Sol Invictus – Faith No More (2015)

Album art for Sol Invictus - Faith No More

Sol Invictus – Faith No More

After almost two decades of breaking up, Faith No More returned in 2015 with their album entitled Sol Invictus. Sol Invictus is their 7th Studio Album and was released on the 19th of May, 2015.  This marks the band’s fifth album collaborating with Matt Wallace.

In this album, it is not that difficult to notice that the band has dropped their previous style or rap and slap bass.  But in terms of experimenting musically, the band was able to retain the tradition of creating an album with a variety of genres on it, including ska, heavy metal, and post-punk.

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The Sound of Sol Invictus

Sol Invictus is the studio album that Faith  No More fans had been waiting a long time for.  Rumours of a new album started to circulate when the band re-emerged in 2009 with a series of shows.

The Band took their time working on the new songs and avoided conversations about whether the reunited Faith No More would be releasing a new album. Despite Faith No More’s earlier demise Billy Gould continued to write what he called “Faith No More Songs” and had 50-60 songs when recording began for Sol Invictus.

Their single ‘Motherfucker’ would be the closest thing to the old school hip hip or school funk rhythm.   As opposed to their classic style, this album highlights the mid-range vocal flight of Patton.  ‘Superhero’ is also a bit of a misnomer, which seems like the band is becoming an unreliable narrator.

Sol Invictus starts to get interesting through its deep cuts.  One of the first songs that they played live, ‘Matador’, comes with an elaborative production.  It starts with a melodic, melancholic piano reminiscent of the old ballad, and it cascades into a dynamic energy which is indeed a redolent classic of Faith No More.

‘Black Friday’ will make you remember the song ‘Be Aggressive’ which used old-school rhymes but with a refreshing twist.

‘Cone of Shame’ reflects the influence of the modern age in the music industry.  The lead guitar has that evocative tenure of Johnny Marr in the classic Modest Mouse.

Extracting from the traditional formula of their previous albums, the single ‘Sunny Side Up’ is like a modern version of ‘RV’ or ‘Take This Bottle’.  ‘Rise and Fall’ may not have that distinct back-track, but a closer listening, and you will realise that it could easily become the outtake of Angel Dust.

Not all of the songs from the Sol Invictus recording session made it to the album and it’s highly possible that these songs could make it onto another Faith No More album in the future.

Maor Appelbaum helped master the album.

Comparing Sol Invictus with other Albums

Their album Sol Invictus has the essence of consistency that anyone can easily submerge themselves in the music and enjoy it all day long.  But it also has the classic songwriting and spirit of the previous album of Faith No More.

However, while their previous album can be compared to a fine wine that was refined with age, the Sol Invictus emanates the culture and the sound of the present day.  It is indeed a great return for the band but perhaps not their best.

Sol Invictus Track Listing

  1. Sol Invictus
  2. Superhero – Superhero was included in Josh Homme’s Soundtrack for the Palme d’Or-Nominated Movie ‘In the Fade’. It was one of four full tracks chosen to accompany his own compositions.
  3. Sunny Side Up
  4. Separation Anxiety
  5. Cone of Shame
  6. Rise of the Fall
  7. Black Friday
  8. Motherfucker
  9. Matador
  10. From the Dead

The Japanese release has an additional, eleventh, track ‘Superhero Battaglia’. This is a remix by Alexander Hacke of the album’s second track, ‘Superhero’.

Other Releases

Cone of Shame – Sonarworks Tru-Fi release

Cone of Shame album art for Faith No More(SonarWorks True-Fi Version

In January 2017 Faith No More announced that a special digital edition of ‘Cone of Shame’ using a “revolutionary new audio format” would be released on the 7th of February.

Faith No More had worked with a company called Sonarworks when they were recording Sol Invictus that allowed each band member to hear the same mix of the album on different audio equipment. Faith No More were one of the first bands to use Sonarwork’s technology to for a major release.

After focusing much of their business on sound engineers and bands, this was Sonarworks’ first foray into the consumer space. They used the same technology to allow fans to listen to Cone of Shame the way it sounded in the studio.

To listen to the Tru-Fi version from Sonarworks fans provided their email address.  On release day a link was sent to them for the song.  After clicking the link the listener was provided a list of 75 different headphones that were configured for the Tru-Fi experience. Unfortunately, if you didn’t have one of the listed headphones you were unable to hear the song as intended.

The release was delayed by a day until the 8th of February. Fans were impressed when they listened to the new edition.  Many commented on their ability to hear instruments or parts of the music they hadn’t heard before.

[Read more about the Sonarworks release here]

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