By PETER GRIFFIN
POWERSTATION, Auckland - When hard rock act Faith No More imploded a couple of years ago just as the band looked set to make an impressive comeback, it was clear singer-songwriter Mike Patton would not have enough to keep himself occupied in schizophrenic side project Mr Bungle.
Thus, the vocal supremo assembled celebrity mates from Slayer, The Melvins and Mr Bungle to form Fantomas, a death/speed/thrash metal quartet taking its inspiration largely from cartoons and old movie soundtracks.
Despite its niche appeal and non-existent promotion, Fantomas managed to attract a respectable crowd to the Powerstation, but if the youthful Patton devotees assembled were expecting covers of Faith No More classics such as Epic and Midlife Crisis they would have been disappointed - Fantomas doesn't re-visit its commercial roots.
It was the band's new release The Director's Cut that dominated the set list, a soundtrack album that puts a twisted metal edge on theme tunes from the San Francisco group's favourite scary movies.
And Fantomas sped through that album, virtually in its entirety, opening the show with a slaughtered version of The Godfather and going on to cover Henry Mancini's Experiment in Terror and The Omen (Ave Satani), with Patton booming like the Devil himself.
Other highlights included a Black Sabbath-esque take on the Cape Fear theme and a chilling cover of the already icy music from Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer.
Atmospheric, erratic and driven by Patton's vocals, which range from guttural screams to operatic falsettos, Fantomas isn't the next big thing and it isn't radio-friendly. But it is proof that metal is progressing - just where Fantomas will try to take it is less clear.
By PETER GRIFFIN