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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, FANTďMAS 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 FANTďMAS 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 FANTďMAS 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 Delýrium Cordýa. 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.

FANTďMAS 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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Buy FANTOMAS Music


Suspended Animation (Limited Edition)Suspended Animation (Limited Edition)
Limited Edition
Ipecac Recordings 2005
Audio CD$7.99
$2.00 (used)
FantomasFantomas
Ipecac Recordings 1999
Audio CD$8.42
$3.73 (used)
The Director's CutThe Director's Cut
Ipecac Recordings 2001
Audio CD$8.22
$0.48 (used)
Director's Cut Live: A New Years RevolutionDirector's Cut Live: A New Years Revolution
Multiple Formats
Ipecac Recordings 2011
DVD$6.00
$5.41 (used)
Delirium CordiaDelirium Cordia
Ipecac Recordings 2004
Audio CD$8.22
$2.99 (used)
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The Director's Cut by Fantomas (CD, Jul-2001) Mike Patton, Buzz Osborne, Melvins US $0.99 [0 bids]
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10h 48m
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FANTOMAS shows & tickets


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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)

3.36 | 36 ratings
Fant˘mas
1999
3.52 | 63 ratings
The Director's Cut
2001
3.32 | 58 ratings
Delýrivm C˛rdia
2004
3.60 | 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
 Delýrivm C˛rdia by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.32 | 58 ratings

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Delýrivm C˛rdia
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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 Delýrivm C˛rdia by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.32 | 58 ratings

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Delýrivm C˛rdia
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
3.60 | 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
3.52 | 63 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
3.60 | 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
3.60 | 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 Fant˘mas-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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 The Director's Cut  by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2001
3.52 | 63 ratings

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The Director's Cut
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars I'm basically a sucker for Mike Patton. No matter if it's his work with Faith No More, Tomahawk, Mr.Bungle, Fant˘mas, Peeping Tom or the solo material Patton manages to put his own twist into every single one of these projects.

Doing covers of popular movie scores would seem quite harmless unless you let Fant˘mas handle the project! Yes, this type of music idea has already been explored by others, most notably John Zorn's Naked City, but just like I mentioned earlier Patton's projects have his unique twist to them that I just adore. Especially if you have an excellent Death Metal drummer like Dave Lombardo on board who adds that Slayer flavor into the mix that we all expect him to.

This set of compositions is just another crazy output from Mike Patton and the lineup that I can't quite explain so you just have to take my word for it. This material is definitely not recommended to everyone out there which can be understood by looking at the RIO/Avant-Prog tag that this project has received. Sometimes the music is intense, sometimes very diverse but most of the time it's just freaking out-of-this-world!

***** star songs: Experiment In Terror (2:40) Vendetta (1:59)

**** star songs: The Godfather (2:46) Der Golem (2:38) One Step Beyond (2:58) Night Of The Hunter (Remix) (0:58) Cape Fear (1:48) Rosemary's Baby (3:20) The Devil Rides Out (Remix) (1:38) The Omen (1:49) Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer (3:08) Investigation Of A Citizen Above Suspicion (4:00) Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (3:28) Charade (3:04)

*** star songs: Spider Baby (2:26) Untitled (0:04)

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 Suspended Animation by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.60 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by catfood03

2 stars Mike Patton has proven himself to be one of the most prolific and unpredictable musicians in show business in his post Faith No More/Mr. Bungle career. Although I don't even begin to attempt to collect everything he puts out I do like to take a listen to what he's up to now and then.

SUSPENDED ANIMATION is packed with hundreds of ideas, of varying degrees of success. Some "days" have better moments than others, like the spooky intro for "04/11/05 Monday" that sounds like a room full of gurgling ghosts, or "04/27/05 Wednesday" 's sleigh-ride in outer space. Most of the other intriguing moments on this CD involve some manipulation of found sounds or electronic toys.

Patton's former band, Mr. Bungle, was also a band renowned for it's musical spontaneity, but whereas Bungle's songs worked through it's own inner logic, making it easier to digest, the disparate elements of SUSPENDED ANIMATION doesn't hang together nearly as well. It's progression is more akin to rapid-fire channel-surfing than an epic motion picture.

Despite the low rating I'm assigning this release, I must admit that I'm not sorry I bought it. I rarely reach for this CD to play, and when I do it's just to seek out a handful of random tracks, just enough to satisfy a need to hear something wild and chaotic. Perhaps the calendar concept of the song titles was meant to be followed literally, to listen to one track each day. Compressing an entire "month" in 43 minutes is too demanding a listening experience.

