Search - Fantomas :: Fantomas

Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (30) - Disc #1

First album, released in 1999, by band formed by former Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton, also of Mr. Bungle. Also features members of Slayer, the Melvins, Grip Inc. & Secret Chiefs. At nearly 43-minutes in length, Fa...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Fantomas
Title: Fantomas
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Ipecac Recordings
Original Release Date: 4/27/1999
Release Date: 4/27/1999
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock, Metal
Styles: Progressive, Progressive Rock, Alternative Metal
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 689230000129, 718752440127


Album Description
First album, released in 1999, by band formed by former Faith No More vocalist Mike Patton, also of Mr. Bungle. Also features members of Slayer, the Melvins, Grip Inc. & Secret Chiefs. At nearly 43-minutes in length, Fantomas is comprised of 30 chronologically numbered 'pages', instead of songs. (Ipecac Recordings)

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CD Reviews

Makes mundane chores interesting; repels solicitors
loce_the_wizard | Lilburn, GA USA | 08/21/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Whether you are mopping the kitchen floor, wielding a nail gun on the deck to be, grinding up sausage, trying to kill rodents, or simply breaking stuff, this CD makes a great background. Amazingly, if you play it at high volume, it keeps others from interrupting what you are doing. I also enjoy playing it at loud volumes when folks show up to peddle magazines, save souls, or babble about cleaning gutters. I can just sit and grin, and the Fantomas drive out the unwanted visitors.The CD conjures up the energy of a primordial ocean, nurturing life on the one hand then spawning violent towering waves that wipe the seashore clean."
The Spartacus of Soundtracks
Snow Leopard | Urbana, IL | 08/16/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"[Note: Listening continuously to this album while writing the review, it got upgraded from 4 stars to 5. It has the rare distinction of something I could listen to all day long, although I would probably only put it in once per week.]This is probably not the strangest album ever made, but it certainly sounds that way. Other reviewers will tell you who the musicians are here, but except for preparing you for Mike Patton's Tasmanian Devil scat, knowing that ex-members of Mister Bungle, the Melvins and Slayer are on this album is more misleading than helpful. Most of the time, this is a fast, heavy, manic thing (Patton matches his more-than-usually impressive shrieking and vocal insanity with guitar & high-hat combinations to great effect all over the place), but the mood swings are vast--there are mellow spots, there are out and out eerie spots as well. The fourth track (one of the longest) features a sci-fi keyboard kind of backdrop intercut by crushing drums, male laughter and the (filmic) sound of a woman being tortured--and just as that dies out, a surprisingly ominous, very slow (very Melvins) funeral dirge starts with Patton crooning in his best falsetto over the top; a weird vocal burble follows that reminds me of Pink Floyd's "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a Cave and Grooving with a Pict" briefly, before launching into another quick section of super-heavy thrash, and then an Ennio Morricone section, complete with bullet shot to start it off. By contrast, the fifth track starts with an almost Brazilian sounding percussion thing before slamming off into more blazing, grinding guitars-bass-drum (for a total of 46 seconds). Nor is this just a mash of noises--Page 22 reprises Page 4 and 5 in very abbreviated form. In general, generalization is simply not possible, except to say that it hangs together in a very impressive way. It's easier to talk about the album as a whole.To begin with, the album is meant as a soundtrack to a comic book, with each composition being a page consisting of a variable number of frames. Page 1 has six frames, for instance, but trying to spot where one frame ends and the next begins is a dicey proposition at best, and not necessarily necessary from a listening standpoint. As a result, it should not be surprising that most of the 30 pages clock in between 30 to 100 seconds, so that the only proper way to experience the album is by listening ("reading") for the full 43 minutes from cover to cover. There are no lyrics--only Mike Patton's super-caffeinated vocalizations--so do not expect the music to tell a story; again, the album is background music to the campily pulpy and appropriately fictional comic book "Amenaza al Mundo" ("It Threatens the World").Obviously, reviewing individual songs here would be as silly as reviewing a single page of a comic book. Listened to continuously, distinguishing where one song officially ends from another is as dicey as sorting out the frames within each song, which is entirely the point. Patton has been accused of making self-indulgent noise elsewhere and here as well, but the way he chops conventional (and even non-conventional) song structures into bits here gives a wink to the listener that it's very conscious and done entirely with purpose. You're not supposed to be thinking in terms of songs.More to the point, as an experiment in the musical genre of the soundtrack, it is unusually effective and persuades the listener/reader to pay attention in a way that standard music very rarely does anymore--ironically (and deliberately) so, since a soundtrack is not usually something that takes center stage of one's attention anyway. As a result, it is a soundtrack that eclipses the subject matter (the comic book) to which it is attached. Think of a soundtrack as the whore or the slave of the visuals that it accompanies (be it a book, movie or video) and you will realize that what you have here is a rebellious slave that "Threatens the World" of pop culture's complacency; I wouldn't be surprised to find a musical reference to "Spartacus" in here somewhere. And in an age where music videos seduce us into /watching/ rather than /listening/ (so that we end up buying what is really a rather lame album when we hear it on the CD player without pictures), Patton is reversing that dynamic and reclaiming the sphere of music for music. The comic book, like the pop culture it serves as a symbol for, is fake; only the music is real. And a more "inappropriate" soundtrack for that kind of corny culture object (book or movie) would be hard to image. Listen to this and think "sound track to Spiderman" or "what would the MTV video for this look like" (at 79 seconds average per page) and you will realize what a rebellion against culture is going on here. ..."
Mood music for psychopaths
drumb | milwaukee, wi United States | 10/24/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Listening to the debut album of Mike Patton's new band Fantomas is like spending 40 minutes in the mind of a clinically insane person. Supposedly written as if it were the soundtrack to a comic book, each song is split into several very different sections or frames, just like a comic strip, allowing for maximum listener schizophrenia. Often switching between unsettling ambient film music, dark, bone-crushing metal, and disturbing samples layered over experimentalist noise in the span of no more than 30 seconds, Fantomas is the true musical manifestation of fear and horror, if fear and horror had ADD. Not only is the music completely genius, but Patton has assembled an amazing cast of musicians to flesh out his Fantomas idea. Buzz Osborne (Melvins) and Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle) contribute mathematically complex but incredibly bottom heavy riffs that are all layered over Dave Lombardo's (Ex-Slayer, Grip Inc.) breathtakingly precise and intense drumming. Mike Patton himself then accompanies the carefully calculated instrumentation with a series of sonic shrieks, squeals, soft croons, and screams. The range and diversity of Mike Patton's voice is simply amazing, allowing him to fully utilize it as an instrument instead of just a conveyer of lyrics, in fact, there is not a single actual word spoken on the entire Fantomas record. While still incorporating all of the respective sounds of the Fantomas cohorts, the band also manages to create something completely cutting edge and original, resulting in an album that is guaranteed to sound like nothing else in your CD collection. This album is at the least though a difficult and challenging listen and is something that requires incredible thought and concentration on the part of the listener, no matter how avant-garde the listener's preferences are, but in a time when so many bands are simply content to put out bland radio fodder that any[one] with half a brain can immediately flock too, it is truly inspiring to hear an album that really demands something of its listener. All in all, what Mike Patton has here is a completely new sounding band in every way and although probably about 99 out of 100 people will fail to "get it", that 1 person who does is in for what could easily be called an unprecedented listening experience."