By Erik Fong

Delirium Cordia

The first of two Fantomas discs to be released within the next year, Delirium Cordia was postponed for several months due to a delay in the artwork and packaging - a transparent black jewel case and glossy black liner notes filled with intriguing (and entirely appropriate) surgical illustrations. Disturbing? Nah. It's just a day in the mind of frontman Mike Patton.

Fantomas' music has never been for the weak of attention span, and Delirium Cordia is no different. Don't bother trying to skip through the tracks if you get bored or impatient - there's only one track, and it's 74 minutes long. Part of the attraction to Delirium Cordia's one-track nonsense is that it's almost impossible to memorize, and therefore it maintains its unpredictability, but as annoying as that is, it fits the artwork and the ambient sounds all too well. The whole experience is basically like one 74-minute coma. Not to say that it's boring. It's not as straight-forward as The Director's Cut, nor is it as hyperactive as the debut album, but Delirium Cordia is certainly not something that you put on when you're in your pickup truck out in the desert after you've worn out all your Skynyrd tapes. The only way for this album to be effective is if you put everything aside, sit down, turn the lights out, close your eyes and ask the Holy Spirit Himself for the mindf**k of the century. Yes, it's your own personal horror movie.

But what's it sound like? Most of the album is filled with samples and quick soundbytes separated by low frequency drones; don't expect too much from Buzz (Osborne, guitar), Trevor (Dunn, bass) or Dave (Lombardo, drums). Actually, don't expect much from Patton either. Aside from a few chants, some trademark cackles and yelps, and a callback to "Page 4" from the first album, he's pretty reserved. Like most of Patton's experimental adventures, Delirium Cordia is an acquired taste, almost a sociological test that toys with the human nature of anticipation and wanting what we can't have, and wanting it now; creating our own unfounded expectations and brimming with anger when those unfounded expectations go predictably unfulfilled. Think of this one as a nude Carmen Electra air dance, a never-ending tease with absolutely no payoff. If you're a fair-weather fan, you might like it; odds are you won't. But on the bright side, the pictures are pretty cool.

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