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FANTOMAS - Suspended Animation   Print  E-mail 
Written by Mark Reed  
Monday, 30 May 2005
Fuck Jazz-Metal, Let's Art.

Somethings never change. Sun rises and sets. George Bush is still a warmongering Cunt. And Fantomas are still, determindedly, stubbornly mining the same obscure seam they always have. “Suspended Animation”, their fifth album in six years, sees them producing what could be regarded as either a) yet another unlistenable art-wank jazz-metal conceit or b) an intruiging attempt at challenging the preconcieved notions of melody and chorus.


It is, both and neither at the same time. Following on from last years “Delirum Cordva” (their biggest selling, and most challenging, sorry, rubbish, record yet), the mighty Fantomas, a part-time ensemble of former members of The Melvins, Faith No More, Mr.Bungle and Slayer, venture even further into a world without melody. Sumptiously packaged inside a 30 day calendar, “Suspended Animation” captures 30 songs in 43 minutes, one per day for the month of April 2005. The soundtrack to an imaginary holiday. (“Delirium Cordva” was similarly, the soundtrack to an imaginary medical operation).


Patton conducts a jazz-metal symphony, a practical maelstrom of screaming, buzzsaw guitars, and best of all, interspersed with darkly mocking variations upon your childhood. Snatches of sound effects from ancient TV shows and fairground rides punctuate the split-seconds of silence between these ambient/jazz-metal ‘soundtracks’, and then a guttaral scream, and shazm, here we go again! It’s like being punched in the face by a slab of comedy death metal who then tickles you.


It may be art, but is it any good?  I think it’s ace, but my brother almost punched me when I stuck it on. Then again he had been up all night. And he likes Rush. So therefore, this CD is ace.


Well. Almost. If you want melodies, or words, or anything that doesn’t sound like God Shitting Punishment Rock on the hoodies of Green Day fans, you’ll be sorely disappointed. If you want to know what the full potential of guitars and drums and bass, that is, something that doesn’t sound like alt.juvenile.deary.punk-pop, then this is worth a listen. Uneasy listening. And all the better for it.



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