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 Suspended Animation by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.60 | 81 ratings

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Suspended Animation
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by James Lee
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars There are almost as many ways to appreciate music as there are music-lovers. Some people go for a good tale, some a danceable beat, some just love the sound of an overdriven B4 through a Leslie.

Me, I'm a sucker for mystery. Give me lyrics that I can't understand, sounds that I can't quite place, and put everything together in a way that confuses and/or frightens me. I don't have to be able to figure it out...in fact, I don't really want to figure it out, because most of the time the answer is so much more disappointing than the mystery.

That's why I like "Suspended Animation" so much. There are a thousand little bits of intriguing pieces that would probably disappoint if they were forced to become 'actual songs'. Strung together with lightning speed (and undeniable skill at rhythm and composition, despite the seeming randomness), your mind tries to make sense of it all...and your results may vary, but the memories and references that these works elicit from me are well worth the lack of typical musical gratification.

Is it madness? By no means. Crazy people make sloppy music (which has its own special merit, as any Syd Barrett or Daniel Johnston fan will agree). Check out one of Fantomas' live clips if you want to see the very antithesis of sloppy.

This is not the splice-happy plunderphonics of media vigilantes like my beloved Negativland; I doubt Patton & company are trying to make any ideological points about anything specific. Nor is this the by-the-numbers, run-of-the-mill, cut-and-paste rhythmic randomness of your typical drum-and-bass track (whoa, hold on to your hyphens!).This is intentional, methodical, yet highly affecting and evocative.

Of course, it helps if you like the kinds of sounds they use. If you're turned off by cartoon soundtracks and extreme metal, you'll be missing a lot of the fun of the band. Personally, I couldn't be happier that Patton left behind the funk-metal 80's and carnival-ska 90's. It does make me wonder how it will stand the test of time...most of Faith No More and at least half of Mr. Bungle seem less impressive and interesting every time I listen.

Ultimately, this is what I consider to be the best of "modern" music...in every sense of the word. This is the soundtrack to our times, technologically hyper and self-consciously (almost sentimentally) retro, yet with a genuine artistic commitment to the work that belies the potential emptiness of its post-modernist approach (say what? Did I really write that?).

Be scared or laugh at it...react however you want, even if it's utter confusion and contempt. But "Suspended Animation" is definitely worth reacting to; though it seems to throw everything at you, none of it is actually disposable - how many albums, even great ones, can make that same claim?

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 Delýrivm C˛rdia by FANTOMAS album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.32 | 58 ratings

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Delýrivm C˛rdia
Fantomas RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Figglesnout

3 stars Fantomas - Delirium Cordia

There will be little to nothing to say about this album, but most everything of what needs to be said will certainly be positive. Delirium Cordia is quite an insane piece of work, and stands as quite the opposite of much other Fantomas work. The album is but one long, 70+ minute song (unless one cuts down on the last quarter hour of noise the album features--one of its few, yet major weaknesses), full of atmosphere and bleak arrangements of somber electricity.

Throughout the album, or song, the mood stays relatively similar, with a few interspersed moments of typical fury-filled and frantic Fantomas thrown in for good measure. The arching theme connecting the album concerns a patient going under for surgery, except that the anesthetization fails and the patient is awake; Delirium Cordia details this patient's senses and emotions while in this claustrophobic, air-conditioned nightmare (couldn't resist.). The tale is harrowing, and the music follows suit.

Patton's vocals are all over the place on this one, with everything from choir arrangements featuring himself, to spine-shattering screams of passionately rendered chaos appearing more than once, taxing the listener as the patient detailed might be taxed. (Don't believe me? Check out some of the other reviews on this site!)

The album, because of its leisurely pace, is even less accessible than former Fantomas albums, and even later ones, as almost all of the quirkiness of the short-bursts-of-song approach is removed, instead replaced with slow-paced, disturbing hints of odd sounds and downright haunting atmospheres. The album is certainly interesting and, in my opinion, better than the more frantic, less focused albums that came before and after this one, though many would disagree with me.

Worth 4 stars when taken on its own, but one must judge the entire record, and therefore, I am forced to give this one but 3 stars due to its nonsense ending. Let it be known that I HATE when artists waste time on the end of their records with silence or noise (see: 90 Hour Sleep, among others, such as this record/song). This is why I can give this album only 3 stars. The record skipping that persists for nearly twenty minutes at the ending of this album, put there just for intimidating length I suppose, is entirely worthless space, and kind of infuriates me.

Certainly this is better than the other Fantomas albums, and certainly it is worth checking out, at your own risk of course. Special props to the disturbing liner art as well. 7 on my scale, 3 stars on this one.

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