Tomahawk - Anonymous
19 June 2007

01. War Song
02. Mescal Rite I
03. Ghost Dance
04. Red Fox
05. Cradle Song
06. Antelope Ceremony
07. Song Of Victory
08. Omaha Dance
09. Sun Dance
10. Mescal Rite II
11. Totem
12. Crow Dance
13. Long, Long Weary Day

It should of course come as no surprise to anyone that an album like this was released by Mike Patton and his circle of talented musicians. Still - the last two Tomahawk albums, while definitely unique stylistically and original sonically, were to a large extent examples of fairly straight forward alternative metal mixed with Jesus Lizard style noise rock and a healthy dose of ominous atmosphere. Indeed, compared to Fantomas, Mr Bungle, Moonchild and most other Patton-related projects, Tomahawk was refreshingly conventional. This is not true of Anonymous, Tomahawk's third LP and while upon first contact with the album this can be a fair disappointment, if we are willing to give the music a chance, it is possible to find some great stuff here.

Anonymous contains reworked versions of "anonymous" Native American songs and tribal chants, interpreted in a way that makes them sound right at home on a Tomahawk album. One could just visualize a group of Native Americans gathering around the camp fire, taking out their peace pipes and then... cranking up the amps and performing as a rock band. Admittedly, being totally unfamiliar with anything Native American related, its possible I'm visualizing something completely wrong (or even offensive) here but this is what I immediately thought of. Needless to say, the result is akin to witnessing some sort of ominous ceremony and I guess approaching Anonymous with this "New Age"y point of view is the best way to go. Only then can we properly enjoy the best tracks on this album: "Mescal Rite 1", "Ghost Dance" and "Crow Dance". Meanwhile, "Omaha Dance" and "Cradle Song" will remind us that we are still dealing with a rock band.

I think I would still prefer to hear a new set of rock songs from Tomahawk; however, given the appropriate approach, Anonymous is also a very rewarding listen. Perhaps on their next album, the guys will try to fuse the two styles together. Now that is something I'd like to hear...


Written on 28.07.2007 by
With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.
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Curtis the Bum - 28.07.2007 at 06:52  
hm, never heard of tomoahawk, but if it has mike patton, it sounds promising.
HardSide - 28.07.2007 at 21:21  
noise metal? WTF?
Dane Train - 28.07.2007 at 22:05  
I love Tomahawk, but then again, I love everything Mike Patton seems to do. And this album is no exception. Good review!
Spyroid - 27.01.2008 at 23:27  
The four first tracks are really good but then it's not interesting at all. But Mescal Rite is great!
Very hard to rate, but I'd give it 7 just for the originality.
LethargyMan - 06.02.2008 at 06:53  
I've only started to get into Patton's stuff recently, and one conclusion I drew was that Tomahawk never really thrilled me.

... but when I heard about the source of this album to be Native-American music, it really intrigued me. I should make the effort to get my hands on a copy.
FOOCK Nam - 04.05.2008 at 18:38  
Im a fan of Traditional Native American music, so this one definitely would be collected by me. So interesting mixed metal with native American music,
Herzebeth - 19.06.2008 at 21:54  
This was a letdown for me, I actually liked the more rockish Tomahawk, their debut is something I really worship in every sense of the word, maybe it's not as "weird" as other Patton projects, but as you said.."it's refreshing"... and it's always cool to hear the conventional side of this guy
LethargyMan - 18.08.2008 at 00:03  
I finally did get to listen to this album. Amazing.

It's very dark, but that's probably more for the reason that the music is inspired by a culture that has been dismantled and nearly eradicated through only a few hundred years of hate, greed, and ignorance.
Doc Godin - 16.12.2008 at 13:04  
Written by LethargyMan on 18.08.2008 at 00:03

I finally did get to listen to this album. Amazing.

It's very dark, but that's probably more for the reason that the music is inspired by a culture that has been dismantled and nearly eradicated through only a few hundred years of hate, greed, and ignorance.

Agreed with 100% of that post.

Nice review, this album is either genius or mediocre depending on what your previous experiences are, let me explain:

The camp I used to work at, there was a Tsu-Tina Nation (a north american aboriginal tribe) pow-wow rodeo type exhibition place a few miles away. Once per summer they'd have a big pow-wow and you could hear it from miles around.

Comparing "Anonymous" with what I heard from those pow-wows its incredible how closely Patton & crew were able to replicate the unique rhythmic patterns and vocals (most notably in the track 'Mescal Rite 1'), just amazing to say the least. Until you actually hear aboriginal cultural/heritage music first hand, I doubt one can fully understand the genius behind that masterpiece. Noticing you're from Poland Jupitreas I doubt you've had the chance to experience these types of things (hell, I doubt even most North Americans don't get to overhear an actual Aboriginal pow-wow in person). Try and find some of these types of things on youtube or something, then compare it to Tomahawks 'Anonymous' and your appreciation for this album will probably go up a little.

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