Faith No More

Sol Invictus

Written by: PP on 28/09/2015 21:50:27

After a lengthy eighteen year pause, Mike Patton's insanity experiment with avant-garde rock legends Faith No More continues on seventh album "Sol Invictus", and it's every bit as weird and fucked up as the previous work the band has put together. Deeply entrenched in experimental rock and metal world, the material on "Sol Invictus" is as difficult to describe on paper as the equally peculiar atmospheres of cinematography's equivalent to Patton, Quentin Tarantino. For the past eighteen years, we've seen and heard Patton in various, mind-numbingly complex and strange projects. Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, Lovage and even The Dillinger Escape Plan. Not to even mention the output of his record label Ipecac Recordings which hasn't put out a single conventional record stylistically speaking since its foundation in 1999.

The madness begins on the unpredictable and off-setting title track "Sol Invictus". Classical piano, ominous riffing, spoken word vocals and much more is going on. This song could easily serve as a prelude to the most fucked up track on the record, "Motherfucker", which keeps on repeating "Get the motherfucker on the phone, on the phone" for what seems like an eternity. These experiments of what is possible to do with rock music may be interesting to some, but in reality they pale in comparison to the hard hitting alternative metal of tracks like "Superhero" and "Sunny Side Up". Here, Patton demonstrates his apocalyptic insanity through unique vocal patterns you're sure never to find with other artists. In the meantime, lead guitarist Jon Hudson demonstrates his abilities in everything from avant-garde melodies to grunge rock and mainstream metal riffage, resulting in a cocktail so adventurous it's definitely not for the faint hearted. Still, there's a strong melody line present in both that helps elevate the songs away from the nonsensical experimental mess that is all-too-often the characteristic of Patton projects in general. Likewise, even though "Separation Anxiety" uses experimentation vocally that honestly reminds me of the first Disturbed record or perhaps koRn, the record's powerful chorus is just good songwriting, period.

"Cone Of Shame", on the other hand, feels almost anonymous next to these three. The shredding that constitutes as the main riff is decent, but that's about it. "Rise Of The Fall" packs a whole lot of ambiance into its raging expression but is a little too weird to stick to memory properly. The acoustic experiment of "Black Friday" isn't very good either. "Motherfucker" is just annoying precisely due to its endless repetition, but the album is salvaged by an excellent six-minute piece "Matador" that showcases progressive rock side-by-side with Faith No More's signature alternative metal that created their cult-like following during the 90s. Closing track "From The Dead" is a softer and more optimistic track in its nature, which works as a decent wrap up of an album that's best described as a mindfuck. It's so weird, so experimental and avant-garde in places, yet perfectly fine to use alternative rock/metal choruses elsewhere. Whether you'll appreciate it fully or just partially like the undersigned will surely depend on your view on experimental music in general. Here, the project is interesting and therefore decent, but fails to excite beyond the initial few listens that most rock fans will give it.


Download: Superhero, Sunny Side Up
For the fans of: Mr. Bungle, Fantômas, Tomahawk, Peeping Tom, koRn
Listen: Facebook

Release date 19.05.2015

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