Suspended Animation
(Ipecac Recordings)
Enslain Magazine Volume 2, Issue 1
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If there is a fine line between brilliant and rubbish, Suspended Animation is on the very edge of brilliant. The concept here is a (sometimes) musical representation of 30 unusual - but actual - "days" of the month of April. For example, while being subjected to the surreal barrage of punk-speed metal, noise and cartoon music on this disc, one also learns, for example, that April 6th is "Plan your Epitaph Day." The CD booklet (Limited Edition) is bound as a small calendar, with illustrations for each day by Yoshitomo Nara. His images tend to portray pre-adolecent angst, and seem to fit the musical themes presented here rather well.

This disc is controlled chaos at its best. While the compositions are vague in form, and erratic in tempo and mood changes, they are still performed with precision. This is quite clear from the production value, which is very good. While it may not sound like it at first , the compositions are carefully arranged, with a specific dynamic purpose, and not just noise for the sake of noise. While this work is the vision of Mike Patton, the other performers - Trevor Dunn (Mr Bungle), Buzz Ozborne (The Melvins), and Dave Lombardo (Slayer) - expertly aid into bringing this aural nightmare to life.

I should avoid making any comparisons to this work with that of Mr. Bungle (Yes, you know who they are, or should I say, "were"). All I will say is that "Suspended Animation" may not be "Bungle" enough, if that is what one is expecting, but there is plenty to digest for the open-minded, daring listener. There is a fair balance of parts between the bombastic "metal" sections, cartoon music and other samplings, and the wide array of Patton's vocal sounds/noises. On occasion, one hears what sound like real words, but they are decidedly unintelligible. Since this record is only about 43 minutes long, with 30 tracks, the compositions are concise, and end before they become superfluous. I recommend a full listen of the disc as a whole each time. Certainly recommended to the adventurous listener. Have a listen and fall down the rabbit hole, won't you? --