Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Faith No More - Sol Invictus

Ever since 1993, the year I purchased the Video Croissant home video, Faith No More has been my absolute favorite band. I had been a big fan even before, starting in 1989, but seeing that home video is what made them move from the number two spot to number one; overtaking Anthrax. In the years since a few bands have come close. Rob Zombie for one. Also Dragon Ash and King Diamond. But nothing has ever reached that level, even with FNM being broken up for the last 18 years or so.

So you can all imagine my excitement when I heard there was a new Faith No More album in the works. And yet, I almost didn't believe. Knowing how the guys are, and how the reunion in 2007 seemed to peter out for them, I didn't want to get my hopes up until I knew for a fact it was happening. It didn't help that for the last few years the guys had been saying they didn't plan on recording. 

But here we are with a brand new FNM album; Sol Invictus. The hype around it has been bigger than I ever would have imagined. And all the early reviews were really good. But being I don't listen to reviews, I just wanted to judge for myself. 

Needless to say, I rushed out at 10 a.m. on day one and bought the album. I've only listened to it three times through. I won't really be able to say my thoughts on it full for a long while. My FNM album rankings are kind of fluid. The only constant is The Real Thing, which is my all time favorite album.

But so far I'm enjoying the album quite a bit. There has been a lot of comparisons to Angel Dust. Which is kind of false. Super Hero has that sound. But the rest is definitely different, though just as moody. Sol Invictus is also  their mellowest album, but at the same time their darkest. I know its not a concept album, but it feels like one. It makes me think of a Jim Jones-esc cult leader traveling small town America culminating in something sinister. 

Sol Invictus, in its moodiness probably won't grab new people right away. Its not as structured as past releases and the vocals are very layered in parts; causing a cool sound but not being overall hookie. The band has said this album has a more organic sound. Which I can hear. It feels like they could have recorded the whole thing live in some abandoned old church. 

I really have no complaints. The closest thing would be, and its not even a complaint but an observation, is that a few of the songs don't really have an FNM feel. They are more like songs from one of Patton's other bands. Sunny Side Up sounds like Peeping Tom. Matador kind of like Tomahawk. For me, the standouts so far are Sol Invictus, Mother Fucker, and Rise of the Fall.

No matter where this one ends up in the ranking of FNM albums, though I think it will rank pretty highly, I am extremely happy to have new Faith No More music. 

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