Faith No More – Sol Invictus (Reclamation Records)Tuesday, 19th May 2015
Pigeonholed by the ignorant, revered by those in the know, Faith No More left a monumental footprint on the scape of alternative music in the last part of last century. While a minority of some old die-hards out there prefer the band’s first incarnation featuring singer Chuck Mosley (with whom the band released their first two albums), it was the arrival of legendary vocalist Mike Patton in 1989 that began the golden era of the band – one that has inspired and influenced countless bands and singers, and propelled the band into the “favorite band of all-time” category for a multitude of people around the world.
With Patton at the helm, featuring his erratic and spastic, supersonic and harmonic vocal presence, the band genre-bent with the best of them, innovating and surprising at every turn. Through the nine-year run together, they released four albums – all regarded as classics to their fans, and none so much as 1992’s Angel Dust. An absolute classic album in every sense, it was this one which showed the world that not only was the band that majorly moved the needle of rock and roll in the late eighties’ transition to a new decade capable of repeat success, it had more depth, creativity and talent in its ranks than anyone could have seen coming, despite clear evidence to the contrary. In what is perhaps the best comeback effort in recent memory (Carcass’ from two years ago was pretty good too), Sol Invictus, the first new FNM album in eighteen years, is it’s best since Angel Dust.
Featuring the same lineup from the last album, Album of the Year, it takes no time at all to realize that Sol Invictus is totally a FNM album, containing all of the energy, dynamic, whimsical delight, diversity and aggression one should expect in such a release, independent of the myriad bands and side-projects spawned in the band’s wake. Patton once again shows his complete prowess as a true A-lister vocalist, delivering only as he can – he, often imitated, but never replicated, as only the elite musicians in rock and roll can be.
With nary a dull moment, no shred of filler or unnecessary songs, Sol Invictus gets in and out in a seemingly fast forty minutes, spanning ten tracks. A nice length which lends itself to consecutive repeat listens, this is an album that feels so familiar, so right, and almost would justify another hiatus if a work of equal proportions were guaranteed…almost.
The first album single “Motherfucker” was released last winter, and at first seemed an intriguing choice, now set in context with the album, shines as a moment of quirky goodness. Following up with second single “Superhero”, the band unveils a gem in what is a new anthem in the catalog. “Sunny Side Up” and “Cone of Shame” are equally sure-fire highlights on this album with no lowlights. Take a listen to “Superhero” below and behold this truimphant return.