Faith No More, ‘Sol Invictus’

EIGHTEEN years after releasing their last studio album, Faith No More returns in rude, crude health.

Audio“Sol Invictus” kicks off in menacing fashion with the album’s eponymous, piano-led track, before exploding into life with single “Superhero” that — thanks to a repetitive vocal line — outstays its welcome despite a blistering start.

Thankfully, it’s all uphill from there.

From “Sunny Side Up” — a pop-rock ode to positivity (complete with tongue-in-cheek lyrics: “Rainbows will bend for me (curvy)/ Honey bees will sting for me (stingy)” — to the album’s closing track, “From the Dead,” Faith No More 2.0 doesn’t set a foot wrong over the course of the next 30 minutes.
As ever, the band’s not-so-secret weapon is frontman Mike Patton, whose voice is capable of flipping from touching falsetto to larynx-ripping raw screams within a single line.

In the stunning “Cone of Shame,” Patton begins the track crooning over a spaghetti Western-influenced guitar line before morphing into a Tom Waits-ian, smoke-addled narrator, shape-shifting, finally, into a demonic presence — multitracking a series of guttural wails as the song reaches its crushing conclusion.

“Sol Invictus” shimmers to a glorious, harmonic close with the lines: “Back from the dead/ I can see the end — welcome home my friend” — and it’s good to have them back. (AP)

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