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The Director's Cut

4.5 out of 5 stars 68 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 13, 2015
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DIRECTOR'S CUT

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Film music and the artier end of the rock spectrum have enjoyed a slightly bent connection since the early '80s, when the noir-savvy California new wavers of Wall of Voodoo made clear Ennio Morricone's influence on their work. Fantomas's second album, The Director's Cut, is in that somewhat playful spirit. The all-star ensemble--ex-Faith No More frontman Mike Patton with members of Slayer, the Melvins, and Patton's Mr. Bungle--adapts disturbing (or at least spooky) themes by Bernard Herrmann, Henry Mancini, Morricone, and others. The bruising but often campy (there is no track 13) result works more often than you'd expect; Nino Rota's Godfather and Harry Lubin's (TV) One Step Beyond excerpts are put through more than effective paces. It's clear that, despite the occasional (inadvertent?) Iron Maiden homage, Patton and friends have no interest in keeping a straight face on this. That's fine, but Patton's goofy lyrical interjections on several of these tunes turns them into not-very-funny cartoons. Still, it's the rare sympathetic listener who won't be driven to check out obscure flicks like Der Golem and The Devil Rides Out. --Rickey Wright
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 13, 2015)
  • Original Release Date: January 13, 2015
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: IPECAC RECORDINGS
  • ASIN: B00005JA7D
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (68 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #86,720 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Having finally gotten around to picking up Delerium Cordia, I still find the The Director's Cut is the most interesting and mind-blowing release of Patton's post-Bungle work. Thus far. If you're a fan of Bungle's darker material but tend to furrow your brow at Patton's more esoteric vocal albums, well, this is definitely for you.

These renditions of famous cult film themes belong in a dimension all their own. From the opening notes of 'The Godfather,' (quiet Italian melodies that quickly burn away into a precision battery of Death Metal prowess...) to the earthy and turntable-fied take on Lynch's 'Twin Peaks: Fire walk With Me,' you get all pistons firing and all facets shining of Fantomas's demented and hair-raising theatrics.

The meat of this is Lombardo's drumming (anyone from Slayer is beyond reproach, in my book) and Patton's voice. As always, the man is unbelievably protean- few lyrics on this, but his vocal dynamics swing (effortlessly) from blood-curdling (The Golem) scream to ominously childlike- little-girl childlike at that- sing-song(Rosemary's Baby). In 'Cape Fear' he uses his shrieks as the string section of that film's classic theme- it works PERFECTLY! At times Patton works lines from the film into the music to add to the all-out creepy aesthetic, like where he chants "IT's EITHER YOUR OR THEM... you or them..." On the atmospheric rendering of 'Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer,' and the obvious terror of, "What have they done to it's eyes!?!" from Rosemary's Baby.

Osbourene and Dunn are capable and consistent as always. But this is Mike and Dave's show, I think. Other instruments are used from tmie to time to flesh out the tunes. Now- There are a few tracks that fall short, where the theatrics come off as corny rather than threatening.
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Format: Audio CD
If I were to pick my dream band it would consist of every member of Fantomas except Trevor Dunn (who is still a magnificent bassist). Mike Patton, along with being unquestionably the best vocalist in rock music, is my idol. Melvins (another of my favorite bands) guitarist King Buzzo is unrelenting with his blistering guitar riffs. Trevor Dunn does get drowned out at times, but is still an amazing bassist, whether playing an electric or standup bass. Dave Lombardo is just amazing. All I can say is listen to "One Step Beyond", and you will understand what I mean. Put all these pieces together, and the product is utter perfection. With this album Patton and the boys decide to take some of their favorite musical pieces from motion pictures and re-create them in a speed/death metal style. Unlike their first album, Directors Cut actually has lyrics rather than only using the vocals as another strange sounding instrument. Fantomas even throws in a pop number, "Experiment In Terror", just to set you up for the blistering, "One Step Beyond". Now, I will admit that Directors Cut is not for everyone. Many Patton fans will be turned off by Fantomas. But, if you are disgusted with all the untalented dung being played on every radio station these days, then Fantomas is your savior.
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Format: Audio CD
The idea of a director's cut is the restoration of an artist's vision after some outside pressure has caused it to be cut, edited or changed in ways not in keeping with her or his vision. And it is precisely restoration, I think, that lies at the heart of this project.
This is an album of movie music covers, mostly older horror films ("The Omen", "Rosemary's Baby" and the like). Just a couple of songs into my first listening of it, though, and my whole sense of the word "heavy" in heavy metal had already been altered. Musical styles changed before my ears, without warning, in ways I'd never heard before--superamped thrash death segued to stuff that reminded me of more psychotic versions of Alice Cooper's "Steven" trilogy, to spaghetti westerns and lounge music, to indescribable stuff. Vocals from lilting falsetto to Tasmanian devil scat. Guitars that made me realize Buzz Osborne is far more talented than I ever gave him credit (and I already give him a lot of credit). I sat, amazed and mesmerized, as music and what I understood as music were reinvented and renovated for me. This doesn't happen often, and I knew that I had found the coolest thing I would find for quite some time. (Which wasn't true...I got Fantomas' first album very shortly after.)
Other reviewers prefer this album (to Fantomas' first) because the songs are more song-like, which only exposes their own limited definition of song--a definition Fantomas as a band delights in twisting, abusing, turning inside out and so forth. Besides that, cover tunes will inevitably be more tune-like, since the originals are. Other reviewers constantly draw comparisons with the bands from which the Fantomas members have come, partly in order to characterise the sound, I suppose, but often with a note of disappointment.
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Format: Audio CD
...and it is in re-working film scores. Patton, Mr. Bungle, and the Melvins have always been incredibly artistically diverse and ambitious, yet before I heard this album it sounded like, you know, a good idea, but one that might not actually sound that great.
Man, was I wrong. This album is a stunner, a musical monument that takes a bunch of movie standards from a relatively diverse field of composers and puts them together as a pretty cohesive album that actually hangs together more coherently than Fantomas' first self-titled album. Whereas that album was an introduction to the sound and aesthetic of the supergroup (Mike Patton of Faith No More/Mr. Bungle, drummer Dave Lombardo from Slayer/Grip Inc., Buzz osborne, mastermind behind the Melvins, and bassist Trevor Dunn from Mr. Bungle). A sprawling epic with many moods, tempos, and sounds, it still sounds less schizophrenic and more coherent than the first record.
Higlights, to this listener, include: a stunningly heavy version of Bernard Herrmann's _Cape Fear_ theme, done a la Black Sabbath; a beautifully demented take on the "Rosemary's Baby_ theme; Ennio Morricone's _Investigaton of a Citizen Above Suspicion_, which in the hands of Fantomas sounds like a mix between Rammstein and the 70's soundtrack funk of _Fantastic Planet_; a speed-metal take on the _Godfather_ theme song; the _Twin Peaks:Fire Walk With Me_ theme, with Patton imitating the child-like jazz stylings of Jimmy Scott; and a deliciously mutated slamdance take on the _Omen_ theme song _Ave Satani_.
Overall, the playing is jaw-dropping, the production is clear and crunching, and the moods are spellbinding. Best album of 2001? I haven't heard anything this inventive anywhere else yet...
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