It seems about five minutes ago that Faith No More appeared at Download Festival (2009!) as part of their excellent reunion tour. The hotly anticipated show was just one of many cogs that made that year a pretty exceptional one indeed. Just like Patton hobbling onstage with two walking sticks that day, it has been slow and steady progress since then. We were teased with a bit of “Will they? Won’t they?” regarding a new album whilst still getting some awesome live shows, but just in time for Download 2015, we have a new Faith No More album!
‘Sol Invictus’ is Faith No More’s first album in 18 years. After a career that was congratulated for producing some of the most unique and diverse work of just about any rock band ever and also blamed for Nu-Metal; you have to wonder where they are going to go with this one?
A dark and melancholic intro leads into the absolutely “Mad as a box of frogs” ‘Superhero’ which we’ve had as a preview for a while now. It is an instant stone-cold classic of a FNM track. It’s all over the place; flaunting Patton’s range and FNM’s angular and plentiful time, tone and mood changes.
A complete stormer to start things off then…
Reasonably predictably, ‘Sol Invictus’ is not a straight forward album. Nobody expects a pop rock album with a dozen hit singles and at this stage in their career they can do what they want. It is an album dominated by Patton’s slightly disturbing claustrophobic vocals as he takes on his many personas.
It’s certainly an album for the fans of the more eclectic version of the band. Angular, funky, freaky and everything in between; Faith No More continue their evolution into a genre of their own. Patton’s genius shines through in everything he does and this album is no different. ‘Rise of the Fall’ switches between the melodic and the psychotic like only this man can and that first taster of ‘Motherfuker?’
Well it all makes sense now in amongst this bedlam.
It has to be said that ‘Sol Invictus’ is not a jaw-dropper of a comeback album. There are some brilliant moments here (CB has been screaming “Sunny side up” at random moments for a couple of days now!) and ‘Superhero’ has to go straight into the ‘Greatest Hits’ box with your first listen. It’s maybe lacking a couple more A* tracks though… it can stand proudly with the FNM catalogue and will no doubt add to the live show this summer, but that’s about it!
It does give Faith No More plenty of reason to be still around and playing super-huge shows like Download however; So we’re all happy here at CB!