on 22 August 2005
This album is definitely the best thing that Mike Patton has released since Mr. Bungle's "California" album. On this album, instead of featuring short 30 second musical vignettes of undeveloped ideas as on all of Fantomas' other 3 releases (albeit cut-and-pasted together on Delerium Cordia), Mike Patton and co. do Mr. Bungle-esque arrangements of film themes from some of the masters of the genre (Morricone, Rota, Mancini...). Although this idea had already been explored by Trey Spruance on Secret Chiefs 3's "2nd Grand Constitution and Bylaws" (worth checking out if you like this one), Patton (as arranger, producer and band leader) definitely brings his own unique spin to these tunes in the arrangements and his vocals are the best he has done for fantomas (he has to sing the melody lines of these film themes as opposed to his normal "wacka-jawaka-shaka-splaka" nonsense for fantomas). Highlights include the opening "Godfather" theme tune (sombre strings one moment, giving way to 200mph death metal), "Experiment in Terror" (loungey spy music giving way to swinging metal, with MP's vocals on top form), "Twin Peaks" (Trip hop-sounding tune with another great vocal performance) and "Charade" (genre bending bungle-ish sounding arrangement with a great demonstration of Patton's stylistic range vocally). Sadly, as great as this album is, the fact that Patton didn't write any of the music on the album himself is further proof that Patton's hectic work ethic/schedule is preventing him from producing any of his own tunes to match the quality of his songs for "California".
on 20 August 2001
i bought the debut album two years ago and took it back to the shop the same day. i might just go and revisit it now. this album is brilliant. it suits patton down to the ground to do this sort of thing. patton has always been about bringing tremendous atmosphere to his songs whether they be FNM ballads such as just a man, or bungle tracks such as pink cigarette. what better genre for producing atmospheric tunes than film soundtracks? some bits are slow and melodic, others would make speed metal freaks want to go and sit in a chill out room. there is a definitely dark and sinister theme which dominates the album (most tracks are taken from horror films), and there is a lot of singing which patton has always done so well (unfortunately, totally absent from debut album). it is also very reminiscent of the more extreme side of mr. bungle, particularly bits of disco volante. if you're wondering whether or not to get this album or the debut, go for this one first, you will not be prepared for the debut unless you do, no matter how much you like patton. why only four stars? - it's not long enough. Oh, and don't expect it to allow you to win friends and influence people, on hearing this most peolple will think you are insane for liking it.
on 15 July 2003
Mike Patton is a man of many talents. Strange, self-obsessed and eclectic, his midas touched has graced the records of several acclaimed bands in the last decade, including Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, Tomahawk, and now the Fantomas. Featuring members of the Melvins, Mr. Bungle and Slayer, this band forms some kind of 'anti-supergroup', aiming to expand and confuse their listener's minds, rather than squeeze a few more dollars from their collective fanbases.
The record takes an all new perspective on some classic movie scores. From the opening visceral assault of 'The Godfather' to the electro, dare I say, trip-hop version of Twin Peaks 'Fire Walk With Me', this album never lets you settle. Patton has never been one to go with the flow, and here he pokes and prodes at your sense of musical decency, taking stone cold classic movie soundtracks and daring to put a new slant on them. But the simple fact is that in most cases its worked. This album is really good. Patton, the Melvins, and Mr.Bungle can produce utter toss at times (look no further than the Fantomas awful first album), but this is proper Patton. Proper music. Not just distrion and samples and noise, but top quality versions of great songs. On first listen you might not get the fact that Charade was a great song, but thats not the point with the Fantomas. Quite frankly if i got this on first listen I'd be disappointed.
But anyway, enough of my ramblings. Buy this.....seriously.....you won't regret it.
on 19 December 2014
Fantomas are an unusual band and this is a very unusual album. They take the main score or soundtrack to many classic films, dissect them and fill them with their own chaotic brand of rock, metal and weirdness. If that doesn't sound appealing, beware, as you'll be denying yourself a seriously good musical treat!
The album does make use of the sound / style of music the three 'famous' names are known for. 'The Godfather' dives in and out of being faithful to the original and a thrash metal song (Dave Lombardo, Slayer), 'Der Golem' has a gigantic and heavy, slow groovy riff very typical of sludge metal (Buzz O, The Melvins) and then there is the mix of everything strange one has come to expect from Mike Patton e.g. the frankly bonkers 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Experiment in Terror.'
Some of the film/song titles will be familiar, others are pretty obscure. I personally was only really familiar with 'The Godfather' theme, but that in no way lessened my enjoyment of the other tracks, indeed, you don't need to know the originals at all to appreciate this album as most of them are barely recognizable to the originals, at least in style and delivery. Take 'the Godfather' for example, in 3 minutes it goes from a very faithful cover of the original, to a frantic thrash metal version of the main melody with 'scat' vocals, and kung fu-esque noises you'd expect to hear from a fighting game like 'Tekken,' back to a mellow, operatic outro...and it's amazing! It shouldn't work at all really on paper, but it does!
The album is short, sharp and concise. Songs rarely go over 3 minutes and not one of them feels like a filler, unwelcome or self-indulgent, although you could argue that both tracks labelled '(Remix)' ('Night Of The Hunter' and 'The Devil Rides Out' are basically skits.
There are a lot of 'what the hell!?' moments here, but that is to be expected and should be embraced, even though 'Rosemary's Baby' is, frankly, one of the weirdest and most unsettling things I've EVER heard! This ISN'T very accessible music, but if you're a rock or metal fan bored with what you're hearing and want to hear something VERY different and exciting, I'd highly recommend this, although it definitely isn't for the masses.
The delivery was quick, well packaged and well presented.
Mike Patton (Faith No More) leads the alumni of The Melvins, Slayer, and Mr Bungle through a succinct collection of jazz-metallised movie theme tunes. Hear "The Godfather" in a 126 second speed metal assualt. As clear an example as any of the invention and importance of production, arrangement and presentation of a song instead of the mere writing of it, as there can be. No saccahrine, unimaginative, replications here but sharp, witty, and utterly faithless liberties are copiously stolen. The only imperfection is the last minute absence of the controversial reimagining of the "Flashdance" theme.
on 11 January 2009
Quite simply one of the most impressive albums I have ever heard... and I have lost it!
Every track is utterly astounding. From the sheer power and energy of Cape Fear to the surprising Twin Peaks FWWM cover with added lyrics.
So good, I had to buy it twice.
on 11 April 2016
I pretty much love everything that comes from Mike Patton :) This album is not an exception. As a massive film fun, this album was for me always a bit of a gem :)
on 31 May 2013
I get everything on time and in perfect condition everything went great. Will I ever buy later Thank you for all
on 27 March 2015
Thank you! Not heard this in years and it came up in conversation so finally treated myself to a copy.
on 9 July 2001
This is a great album. Though not as strange as Fantomas's self titles debut it certainly is very much different from anything else released at the moment. Though not for everyone it can be certainly said that this band is very original. The album consists of 15 covers (track no.13 is 6 seconds of nothing). The covers are very atmospheric and often soothing, but with most of the tracks it suddenly goes mad, with drums, violent guitaring and trademark Patton weird noises. The first track is a great example of this. 'The Godfather' starts off with a slow and chilling melody to then turn into complete madness. This album at times is quite funny. For those who are tired of all the stuff on MTV, this is certainly different.