Fantomas
Suspended Animation


4.5
superb

Review

by Werny USER (10 Reviews)
April 21st, 2005 | 24 replies | 9,633 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


5 of 6 thought this review was well written

[url]http://www.sputnikmusic.com/review_2137[/url]

Fantomas have gathered quite a following through out alternative culture. They released a self titled album in 1999, which was made to be a soundtrack to a French pre-WW2 graphic novel. It featured 30 songs, one for each page of the book, and through the whole album Patton doesn't speak a word, choosing instead to say seemingly random syllables.

In (I think) 2001 they released a covers album of 70's film theme songs, called The Director's Cut. Slightly more normal, but then again, have Fantomas ever been normal?

In 2004 they released the haunting epic Delirium Cordia, one 74 minute song of noise, ambience and sheer horror.

All albums of the Fantomas are based on one thing: Unpredictability. You can never tell what the next song, page, moment or day is going to be like, especially with their vast repetoire of samples, and Mike Patton's extremely versatile voice.

On April 5th 2005, they released Suspended Animation, a tribute to children's music and the month of April. There are thirty songs, each representing a day of April. First thing you must know about this album is the packaging. This is worth the price of admission alone. It is a thirty day calendar for April, with glossed paper and it's also ring binded. Each day has 3 things; an illustration by Japanese pop artist Yo***omo Nara, which are sometimes cute, sometimes scary, thought provoking, or just funny. It also lists different national holidays held in different countries (though it's mostly USA), and has a little awesome cartoon of a baby which is dressed up differently each day (goth, afro hippie, ninja, geek, you get the idea), which are extremely cute.

The whole packaging is made to look like a Japanese calendar (it has Japanese writing in some places), and it does it perfectly, it even has little holes for you to pin it up (but you wouldn't) and a space to put your name. Gorgeous. But it's innocence decieves you, of course.

Doing a day-by-day review of this album would take hours of listening, even weeks, because there is so much unpredictability and variety that it's impossible to keep up with it all. A riff will be played twice, and the song will change completely.

I'm not sure whether Patton is saying anything on this, but I'm pretty sure he's not. Buzz does a bit of singing on the 10th day, and does very well, I'm pretty sure he's saying something.

The whole album is abundant with funny samples from cartoons or effects the band have made themselves. Sometimes it's spooky, sometimes it's funny. And I'm sure if someone was brave enough to check they'd find that about 1/5 of this album is samples.

The vocals go from 50's Jazz crooning, to operatic howling, to weird sounds, to harsh, freaky (one part, there's all of these samples goin' on and Patton says in this downright scary voice "QUIET!!!"), and just about every style you can think of. Patton is a genius, the best vocalist ever.

The drumming has a very rich sound, very soft and thudding, it suits the metallic music well. Dave doesn't get to show off like other albums, though, except for when he follows the vocals with excellent cymbal tapping.

I can't hear bass, so I honestly can't comment on Trevor's playing.
Buzz gets a wicked distorted, loud noise out of his guitar that you have to hear to believe. The 6th day has the best sounding riff ever, it's kind of loud and echoey and comes out of nowhere, it kicks. Oh, and unlike Melvins, don't expect any solos, this is a solo-free zone.

The riffing goes from fast, almost punkish, to sludgey and thudding (Buzz shines here), to loud and bombastic.

Basically, the album is very all over the place and loud, and sometimes scary (not to the extent of their other material, it's more "that is weird" then "AAAGH!!!"). Don't purchase this wanting beautiful melodies, straight out metal and awesome lyrics. Instead, prepare to be challenged, creeped out and most of all, surprised.

An excellent album, well worth the purchase for the packaging, but the album is near-perfection too.



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...


Comments:Add a Comment 
the2stranger
April 21st 2005



130 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

nice review, very nice.
it's pretty hard reviewing a fantomas album, but you did great.
I'll pick up this cd soon, (all copies we're sold out when I came to my recorstore )

br3ad_man
Emeritus
April 22nd 2005



2125 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is a lot better than their last 2 albums.

Damrod
Moderator
May 9th 2005



1093 Comments


Before anyone complains: No, this album has 30 tracks on it

Dancin' Man
May 9th 2005



719 Comments


I've not heard this. The only Fantomas albums I've hear all the way through are Delerium Cordia and Directors Cut. How does this relate to those two. I assume it's closer to Directors Cut.

Raiven
June 27th 2005



37 Comments


Listening too this album keeps making me think one thing:

What the fuck!?

Either Mike Patton has completely lost the plot or he is a genius.

This album is one of the most interesting and fun ones too listen too ever, Delirium Cordia was one sick and twisted piece of music because of how dark it is, this one is equally as twisted because of how jolly and happy it is while being filled with death metal moments.

Werny
July 16th 2005



148 Comments


The 4th day, and I think there's one other one, are the only parts I'd call Death Metal. I think this particular album is more punk than metal, but yes (especially the whopping sludge of the 3rd day) there is metal.

You can't really put this album in a genre... it's like ambience, punk and metal.

Werny
July 16th 2005



148 Comments


Oh, and why did the names of the songs change?

Zmev
September 11th 2005



983 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album it crazy go nuts, at times a bit much.

Werny
November 7th 2005



148 Comments


Ok, my question hasn't been answered. I know this is me at my most sad and obsessive, but why oh why did someone change the song titles? I'm not going to change them back, because I suppose a mod did it, but yeah... why? They're incorrect, the ones I had before are right, seeing as that's how they are on the cover.

omgwtfboogie
December 27th 2005



211 Comments


This album is amazing. Just beneath Tool's Lateralus in its genius.

Might be hard to listen to for some, but if you're one of those people you're prolly not reading this anyways.

Kulver
March 28th 2007



12 Comments


To answer your question, Werny. There's a calender that comes with the album, and apparently each of the days are labeled as something. I don't actually have the album (I've heard it though), but that's what people say.

Good album and review overall.

antihippy
March 31st 2007



696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

got this today and it was absolutely ace. i literally jumped when i saw this in the record store. quite embarassing really.

FixYourFace
January 30th 2008



21 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is absolutely fucking insane! Listening to this album on surround sound is ace. Mike Patton is a genius.

DeathByAstonishment
September 23rd 2012



269 Comments


If I want to experience mental illness I'll drop some acid. This is ridiculous.

TheRedSizer
February 13th 2013



42 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Manic as hell but I can't stopping listening to it! This is excellent but delerium cordia is still their best IMO

Luminara
March 10th 2014



68 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Mai gawd...
This album is nothing but an eargasm of delightful sounds.
*orders a copy*

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2014



7838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album rules

Slut
March 10th 2014



905 Comments


Need to jam this band more

Insurrection
Contributing Reviewer
March 10th 2014



19504 Comments


still gotta hear this one

Digging: Cult Leader - Nothing for Us Here

FiveLeavesLeft
Staff Reviewer
March 10th 2014



7838 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is nostalgic because Fantomas were one of the first metal bands I listened to as a kid



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