This one may have been a no-brainer compared to the other albums I reviewed so far. Honestly, other albums didn’t matter this week when compared to this one. Dear other bands that are making an album for the first time in about 20 years, take note here. Really, all bands coming off long layoffs or breakups should pay close attention to this album. This is what a glorious return sounds like. Mike Patton, frontman of Faith No More and very busy musician, really pushed hard with the rest of the band to put together a really strong album. This is, as you should know or find out, is the first album Faith No More has made since 1997. This one is a long time coming.
For those of you who don’t know who Faith No More is, you’d be better off going to google or wikipedia for a history lesson instead of trying to read a mini-bio on here from me. But honestly, I imagine most of you reading this now have at least a good idea and a couple songs in the back of your head when you think of Faith No More. If not, get to it. I’m pretty sure the song Epic was on most tracklists and mixtapes for much of the 90’s, and if it wasn’t, Midlife Crisis was. That was a time when the word “epic” wasn’t abused by idiots. Oh, those were simpler times.
One thing that immediately stands out when listening to the album is that Mike Patton has not lost a single step in his vocalizations. He doesn’t have one singing voice, and goes all over the place depending on the song. He can sing, shout, go deep, screech, and pretty much anything in between. His angry whispers in Separation Anxiety were reminiscent of some of of his earlier hits. I can’t think of a single vocalist that is quite like him, and that’s just fine by me. Mike Patton stands alone. Listen to Cone of Shame to hear him go through most of his styles, and his variety is very enthralling so many years later. It’s very refreshing to hear. Breaking Three Nickel Doors Grace Down with a Avenged Death Punch, he ain’t. When this review was first written in 2015, a full stream from NPR was available, but that has long since been removed. Two tracks off the album will have to suffice.
No single song sounds the same, and they don’t get into a pattern of duplicating their music which as you may have been able to tell, is a real selling point for me. Patton, the lyricist that he is, can write some funny songs, and look no further (I think I may have said that once before, but whoops) than Black Friday for one such track. I mean, it is about Black Friday, after all. The biggest thing that stands out to me is that they did not have to make an album again. This isn’t for money, the glory, the fame, or whatever. This is for fun, and for the fans. As an aside, I would love to see a show with Electric Six opening and Faith No More headlining. That may be one of the most entertaining shows I can think of.
They got back together in ‘09, and have been touring off and on trying out new material to rave reviews. It’s about time this album came out, but it might have come out at the perfect time. There’s not too much else going on in the music world that can compare to Sol Invictus right now. Listening to this album for the first time made me happy. I listened to the majority of the album with a smile on my face, and I was enjoying everything I was listening to. It’s a short and dense 40 minutes, but very diverse and never repeats itself. I strongly recommend Sol Invictus, if nothing else but to hear what Mike Patton can still do closing in on 50. He’s still got it. They all do. I give this album 13.5 RU’s out of 15. This album has gotten even better since its release for me, but to not upset the balance of last year’s review, it will stay at 11th even though it should probably have breached the top ten in retrospect.