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The Fantomas Experience - 90%

ZuSNick, September 18th, 2003

This is partially a concert review, but I choose this format because it totally helps to describe the feeling behind this album:

It was November of 2001, and I was on my way to a Tool show with my friends Chris and Jay. We heard that the opening band was going to be Fantomas, and that it included Dave Lombardo from Slayer and Mike Patton from Faith No More and Mr. Bungle. While I hadn't really ever heard either band at that time, I had heard that Mike Patton was a very unusual musician, and that Fantomas was a strange band... that's all I knew. The lights went out, the crowd cheered, and 4 people walked onto the stage. What we heard was something I had never even imagined was possible. In my strangest dreams and most horrific nightmares I never would have even fathomed that music like this could exist. There were loud guitars, odd sound effects, near absence of time signatures, and the shrieks, growls, yells, and sometimes even singing of Mike Patton. I wasn't sure if I liked it.
A few weeks after the show, I became so curious to hear them again that I went out and bought both of their CDs. Their self-titled (well, usually listed as self-titled, but actually called "Amenaza Al Mundo") album brought me right back to the show. The first track threw me off as it had 60 full seconds of just cymbal tapping, but once track 2 kicked in and I heard Mike Patton's familiar shrieks, I felt like I was in the Hartford Civic Center again. The CD is extremely dark, in my opinion, and the music is way more shocking than any controversial death metal band with ridiculous gory lyrics. But Fantomas also does have their comical side, what with all the silly noises Mike Patton can make with his voice, hitting the highest high tones and lowest low growls. If you think your collection of black metal and viking metal bands is the most obscure and unusual music around in the metal scene, think again.