickens that had raised him in a coup from an early age. To keep the chickens entertained, Buckethead learned to play the guitar while growing up, but as the mystifying story unfolds, a string of harrowing experiences and mistreatment from the farmers on-site drove the masked axeman to burn down the coup and flee with his feathered friends to a new sanctuary. That safe haven, Bucketheadland grew into a world where both dreams and nightmares intertwined into a creative force that drove the guitarist to channel that energy into some of the most unique and innovative music to ever be created.
Over the past 16 years, Buckethead has not only managed his theme park, but has also had time to exercise his love of guitar playing and music by traveling all over the world playing in front of audiences and has recorded over 13 records. Most of his discography is as a solo artist, but he has also contributed in bands like Guns N' Roses, the Deli Creeps, Praxis, Giant Robot, El Stew and Cobra Strike.
Throughout 2004, Buckethead was writing and recording the musical tracks that would comprise the titles for Enter The Chicken with engineer and programmer Dan Monti. In early summer of 2004, when he felt that he had a solid stable of innovative songs, Buckethead approached Tankian with the tracks and asked if he would be interested in releasing them through his own Serjical Strike Records. The singer and label owner not only agreed to release the record, but also offered to produce it.
What makes Enter The Chicken unique among all other Buckethead albums is the contribution of different singers throughout the body of work. Both producer and guitarist recruited some of today's brightest musical talents to lend their voice including Saul Williams, Efrem Schulz (Death By Stereo), Maura Davis (Denali, Bella Lea), Azam Ali (Vas, Niyaz), Bad Acid Trip, Maximum Bob (Deli Creeps), Gigi, Shana Halligan and Ani Maldjian. Even Tankian himself lends his vocals on the album. When all was said and done, a total of 11 different vocalists specializing in musical styles ranging from opera, metal, rap, indie rock, grindcore, world and everything in between found their way onto Enter The Chicken.
This variety of intonation is complimented by Buckthead's array of genre bending guitar playing and songwriting that infuses his trademark frenetic picking and robotic riffage with hypnotic and vividly rich atmospheric elements creating a balance and link between beauty and the beast. Tracks like Botnus featuring Efrem Schulz and Funbus featuring Bad Acid Trip storm out of the gates with hellish fury letting up for only a few bars to allow the listener a quick breath, while the exquisitely ethereal track Coma featuring Azam Ali languidly arises within the album's sequence with sophisticated elegance and grace. These distinguishing characteristics are present throughout the album, making Enter The Chicken an 11-track musical odyssey that is filled with sonic twists, turns and loops that provide listeners with a unique musical voyage that Tankian refers to as the most diverse rock record this year.