Mike Patton is, notoriously, a man of many guises. It, arguably, began with his proud stylistic about-face after Faith No More’s breakout hit “Epic” in favor of the stranger, avant-metal opus Angel Dust. Since then, he’s helmed the bonkers art-funk act Mr. Bungle, brooding hard rockers Tomahawk and recorded for John Zorn’s celebrated Tazdik label. On his work with composer Anthony Pateras as tētēma, he casts out in yet another direction. In “Tenz,” his focus feels more global in scope. Patton’s croaking vocals crouch behind thick , clattering percussion and big bars of distortion like a tiger hiding in bamboo. It sounds like a hymn meant to accompany some strange religious ceremony, full of clanging bells and ghostly ripples of sound before it crests in a full, bracing demonic freakout in its final moments.
tētēma’s debut album, Geocidal, will be released on Ipecac on December 9.