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Fantômas - Suspended Animation CD (album) cover





3.64 | 93 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Musical ADD

FANTOMAS is something of a super group assembled by the ceaseless Mike Patton of FAITH NO MORE, MR BUNGLE and dozens of other projects comprising himself, Buzz Osbourne - guitarist from legendary stoner metal band The Melvins, Dave Lombardo - the drummer from seminal thrash band Slayer and Patton's childhood friend and fellow MR BUNGLE conspirator - Trevor Dunn on Bass. Together this formidable Quartet traverse hundreds of musical landscapes in the quickest possible time. The music combines most of the genres you could think of (although it occupies the realm of avant-garde metal most often), interspersed with utterly mind melting production, various circuit bent toys, samples from Warner Brother cartoons and Patton's general vocal wailings, it is truly unique and extremely fast paced and unrelenting, if you aren't up to it then you'll quickly get lost or have some kind of breakdown.

The album was recorded over the month of April in 2005 with one song written and recorded for each day, each song also corresponds to a special day on the special calender provided in the liner of the CD. it's hard to pinpoint highlights as it all moves so quick and even though the songs are usually around one minute in length various musical ideas completely disjointed from one another are usually explored. That said there are some definite standout tracks those being 4-02-05, our extreme introduction into suspended animation 4-13-05 with it's perverted take on 90's cop drama theme, 4-14-05 with it's snarling middle eastern chanting breakdown the haunting intermission song 4-15-05. I also like the first track (the first of April obviously) as it resembles a very noisy rocket ship taking off, I couldn't think of better symbolism.

The instrumentation on this album is amazing, Lombardo's drumming is frenetic and fast, Dunn's bass work is robotic, Buzz's guitar work is sharp and abrasive but full credit really must be given to Mike Patton, he's the man behind it all with the synths and the crazy samples, he's the one that composes the songs (yes they really are thought out compositions believe it or not, I saw FANTOMAS live on the suspended animation tour and they played all the songs perfectly, the greatest musical feat I've seen performed) and he's the one that decides what goes on in the band and he's come up with a gem of avant-garde music.

Overall suspended animation is an amazingly dense, varied, interesting and challenging chunk of uncompromising music, but it's to be recommended with caution, this is extreme, it's metal and it changes ideas and directions literally every 10 seconds if you're up to it then it will reward you richly but there's a good chance most people wont be able to stand it. Recommended to fans of extreme, avant-garde music and people with short attention spans.

FruMp | 4/5 |


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