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Fantômas Fantômas album cover
3.51 | 62 ratings | 10 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1999

Songs / Tracks Listing

- Book One :
1. Page 1 (1:35)
2. Page 2 (1:38)
3. Page 3 (1:09)
4. Page 4 (4:22)
5. Page 5 (0:46)
6. Page 6 (1:12)
7. Page 7 (0:54)
8. Page 8 (1:00)
9. Page 9 (0:48)
10. Page 10 (1:20)
11. Page 11 (0:53)
12. Page 12 (1:58)
13. Page 13 (0:04)
14. Page 14 (2:12)
15. Page 15 (2:14)
16. Page 16 (0:57)
17. Page 17 (0:50)
18. Page 18 (5:07)
19. Page 19 (1:22)
20. Page 20 (0:29)
21. Page 21 (0:38)
22. Page 22 (2:11)
23. Page 23 (0:56)
24. Page 24 (0:52)
25. Page 25 (0:52)
26. Page 26 (1:15)
27. Page 27 (1:37)
28. Page 28 (1:35)
29. Page 29 (1:11)
30. Page 30 (0:33)

Total time 42:30

Line-up / Musicians

- Mike Patton / vocals, samples, composer & producer
- Buzz Osborne / guitar
- Trevor Dunn / bass
- Dave Lombardo / drums

Releases information

Also referred to as "Amenaza Al Mundo"

Artwork: Spanish poster for the 1965 French movie Fantômas

CD Ipecac Recordings - IPC 1 (1999, US)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy FANTÔMAS Fantômas Music

FANTÔMAS Fantômas ratings distribution

(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(40%)
Good, but non-essential (23%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

FANTÔMAS Fantômas reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by hdfisch
2 stars Edited 10/03/05!

That's actually a series of noises, screams, laughter and short sequences of rhythmic patterns or extreme tough and noisy metal pressed on a CD. In fact I can't quite follow why something like this is that much appreciated by quite a lot of (well admittedly very young) people. This stuff (music?) must have something attractive, but that is obviously not working for me. The only page I can find enjoyable is No. 12 I've got to say. I'm as well far away from saying that this one is a good piece of avant-garde, what it claims to be I guess. I would rather say it's "weird for the sake of weirdness". Although the sounds are constantly changing after a few seconds there is actually very little versatility being offered overall and everything sounds rather arbitrary and without any structure. I'm standing (or sitting) quite helplessly in front of such a piece of art (similar to modern abstract painting) and asking myself: "What the f'k is the artist trying to tell us with that?" I can't rate it higher than with 2 stars, which means: For fans (or specialists) only! Certainly not suitable for everyone!

Review by MikeEnRegalia
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This is so unique and beyond any reference or tradition, and at the same time performed with such precision and stellar musicianship, that I cannot give this gem any less rating than masterpiece. I still cannot understand how such an album can exist at all, it's unreal. It's such a daunting task to create this weird concept and then to pull it through.

It's not really prog as in Symphonic Progressive Rock epics, rather the very opposite. There are hardly any tracks longer than 2:30, and no mellotron whatsoever, or any keyboards apart from strangely modified hammond samples. But I think that the whole album is an epic of sorts - it surely has recurring phrases, just not in a musical sense.

It surely is the first album I've ever heard to feature vocals throughout, but no lyrics - just vocal acrobatics of the kind that only Mike Patton dares to base albums upon. Add to that the Slayer drums mayhem by Dave Lombardo, and King Buzzo (Melvins), who manages to mogrify his puristic Les Paul & Amp to a similar extent that Patton does voicewise.

If you want to hear something COMPLETELY different, try this!

Review by Bj-1
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Mike Patton formed Fantômas right after the Faith No More break-up together with an excellent team of musicians, including Dave Lombardo from Slayer, Buzz Osbourne from The Melvins and Trevor Dunn who was a member of Mr. Bungle before they disbanded, all doing a faultless performance here.

This project is by far weirder and more psychotic than Mr. Bungle (which is saying a LOT), mixing metal with sound effects and vocal screams and noises from Patton, which Patton also did a lot with Mr. Bungle, only here it's nearly all the time, backed up with the fairly metallic riffs. It's very rapid and paranoid, and at first listen you haven't got a chance guessing what comes next. The arrangements are fantastic, the metal and Patton's shrieks flows well all the time and it's an extremely well made album overall, though it doesn't show any emotion; this is pure madness on plastic.

There are 30 tracks here, and the total playing time is 42 minutes. So most of the songs are pretty short, usually around a minute and a half. This album is a concept album, as you can notice inside the booklet, a sci-fi/crime story. Actually, the music is very fitting if you look on these pictures and listen to the album at the same time. The album has a rather dark mood to it especially in the quieter parts, which usually are containing more weird sound effects and Patton at his most creepy. You might have a few shocks when you are listening to this too, you'll never know what's next here.

