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FANTOMAS

RIO/Avant-Prog • United States


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Fantomas biography
Another project formed by ambitious heavy metal singer Mike PATTON, FANTÔMAS was formed after the breakup of PATTON's previous band, FAITH NO MORE. He recruited a crack team of musicians, getting Buzz OSBOURNE from THE MELVINS on guitar, Dave LOMBARDO from SLAYER on drums, and Trevor DUNN from MR. BUNGLE (one of his other bands) on bass. However, no one could have predicted the bizarre direction the band would take. Showing some influence from John ZORN (one of PATTON's heroes, as well as someone he'd collaborated with), the band makes a totally unique brand of avant-garde metal, which only a genius like PATTON could ever pull off. Their music often consists of short blasts of heavy riffs as well as a fair amount of minimalism, along with PATTON's vocals, which generally don't even say words so much as just make noises.

The band's 1999 self-titled debut album is 30 tracks and 42 minutes long, and is intended to tell the story taking place in a comic book through music. Rather than songs there are "pages", and even today it stands up as probably their best. 2001's The Director's Cut is a collection of theme songs for films such as The Godfather and Rosemary's Baby, performed with a FANTÔMAS twist to them. The record isn't nessecarily their best, but it's by far their most accessible, and that makes it a good starting point. In 2002 the group toured with THE MELVINS as the FANTÔMAS MELVINS BIG BAND. This spawned a live album from 2002 titled Millennium Monsterwork. However, their next studio album didn't come until 2004, and the haunting epic Delìrium Cordìa. This record features one 74 minute song, and while one of the least accessible records ever released, is well worth listening to, simply because odds are it will scare you.

FANTÔMAS will not appeal to everyone, but those who enjoy the experimental side of music and don't mind some heavy metal noise attatched to it will adore this band. PATTON's vocals make some of their stuff worth the listen on their own. So they're recommended, just not to everyone.

: : : Bryan Adair, CANADA : : :

See also:
-Kaada & Patton
-Mike Patton
-Mr. Bun...
Kaada & Patton
-Mike Patton
-Mr. Bungleread more

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WunderkammerWunderkammer
Ipecac Recordings 2014
Vinyl$67.94
$95.49 (used)
Director's Cut Live: A New Years RevolutionDirector's Cut Live: A New Years Revolution
Multiple Formats
Ipecac Recordings 2011
DVD$5.99
$4.90 (used)
Fantomas: Wunderkammer Vinyl 4LP + Cassette Boxset (Record Store Day)Fantomas: Wunderkammer Vinyl 4LP + Cassette Boxset (Record Store Day)
Fantomas
Vinyl$89.99
Amenaza Al MundoAmenaza Al Mundo
Import
PID 2010
Audio CD$18.31
$1.27 (used)
Suspended AnimationSuspended Animation
Import
Indie 2005
Audio CD$30.84
$4.42 (used)
Suspended Animation by Fantomas [Music CD]Suspended Animation by Fantomas [Music CD]
Ipecac
Audio CD$31.54
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FANTOMAS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

FANTOMAS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.47 | 44 ratings
Fantômas
1999
3.68 | 69 ratings
The Director's Cut
2001
3.35 | 61 ratings
Delìrivm Còrdia
2004
3.63 | 81 ratings
Suspended Animation
2005

FANTOMAS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.73 | 11 ratings
Millennium Monsterwork
2002

FANTOMAS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live From London 2006
2008
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Director's Cut Live: A New Year's Revolution
2011

FANTOMAS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

FANTOMAS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

FANTOMAS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Delìrivm Còrdia by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.35 | 61 ratings

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Delìrivm Còrdia
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Necrotica

4 stars Mike Patton's sure an interesting person. He's surely one of the best vocalists of our generation (along with being an awesome composer/keyboardist), but his works are definitely not accessible. Take any of Mr. Bungle's records (perhaps excluding California, one that's actually a bit sane), for instance. The first album was pure insanity, blending funk, prog, jazz, and bunch of other wild elements into one giant mixing pot. Disco Volante was even crazier, bordering to downright creepy. After the Bungle years, he created a project called Fantomas, named after a French crime novel.

This particular work, the mysteriously named "Delirium Cordia," stands out from the others in Fantomas's collection because of it's sheer length, clocking in at 75 minutes. Basically, the record sounds like the equivalent of a horror movie soundtrack (something Patton might have intended to make, considering his mind), but with one exception: YOU are the victim. That's right. Especially if you listen with headphones, everything will feel like it's happening to you. This includes, but is not limited to: Surgery, voices, light piano sounds, indescribable noises, crashing waves, etc.

