1/  Disembodied                                (Buckethead,Laswell)          9.14
  2/  Embalmed                                   (Buckethead,Laswell)          4.58
  3/  Terror Tram                                (Buckethead,Laswell)          9.35
  4/  Hanging Gallows                            (Buckethead,Laswell)          5.32
  5/  Pre Hack                                   (Buckethead,Laswell)          15.29

          Recorded at The Embalming Plant, Oakland, California
          Additional recording and mixing at Greenpoint Studio, Brooklyn, New York
          Engineering: Robert Musso
          Produced by Buckethead and Bill Laswell
          Executive Producer: Norman Isaacs
          Material, Inc./Design: John Brown
          Axiom: Bill Murphy
          Mastering by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studio, NYC
Death Cube K [AKA Buckethead]: guitar, Dr. Phibes organ, stretching rake; Xtrakd: nightmare machete; Bill Laswell: bass.

          1997 - Ion (USA), IN 2004-2 (CD)


The second collaborative effort between Bill Laswell and Buckethead under the name Death Cube K (the first being Dreamatorium (1994) is a superb horror film soundtrack without a movie. On the CD's insert card Buckethead is credited as playing guitar, Dr. Phibes organ and stretching rake; Xtrakd as supplying Ambient Nightmare Machete; and, Bill Laswell as playing bass. Cryptic as these credits are, they provide a good clue to the quality of the music featured on this release.

Deep, rumbling atmospheres dominate the opening title track, which appropriately transports the listener to an otherworldly place, detached from any corporeality. Over the reverberating drone dances a slow-motion theme that is occasionally joined by brief ghastly rustlings and tinklings. The second track "Embalmed" travels into deeper horror territory. Eerie distorted sounds and strange, vibrating guitar effects support a slow lilting guitar theme. "Terror Tram" conjures up the most paranoid atmosphere of all. The effect is that of being onboard a nightmare tram that does not move, but through which courses a cold draft of disjointed noises. A lurking, ominous bass presence carries on it soughing, gurgling guitar chords that echo and bounce inside the metal cage of this derelict tram. Buckethead whips up a storm of treated guitar acrobatics on the next piece -- "Hanging Gallows." It is a shorter piece, which again features subtle ambient background harmonics to support the deafening wanderings of the guitar. The combination of beauty and tour-de force guitar work plays like a twisted elegy to a hanged man. The extended closing piece -- "Pre Hack" -- is a true lexicon of experimental guitar tricks. As such the track breaks with the moody, evocative qualities of the rest of the CD. However, the crazy, whimsical nature of this Buckethead playground relieves the tension, and brings the CD to a rather joyful close.

Dave McKean created the cover graphics -- disturbing monochrome images that look like stills from The Brothers Quays' animations.

Michael C. Lund (courtesy of the Last Sigh website)