The chances are excellent that most people have met Mike Patton, Buzz Osborne, Dave Lombardo and Trevor Dunn before.
Also, it wouldn’t be wise to bet against the fact that those meetings have taken place in nightmares concerning a circus market stocked with poisoned candy and operated by demented minstrels. These primary employees are a nefarious troupe known as FantÃ´mas.
The FantÃ´mas are the agents of a surgical theatre known as DelÃ¬rium CÃ”rdia. Although any procedures performed therein are metaphysical in nature, the multitude of clanging, foreboding and grating melodies do not assuage the listener or patients’ fears.
Truly, patience is a prerequisite to this subconscious template that can only be cursorily appraised as an album.
Of course, beyond the sophomoric play on words, there is a lure to be followed as a seventy-four minute song can only be wondered at before it’s listened to. Being an active experience, FantÃ´mas’ appreciation begins and ends with Mike Patton’s revisionist take on what it means to be a lead vocalist.
Keep in mind that lyrics have no meaningful place in surgical theatres. Amidst ticking clocks, muffled autopsy recordings, and tremors of the night, Patton yelps, mutters and acts out a wordless chorus to his captive audience. Although that group is not trapped, they are denied the due diligence of a carnival as there is only one ride, and that one ride is quite an invention.
By lashing through stereo systems with billows of guitar, dashes of burbling streams and sputtering surgical instruments, the FantÃ´mas figure in the sense of hearing as an additional band member. Ears are expected to take what they will of what beaches itself upon this band’s jaded banks with a totality that also ensnares the imagination. As it goes along, DelÃ¬rium CÃ”rdia elevates itself as a cooperative endeavor.
Musicians too often ask as much of their listeners without providing the tools with which cooperation would become a reality. This leads to the misclassification of bands such as Daniel Ash’s Tones on Tail or the FantÃ´mas as side projects in reaction to an overproducing work due to idle creativity.
Even though he has a resume that includes seminal achievements with Faith No More and Mister Bungle, Mike Patton has forged a new road, one whose bricks have been mortared and laid by dedicated fans.
Where does this promising avenue lead, and is CÃ”rdia even a step forward? On previous efforts, the FantÃ´mas relied on Patton and drummer Dave Lombardo’s channeling of a half-million monkeys in a room with a half-million typewriters. In particular, 2001’s The Director’s Cut weighed on the ear with its tendency towards percussion and shrieking. That recidivism is a dead leaf under the foot of DelÃ¬rium.
As an album, it may be more than the average person can handle, but Mike Patton and his minstrel troupe have never catered to those who occupy the middle of the road.