The members surprisingly have little to do in this album. Mike Patton is really the star of the show here, while the other members just generally do other supporting noises/riffs. Dave Lombardo actually contributes to some cymbal noise and drum rolls for ambiance, but little else here. Buzz "King Buzzo" Osbourne does really low, distorted guitar fills through moments of tension. To be honest, Trevor Dunn doesn't do much of anything here, aside from riffs with the other band members. Again, Mike Patton rules most of the music here.

As with most ambient listens, this record will turn off a lot of listeners. There are especially some moments that will scare the living hell out of you. When lying in bed in the dark, this becomes even scarier, mainly when you just anticipate something to happen in the utter silence of a part of the piece. However, there are some instances of relief from the sorrowful creepiness on occasion. For instance, there is a portion of the song where a Hawaiian easy-listening tune is being played. Don't hold your breath, though, as that will disappear soon enough.

Also, there are plenty of moments that sound like you are a victim, as has been said before. As an example, there is a portion where surgeons are operating on a body, and it sounds like the tools are scraping at you madly. Unless you are patient and can handle that creepiness, you won't last for even a minute of the incessant craziness going on. Likewise, some noises will leave your imagination to fill in the rest, as they're pretty indescribable.

Overall, this album is not for the light hearted in ANY way. If you are a Mike Patton fan, looking for risky and daring music, or a fan of ambient works, I'd suggest checking it out as it's quite good. Others, I'm afraid, might be turned off by this album.

(Originally published on Sputnikmusic)

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 Suspended Animation by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.63 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars SUSPENDED ANIMATION is the fourth album by the extremely bizarre super-group FANTÔMAS led by the always eccentric Mike Patton who once again doesn't disappoint in the weirdness department. On this installment in the FANTÔMAS universe we get a dual theme of incorporating their energetic speed sludge with cartoon music and other sounds of innocence ranging from children playing to little kids' toys. The album was released as a regular album and as a limited edition which is the one i have. This package is as bizarre as the music it holds. It is bound with one of those metal spirals that are on notebooks and it contains a mini calendar which has a page for each day in the month of April accompanied by the artwork of Yo[&*!#]omo Nara who blends the innocence of youth with dark and disturbing imagery.

After an album of soundtrack theme interpretation and another strange album that only contained one track lasting over an hour, FANTÔMAS goes back to the formula of their debut and ups the surreality a few notches by delivering an extreme roller coaster ride of sonic madness. This is some frantic stuff this one but the sound effects and music are seamlessly blended together coming and going without notice and the production is absolutely brilliantly executed and is dizzying to the mind how long it took to blend all these sounds and musical outbursts together so well. Generally speaking the thirty short tracks which start with some kind of cartoonish sound effects are either inspired by or directly borrowed from various sources including Warner Bros and other Carl Stalling creations and then morphs into energetic speed sludge hysteria. Mike Patton only creates wordless vocalizations which seem to take the lead in directing the rest of the band to follow.

There are all kinds of different rhythms, moods and sound effects streaming at the speed of light throughout this one but if you are already familiar with Mike Patton's other works including the other FANTÔMAS albums you will hear familiar ideas only tweaked to be even weirder than before. This is a hard listen at first (and second and third!!!) but if you embrace the extremely demented creations of maddened genii then you might appreciate this one. This exists in a universe that few will dare to tread but for those who do be warned that even though you will find hummable melodies galore, the franticness of this wild concoction will demand multiple listens to get the gist of.

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 Fantômas by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 1999
3.47 | 44 ratings

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Fantômas
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

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.

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 The Director's Cut  by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.68 | 69 ratings

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The Director's Cut
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by TCat
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Mike Patton, the genius behind Faith No More, Mr. Bungle and countless other projects is also the genius behind Fantomas. With Fantomas, he has explored a wide array of musical styles by putting his own stamp of craziness on it, but this project is one of his most eclectic. What you have in this album is a collection of movie soundtrack covers, most of which are from horror movies from composers like Henry Mancini and John Barry. Even though there are some very orchestrated tracks here, including the opening track "Theme from The Godfatther" don't let that fool you. The Godfather is very straightforward, almost something you would hear on an elevator, except with clean clear sound and amazing production which raises it above the typical orchestral cover. But after that, things turn sharply south.

Most of the tracks are crazy studies in extreme listening, from heavy harsh vocals and crashing guitars to mysterious sounding keyboards and deep voices, the tracks are mostly faithful to the originals, except that you have Mike's crazy vocals (he uses his voice effectively as an instrument and for singing throughout this album), the band's orchestration is all over the place and it is one wild, frantic ride for your ears. Scary atmospheres for the most part, amazing how the first track makes you feel so safe and lures you into this asylum of otherwise manic music. This is RIO in the extreme, so be ready for it, and most of the shock value of the extremes will be easier to handle.

