Suspended Animation


Mike Patton and his fellow mad-hatters in Fantomas have been keeping quite busy these days. Following the single, 72-minute exercise in the sonic macabre that was last year’s Delerium Cordia, the supergroup puts down the rusty surgical tools and acidic astringents to quickly return to form (loosely speaking) with Suspended Animation.

The schizophonic speed-metal snippets first conceived on Fantomas’s debut return here, but with more atmosphere, layers and grating textures. Seeing as he’s a more able conductor nowadays, Patton is able to channel his infinite wellspring of ideas and charmingly oddball indulgences more effectively through his troupe of musical miscreants. Animation is an homage to Japan-pop, flipbook cartoons and seemingly The Boredoms and Melt Banana, all narrated by Fantomas in the month of April. Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara beautifully illustrated the spiral-bound calendar and 30-page liner notes, and the 30 tracks here show the band plowing through each day of this month as if it were the last.

In Mike Patton’s mindset, April’s showers are atom bombs, and the moods of each passing day frazzled by chaos, Ritalin addiction or hysteria. The torrents of sound provided by his loyal foils — Buzz Osbourne, Trevor Dunn and Dave Lombardo — splatter the spectrum of hyperkinetic heaviness. Sludge grooves and double-bass thrash combat Patton’s brain-scrambling electronic effects and samples. The latter serves as calm-before-the-storm interludes in between the louder days of the month. Throughout, Patton’s familiar yelp and howl give way, in rare moments, to ominous chants and his patented rock god scowl.

If you’re familiar with Mike Patton’s post-Faith No More work, Animation shouldn’t come as too much of a shock, especially after Cordia lobotomized many with its carnival of horrors. Fantomas’s latest proves their finest since the film score overhaul of Director’s Cut. Patton’s work ethic is almost awe-inspiring, as he’s able to manage a hundred projects at a time. Whether that compromises the material hasn’t been made too apparent. Just like the material in this suspended opus, you’re bound to wake up each day in his crazy world and discover something new.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Recently on Ink 19...

  • Gary Wittner
    Gary Wittner

    Too Modern for Me. (Invisible Music Records) Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Willard Gayheart & Friends
    Willard Gayheart & Friends

    At Home in the Blue Ridge (Blue Hens Music). Review by Carl F. Gauze.

  • Alex McArtor
    Alex McArtor

    Touch/Are You Alone (Bigmac Records). Review by Stacey Zering.

  • Superstar

    Sex, drugs, adultery, murder and finally, redemption – it’s all intertwined in the tale of Trent Davis, the “star” of author Christopher Long‘s latest, Superstar.

  • Moloko Plus
    Moloko Plus

    Moloko Plus is a monthly experimental music event in Orlando, Florida.

  • General Magic
    General Magic

    General Magic invented the smart phone in 2002, but just couldn’t get it to market. That’s just how they rolled.

  • Blue October
    Blue October

    Alternative 90s rockers Blue October rolled into Central Florida for a two-night run at House of Blues, and Michelle Wilson was blown away.

  • Pahokee

    Pahokee produces sugar cane and poverty, but some the brighter students might make it to the big time with a college degree and a new zip code.

  • Sumo Princess
    Sumo Princess

    When An Electric Storm. (Educational Recordings) Review by Bob Pomeroy.

  • Laura Valle
    Laura Valle

    Charismatic. Review by Stacey Zering.

From the Archives