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Fantômas - Suspended Animation CD (album) cover





3.64 | 93 ratings

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4 stars Animated, Certainly...

1 word: AWESOME!!!

So why not 5 stars?

This isn't really a masterpiece of Prog Rock, but is a stunning step in the right direction. The overwhelming root is in the metal genre, but this is not your father's metal.

I do not think that it was entirely intended, but the album comes across as a masterpiece of avante-garde music, utilising many concepts put forward by the ground- breaking composers of the early twentieth century, including Copland, Cage and Varese. Zappa fans will recognise some of the techniques, especially in the comic effects.

However, my feeling is that the genuine art in this album has been arrived at from a non-academic stream-of-consciousness perspective, and just lacks that certain something that lends intention, structure and real drama to the music.

Non-metal fans would still be advised to check this out, as it is one of the most exciting albums I've heard in the metal genre for many years - but if you find the entire thrash metal genre on the noisy side, then this might still lack appeal, as it does get very noisy - which is good...

As has been noted, this album benefits from a continual listen - it is not an album to just dip into at random. The track titles become clear as you listen - each one is a condensed representation of "days in the life" (actually the 30 days of April), which range from the utterly manic, to the comic, to rare moments of almost soulful reflection - but mostly utterly manic.

Lombardo's drums really stand out as the lynchpin of this music, although the term "drummer" is inadequate, and "percussionist" far more accurate - but there's no overlooking the contributions of everyone else - particularly the engineer and sampler operator... "Buzz" lives up to the nickname, providing a snarling buzz that constantly seems to react to the ever-shifting emotions of each "day", and Patton's vocals take a Thom Yorke approach, in that they are rarely to the foreground but part of the overall texture. Trevor Dunn underpins everything very nicely - I'd quite like to have heard a little more contribution to help snatch that extra star, but what he does put in is precise enough.

Think Syd Barrett meeting Frank Zappa and teaming up with Slayer, then stir in a generous helping of music from your favourite cartoons and you really haven't even got close to describing the conglomeration of ever-changing sound here. This album never loses the listener's attention, as it becomes almost imperative to discover what is around the corner.

Recommended purchase to all lovers of prog rock - but with a Government Health Warning to anyone not keen on intense metal. I would, however add a "Gogeddit!!!" to any fan of modern day Sci-Fi films and cartoons... especially Bugs Bunny ;0)

Certif1ed | 4/5 |


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