Of course, this isn't for everyone, it's incredibly inaccessible overall and many people might consider this as trash, but if you like metal and avant-garde at it's most unusual, AND are open-minded at the same time, this is something for you. If not, get lost! You won't have a chance!! Trust me! And if you didn't like this, don't even bother trying their other albums.

Me personally, love it. 4.5/5

Review by laplace
2 stars Here's a flawed album that foreshadows all the good music Fantômas will be sure to make later on.

Patton's gibbering is serviceable and as octave-leapingly manic as ever while the band is experienced and precise (and actually quite star-studded, even exciting if you're a Melvins fan like this reviewer!) but the music itself is raw and monotone - plenty of the "songs" include one-note riffs (and not in the good Frippian way) or else are displays of off-kilter structure with no real intelligent content. Of course, the music is only half the story, apparently serving as the mood track for a short comic novel - but approaching the music on its own I find it to be one-dimensional, and if there's a brief, visceral thrill to their music, for me it was only initial and turned out to be surprise over the audacity of the release itself, being a debut. To me, this album's greatest achievement is in stirring up a very creepy atmosphere and should be taken as one large, thrashy noise-scape.

Although I find most of "Amenaza al Mundo"'s content to be fairly uninspired, the two longest tracks are happy exceptions and feel like important blueprints for "Delirium Cordia" - the album I find to be the current jewel in the Fantômas crown. But hey, Mr. Bungle's demos and debut weren't all that good either, and let's not forget what they blossomed into afterwards!

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The first offering from Mike Patton's merry avant prog metal quartet sets the precedent for their future releases: bizarre concept (30 short tracks corresponding to pages of a noirish comic book), skull crunching metal interspersed with deranged samples and effects, highly expressive wordless vocals and a nod to John Zorn, both a longtime hero to and a sometime collaborator with Mike Patton.

A track by track review would present an interesting challenge and would also probably induce a nervous breakdown in any reviewer who tried it. Thanks to the wonders of gapless playback, this album can be experienced as a continuous piece of music that would fit onto one side of a C90 with a couple of minutes to spare. The results are highly atmospheric, with similarities to Japanese noiseniks like Boredoms and Ruins, elements of death metal a la Napalm Death and the sheer out there weirdness of John Zorn's collaborations with eYe. There are some incredibly effective tracks, but interesting ideas are not always developed and after a while it all starts to sound a bit repetitive; they may not play the same riff twice, but there's a limit to how many times a quiet atmospheric passage followed by a sudden burst of molten metal only to stop after 90 seconds can be effective, and this CD maybe overdoes it. For a flavour of the album try Page 4; at 4.23 it's the second longest track on the album and pretty much contains the whole concept in microcosm. Fantomas probably sounded a lot more impressive in 1999, but time hasn't treated it that all that kindly. It's probably better experienced after hearing some of Fantomas' subsequent albums and some of Patton's collaborations with John Zorn. It's not a bad album by any stretch of the imagination, but much better work was to come from both Fantomas and Patton's numerous other projects.

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
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.

Review by Warthur
4 stars The debut album by Fantomas doesn't stake out an enormously distinct identity for the new supergroup, consisting of Patton and Dunn of Mr Bungle fame joined by Slayer's Dave Lombardo and Buzz Osborne of Melvins. Given the makeup of the group, it's not surprising that this starting point feels largely like a continuation of Mr Bungle by other means. (Dunn and Patton were spreading themselves thin at the time too with actual Mr Bungle work - California, the final Bungle release, came out only a couple of months after this.)

The album consists of short sonic snippets, more extreme metal-oriented in style than much of Mr Bungle and with a flair for the dramatic. I think the concept is that it's a soundtrack to this movie that does not exist, but to be honest that doesn't quite come through here (fellow Mr Bungle offshoot Secret Chiefs 3 would, via their Traditionalists alter ego, tackle a similar concept with a bit more flair some years later) - but that doesn't mean it isn't an intriguing listen, just that it's a bit obtuse compared to later Fantomas releases whose concepts are somewhat more upfront.

Latest members reviews

3 stars If you're at all familiar with famed avant-garde metal act Mr. Bungle or it's mastermind Mike Patton, then you shouldn't be at all unaware as to the contents of Fantomas. Or maybe you should. Who knows at this point. Fantomas originates from the titular character in a 1964 French film (or the 1 ... (read more)

Report this review (#1733163) | Posted by aglasshouse | Tuesday, June 13, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Fantômas Amenaza al Mundo An interesting album, but not something I will recomend to people not familiar with Mike patton's work in Faith no More, Mr Bungle or his other diverse output. An "expect the unexpected" framework of sonic origami, with sudden bursts of metal, screams and odd vocal ... (read more)

Report this review (#102151) | Posted by tuxon | Friday, December 8, 2006 | Review Permanlink

5 stars first of all, music belongs to the performer, to its surroundings, and to whom it listens to it, plus there's no boundaries in music. how music started, by the beating of drums made of animal skin right??? and look what we have accomplish. you need to take something, for example, music used to ... (read more)

Report this review (#34051) | Posted by | Friday, February 11, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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