18 years is a long time to wait for new material from any band, never mind a band that has such a rabid and dedicated fan-base like Faith No More have. But waited we have and lets not beat around the bush. Some of us have been very nervous. Will Sol Invictus be any good? What route will they go down? Can they still be progressive and create genius like the band of old. Well let us put your fears to rest. Sol Invictus is nothing short of a triumph.
This album ticks all the boxes, it’s crazy, it oozes schizophrenia, it has delicious melodies. Just when you think you have worked out what this album is, it will completely change into a whole different monster. The opening title track is a slow burning, brooding, sinister reintroduction to an old friend. ‘Sunny Side Up’ opens as a lounge song of the very sleaziest variety before transforming into something much more violent and smashing you in the face before dropping into some pure funk. It is when we hit ‘Seperation Anxiety’ though that the album really picks up pace. A certain intensity hides behind the music before pouncing into action. It’s at this point you realise that Faith No More are not only back but they have lost nothing of what made them special. They have maybe, dare I say it, improved.
Sol Invictus is the perfect progression in the bands varied yet amazing career. Yes at points it does hark back to albums like Album Of The Year and King For A day but this is something new. It has a new intensity, a new flavour. Everyone is firing on all cylinders throughout. Mike Patton is, as always, on amazing form lyrically and that voice is still the greatest in music. Fact. This isn’t just a Patton led album though. Bill Goulds bass drives the album through its many twist and turns. Roddy Bottums keys flourish and create depths. When the epic majesty of track ‘Matador’ hits, nothing can prepare you, you will be reminded why Faith No More have always been held on such a high pedestal and you will realise how much alternative music has missed them.
All in all Sol Invictus is nothing short of supreme. Bands who have been around as long as Faith No More rarely will take chances this far into their career. Look at bands like AC/DC, Aerosmith, etc. Bands that people will always love but come on, have they really progressed at all over the last 30 years? That’s what makes this band so special, so loved and so important, not just to rock or alternative music but to music in general. Younger bands need to get this album and get back in the practice room. A new standard has been set and once again Faith No more, the crazy uncle of alternative have set that standard.