"Sol Invictus" is the 7th full-length studio album by US alternative metal act Faith No More. The album was released through Reclamation Recordings in May 2015. Faith No More was formed back in 1982, and had their heyday in the late 80s/early- to mid-90s. After riding a wave of success they disbanded in April 1998, but reunited to play select shows in February 2009. Rumours of a new album have been stirring since, and now it´s here. "Sol Invictus" features the same lineup who recorded their last album "Album Of The Year (1997)". Mike Patton (vocals), Mike Bordin (drums), Roddy Bottum (keyboards, vocals), Billy Gould (bass), Jon Hudson (guitar).
Faith No More was always an unpredictable size, and none of their previous six albums sound alike (although they all sound unmistakably like Faith No More), so guessing what "Sol Invictus" would sound like before listening to it is almost impossible. At the end of the day the music on "Sol Invictus" is Faith No More to the bone with the well playing rhythm section, the keyboards/pianos, and Mike Patton´s Schizo vocals in front. It´s for the most part a rather mellow and more rock than metal oriented release, and I do miss a few more hard rocking moments during the album´s playing time. It sometimes becomes a bit too repetitive and some tracks feel like they aren´t going anywhere, and a few lack memorable hooks. On the other hand tracks like "Sunny Side Up" and "Motherfucker" both feature infectiously catchy choruses, and to my ears that´s when Faith No More are best. When the music just go on and on repeating the same riffs and structures over and over again while Patton rambles/talks, sings on top I´m not as entertained. In that regard they haven´t developed much since "Album Of The Year (1997)".
For the most part it does sound slightly uninspired, but the album is saved by a professional sounding production, high level musicianship, and the fact that Faith No More still sounds original. There´s just no one like them out there. While my blood doesn´t exactly boil when listening to "Sol Invictus", and I´m sometimes disappointed about the songwriting, it´s still a quality release on many parameters and it is a grower too, so I´d recommend giving it more than a few listens before passing judgement. A 3 - 3.5 star (65%) rating is warranted.