After last year's Delerium Cordia, a 74-minute slab of autopsic ambience, avant-metal supergroup Fantomas return to the schizoid, scream-a-second form of their earlier work. Suspended Animation, the band's fourth full-length, is a relentless barrage of blasting hardcore, demonic drones, breakneck dropouts, and Mike Patton's classic array of vocal spasms. What sets Suspended Animation apart from Fantomas' other work is the heap of cartoon sound effects, playground singalongs, and toy samples that pepper the songs. Consequently, the album sounds like an episode of "Loony Tunes" wherein Bugs Bunny got jacked up on crystal meth and is chasing Daffy Duck down Sunset Boulevard with a tommy gun.
The album certainly won't win Patton & Co. any new converts, but fuck 'em. For those already rapt by Fantomas' aural horrorshow, Suspended Animation is a delicious addition to the catalogue.
The artwork alone is worth the price of admission: packaged like a full-colour page-a-day calendar (for April 2005, natch), each day of the month is represented on CD by a song and on the calendar by an illustration by Yoshitomo Nara, Japan's Keith Haring of crayons.