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Fantômas - Fantômas CD (album) cover





3.51 | 62 ratings

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siLLy puPPy
4 stars After the end of Faith No More and near the end of Mr Bungle, Mike Patton suddenly needed a full time band again. The avant-garde bug was stronger than ever and suddenly the freedom to delve into the even more experimental side of music exploded into reality. Patton created FANTÔMAS, a name of a super villain in French crime novels in the early 20th century that was popular in print and films up into the 60s.

With Trevor Dunn also of Mr Bungle, Patton managed to score Buzz Osborne of the Melvins and Dave Lombardo of Slayer to join his ranks and accompany his need for pure vocal weirdness. And that is what we get with this eponymous debut release. Pure weirdness. But weirdness with lots of recognizable influences that sound really, really good if only for fleeting moments before moving on to the next.

The album cover actually is a poster for the 1965 movie "Fantômas se déchaîne" but ironically is translated into Spanish as "Fantômas Amenaza al Mundo" which in English means "Fantômas Threatens The World." The album is laid out as a comic book would be with 30 pages in 1 book. Chapter 13, however is three seconds of silence since they deem the number to be unlucky, a trend that continues on the next album. Poor number 13, i actually like it.

This is avant-garde metal here and if that is something you fear, i advise you to stay well away from these here bizarre offerings. The gist of the album revolves around Patton's desire to create experimental vocalizations which for the most part are fairly clever and worthy of expression. The band surrounding these idiosyncrasies accompanies these whims beautifully and totally delivers the goods.

This is an album that i didn't really take seriously upon first listen. I like many others was more floored by the followup "Director's Cut" which is a much more accessible take on this movie soundtrack idea, however, recently i have been giving this debut more scrutiny and i have caught the bug. This album is quite remarkable in fact. Yes, it is random in nature and yes, it is quite out of the ordinary but i have been a fan of Mike Patton's various musical entities for a while now and have adapted to his unique styles of expression.

This album is quite eclectic in scope and will appeal to those who have a wide ranging musical palette. It is truly one that needs time to soak in. It took me a decade for it to click although i admit this isn't something i've spun on a regular basis. Very unique, very clever but not an easy nut to crack. However, if you take the time to pierce its tough hardened shell, you may find something that you can appreciate, at least i did.

siLLy puPPy | 4/5 |


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