So everyone has heard covers of movie theme music, but you haven't heard one like this. If you know Mike Patton and just how wild he can be, then you can imagine what this is like. Maybe this is one of Fantomas most accessible albums, but I don't think many untrained minds will get past the 2nd track without a blown brain socket. I agree it is the best Fantomas album and most enjoyable, because I admit I have a very hard time with "Suspended Animation" (which is a collection of songs that sound like cartoon music with sound effects and chaos from start to finish) and their other albums, but I find this one very exciting, original, groundbreaking and a definite masterpiece of avant garde progressive music, this album sets the bar for one of the best in that subgenre in my opinion. Essential and a masterpiece. 5 stars.

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 Delìrivm Còrdia by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.35 | 61 ratings

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Delìrivm Còrdia
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Renkls

3 stars Delirium Cordia was my first introduction to Fantomas (not the best intro piece I know), but it definitely achieved its goal of being a disconcerting concept piece about surgery. Maybe I was in the proper environment of a dark room with windows open to night skies or something - but it was creepy. subsequent listenings made me see that despite its effectiveness, I didn't have the patience for it - though it is good, most people will likely have that issue. 74 minutes!? Yeah, but the last 20 don't count. Still 55 minutes is a big ask for a busy person, and though it's a good horror soundtrack, most people may find it intolerable after a few spins. Still, you may be surprised and enjoy it a lot. depends what kind of person you are really.

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 Delìrivm Còrdia by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.35 | 61 ratings

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Delìrivm Còrdia
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Wicket
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Mike Patton is the equivalent to metal as Frank Zappa is/was to rock and John Zorn is to jazz. All three take the rulebooks of their respective genres and threw them out of the window.

In Patton's case, he probably burned it, crushed it in a trash compactor and then ate it for dinner.

I love Patton's work in Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, and I've also taken a liking in his side project's like Tomahawk and his "pop" project Peeping Tom, but Fantomas is the most difficult of any of his works to get into (besides his solo stuff where he's just making noise and sounding like a dying 3 year old throwing up a grand piano with a knife in his back).

Despite the fact I'm not a huge fan of Fantomas, this record especially, it's massive to see what a pioneer in avant-garde metal he has been, much like Zorn and Zappa.Only a sick, twisted mind like his would create a 76 minute long track recreating surgery without anesthesia squeezing in thrash metal and punk, jazz, even chant in some sections! It's as if Patton requested to make a movie on this subject, got denied and decided to make that movie into one long song.

A song nobody would probably ever buy in their lives (except diehard Patton fans).

Easily stated, this is not for everyone. This and their self-titled album are more sonically experimental that most of Patton's work, period. If anything, "The Director's Cut" and "Suspended Animation" are more intriguing releases, where the former is Patton's take on popular movie tunes, while the latter is similar to their first disc, except through a blended Japanese cartoon show.

All in all, if you don't like the sounds of metal objects moving flesh around, steer clear of this disc. You have been warned.

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 Suspended Animation by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.63 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by cataclysta

1 stars I have decided to write the review of this album after I saw that it is the highest rated album of Fantomas. I must say that I don't agree with so high rating of this album. As some of other reviewers mentioned earlier Fantomas is not exactly a music. I must say that I really enjoy their second album Directors Cut which is an interesting and unusual example of prog rock. I even liked the album Delirium Cordia, maybe not as a music but as a collection of strange and sometimes interesting sounds. As for the Suspended Animation album. Maybe it is something new but new doesn't always means good. For me it is not a music, and even not interesting sounds. Most of the album is just a noise. Terrible noise. I think that even most fans of metal will not like these sound. There are 30 very short tracks (mostly no longer that 1,30 minute) on this album with mix of screams, crazy guitar, fast drums and cartoon sounds. I am listening to very unusual music including Magma, free jazz, krautrock and many other unusual things, but I must say that I don't agree with the opinions that Suspended Animation is something unique, original and deserves a 5 star rating (masterpiece of progressive rock music). For me it is something between 1 and 2 stars.

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 The Director's Cut  by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.68 | 69 ratings

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The Director's Cut
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Weird (but somehow cool) soundtrack covers.

The music of Fantomas is not that easy to listen or dig, nor to classify, they also have something quite different to offer from one album to other, but with somewhat their own sound.

If you are familiar with Mike Patton´s works, you might know that he is an incredibly innovative and imaginative singer, he has incurred to different styles and always managed to sound interesting; with Fantomas, and in particular in this album, his vocal work is pretty good because together with the music it makes a weird but nice communion, so as a result their compositions are pretty good.

