Fantômas is a musical group whose sound can best be described as a schizophrenic adventure through the world of an Alfred Hitchcock thriller. The music of Fantômas is both unstable and methodical as well as beautiful and chaotic. Multitalented brainchild Mike Patton and musical cohorts Trevor Dunn, Dave Lombardo, and Buzz 'King Buzzo' Ozbourne return with a masterpiece of ambience filled avant-garde jazz akin to John Zorn or Sun Ra.
Delirium Cordia, the third full-length from the musical supergroup, is comprised of several separately composed pieces that were surgically assembled into one 76 minute track. In fact, the entire album is inspired by Patton's viewing of images of various surgical procedures, which can be viewed in the booklet. While writing for the album, the members got together and wrote each segment on its own, which were later arranged into the eccentric masterpiece. As the listener navigates through the different segments, they are greeted with dynamic sounds that contain components from the two previous Fantômas releases. As the various soundscapes fade in and out of sequence, the music tells the story of a the emotional instability that occurs during the dramatic events of a surgery. The unconventional music is further explored through the use of unique instrumentation. While the guitar work of 'King Buzzo' is heavy on the use of effects and distortion, at times regressing to concise fast-paced and thrashy guitar riffs, the bass-playing of Dunn is ultra-heavy and resonating like the sound of a cello. Normally known for his sonic-fast drummer, Lombardo instead slows things down with varying techniques as well as the use of bongos and cans. Perhaps the most unique musical elements that can be found are the introduction of the didgeridoo and the bull roarer (cue in around the 25 minute mark), a device that you might remember Crocodile Dundee used to 'phone for help.' The presence of vocals is very limited throughout, but when utilized comes in typical Patton fashion of equal parts soothing melodies, screeching screams, and even onomatopoeic vocalizations. Simple electronica additions further enhance the eerie mood already conveyed throughout the album.
Delirium Cordia is the perfect amalgamation of a soundtrack to a suspense-thriller and a surgical procedure gone horrifically wrong. The world of a surgeon with dementia has never been expressed so simply. If you're the least bit curious, it's time to be locked in a dark room alone with a pair of headphones and not just listen to this record, but experience it.
9.5 / 10
Posted July 26, 2011, 11:37 a.m.
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