Faith No More - Sol Invictus

by D R Pautsch Rating:8 Release Date:2015-05-19

Faith No More have always been contrary buggers. Their breakthrough album was so epic that they even had a song of that name on it. They followed this up with an album that contained a near identical cover of The Commodores' hit 'Easy'. So an easy-listening follow-up? 

No, not at all. Angel Dust is one of the most influential albums of its type, with moments of genius and inspiration that flirt with what audiences deem comfortable as lyrical content. Just listen to 'Be Aggressive'. 

They disappeared after Album of the Year, which, unlike Angel Dust, was far from it. Seventeen years later they are back. And just to confound your expectations, they haven’t done a reunion tour and milked royalties. Instead, they have released a tight and short batch of new songs that sound fresh and remind you of all the bands in-between that owe a debt.

There are moments on Sol Invictus which sit alongside the best Faith No More have recorded. Not just in terms of musical content and lyrical content but also in attitude. Bands like Limp Bizkit, Papa Roach, Korn, and perhaps the whole nu metal generation have taken their attitude from Faith No More. So a return that sounded like the middle-aged men they are wouldn’t work. Sol Invictus needed fire in its belly. 

A brief look at the tracklisting will tell you that with titles such as 'Motherfucker', 'Separation Anxiety' and 'Black Friday', the attitude is here. Hell, even 'Sunny Side Up' is snarling and pumping its way into your synapses by hook or by crook."‘I’d like to peel your skin off," Mike Patton howls through the slow-building and punishing 'Cone of Shame' - so much for being comfortable in middle-age. 

However, there is also a sense that the band are enjoying themselves. 'Black Friday' could sit alongside Electric Six’s best efforts at times. The demented refrain of 'Superhero' sounds eerily like Public Service Broadcasting's 'Go' from their recently released Race for Space. Such strange comparisons abound.

At less than 40 minutes, this is a short, sweet and wonderful return. More is promised from the band and what is here leaves you glad of that.

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