What you will find, in this album named "The Director's Cut", are 16 short songs taken from some soundtracks of interesting movies, and transformed to that Fantomas sound, with aggressiveness in several moments, but quietness in others, inviting the listener to explore and imagine those songs ala Fantomas taking you to the film itself. I have to be honest, and tell you that the first time I listened to The Godfather's Theme, I really laugh about it, I said that was ridiculous, but with time and actually opening my mind, I understand that all of that had a goal.

This album has 16 songs and a total time of 39 minutes, so the songs are pretty short; their tag here is a RIO-Avant band, yeah that may be accurate but in this case some of their songs sound as a metal band (you know, I am not an expert on that matter, so after all that is not important)

My favourite songs are "Experiment in Terror"; "Rosemary's Baby" and "Twin Peaks", strong songs that will catch you.

The album is nice, you will hear something different and even entertaining, but as a prog fan, I only listen to this every once in a while, not very keen on Fantomas music actually, but this is good. My final grade is 3 stars.

Enjoy it!

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 Suspended Animation by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.63 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by rushfan4
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

1 stars WTF?

I don't think that I will ever understand the human mind or I suppose in this case the mind of a musician. As has been mentioned in other reviews Fantomas delivers material (difficult for me to use the term music) that has never been delivered before. But in my opinion, that is for good reason. There is pretty much nothing worth while to listen to on this album. It covers 30 compositions in 45 minutes. Each composition is made up of some musical notes haphazardly thrown together combined with seemingly random sounds, most the kind that would be heard in a children's cartoon, and combined with Mike Patton's patented guttoral screams. There are no lyrics to be heard here nor to be sung along to. Mike Patton's clean voice from his Faith No More days is nowhere to be heard on this album. The lack of lyrics might be fine if this were the type of instrumental album where you can play along on air guitar or air drums or hum along to the melodies and harmonies but these don't exist either. Sadly despite all of this, this album still somehow is more listenable than its predecessor Delirium Cordia, which was an even more dreadful listening experience. I suppose that I am probably not qualified to review this material since clearly I don't "understand" it or the artist's vision. If you get off on seemingly random musical notes combined with random sounds and guttural screams than this might be a 5 star album, but for someone like me who likes singable lyrics or at least drums and guitars that I can tap my feet to or hum along with this is clearly a 1 star affair.

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 Suspended Animation by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.63 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars This is one crazy and intense Fantômas-release!

I personally have always had a hard time digesting 25+ album tracks in one go (no matter the length and style). For instance it took me weeks until I started to appreciate The Residents Commercial Album, same goes for Thordendal's Sol Niger Within. This album is hard to explain even after listening to it a couple of times, I still can't put my finger on it. My only possible conclusion is that there is no doubt that Patton was heavily influenced by John Zorn since Zorn is a master of short and crazy compositions that can be heard on his Naked City albums.

The short format that this album actually fits the lineup a whole lot better. For instance Dave Lombardo's drumming becomes even more energetic bringing out that distinct Slayer flavor that I was expecting of his. While Buzz Osborne and Trevor Dunn might sound a bit too much like Punk for my tastes Patton is always there to supervise the development by not letting it run over in one specific genre. The music always feels creative, playful and ... alive!

Although Suspended Animation might not be for everyone I still have to give it my warmest recommendations, but just be warned that this is not music that I recommend experiencing through passive listening. Check it out if you are a fan of crazy compositions and aren't afraid to undertake a demanding challenge.

***** star songs: 04/01/05 Friday (0:34) 04/03/05 Sunday (1:45) 04/06/05 Wednesday (2:25) 04/10/05 Sunday (2:19) 04/13/05 Wednesday (1:31)

**** star songs: 04/02/05 Saturday (2:10) 04/04/05 Monday (1:32) 04/07/05 Thursday (1:08) 04/08/05 Friday (1:09) 04/09/05 Saturday (1:17) 04/12/05 Tuesday (1:15) 04/14/05 Thursday (2:20) 04/15/05 Friday (0:39) 04/16/05 Saturday (0:49) 04/17/05 Sunday (0:45) 04/18/05 Monday (0:47) 04/19/05 Tuesday (0:40) 04/20/05 Wednesday (1:49) 04/21/05 Thursday (1:39) 04/22/05 Friday (2:05) 04/23/05 Saturday (0:58) 04/24/05 Sunday (1:48) 04/26/05 Tuesday (1:31) 04/27/05 Wednesday (1:12) 04/29/05 Friday (1:28) 04/30/05 Saturday (3:08)

*** star songs: 04/05/05 Tuesday (0:33) 04/11/05 Monday (2:17) 04/25/05 Monday (0:31) 04/28/05 Thursday (1:30)

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