Thanks to Daniel for sending us his translation of Teraz Rock magazine’s 4/5 review of Faith No More’s Sol Invictus. The review appeared alongside an interview in the May edition of the magazine.
“Faith No More’s return with new album is a big deal. Especially in Poland, where the group were always big. And it still is – Singles achieved higher positions in charts (based on digital buys) here than in USA! I think it gives us right to enjoy Sol Invictus in a special way…
Let’s begin with general overview – in comparison with the modern rock scene, this is a five-star Album. A unique combination of musical talents at their finest. Billy Gould strikes with bass groove resting on Mike Bordin’s iron drum foundations (Ozzy sure does have a taste for great musicians…). Roddy Bottum, unlike his keyboard colleagues from other bands, not only paints great backgrounds, but also commits sweet melodies. Mike Patton – no explanation needed… I’ll just remind you that he can sing operatic, as well as come up with wildest of vocal lines. And there’s also the guitarist. Who the fuck is the guitarist?! With all respect for Jon Hudson’s technical abilities, he doesn’t seem to be group’s creative engine… The one that Big Jim, or even Trey Spruance was. The band tried to reconnect with the first, but Jim preferred to stay with his pumpkins. As a result we have the Album of The Year line-up.
And here we go for the “sophisticated fan” point of view. Of course, AOTY filled our long years of emptiness, after FNM broke up. But it was more nostalgia rather than the album’s outstanding content. The album was created by a collapsing, mentally burned band. Musicians were dealing with drugs, record company, and each other… In fact, they didn’t work at the same time in the studio. Now healthy, easygoing, experienced and recording at their own rehearsal place, the guys were able to create something stronger.
And the first studio offering showed up – Motherfucker. Provocative, showing that the band play by their own rules and don’t give a damn about any marketing principles. Build on an electronic theme with marching snare drum and Bottum’s recitation (It’s his composition) it actually reminds of Faith No More only in choruses, when Patton comes in. Absolutely unusual in the album’s representation. The second single is called Superhero. It’s constructed with more familiar elements – solid riff, deep bass pulse, the front man’s scansion/rapping, huge chorus, and keyboard hook, which recalls the legendary Epic… It turned out to be the greatest thing in this collection of songs. Matador, known from the live shows is also one that you can include in its classic compositions collection. There’s a lot happening: from the Chopinesque sounding piano intro to viscera demolishing bass line contrasted with Patton’s higher range vocal. To these two great songs I’d also add Sunny Side Up – One that has a chance to stand among the band’s greatest ballads Pulse-like rhythm (something familiar will come back in Rise of The Fall), the vocalist’s deep voice magically affecting women’s underwear areas, but mostly an amazing Chorus. Beautiful.
Though, it’s hard to place exclamation marks over the rest of the track list. Sure, there are stand outs, for example Separation Anxiety with its “sneaking” riff, promising verse and bridge, but in climax Mike prefers to just roar. The combination of acoustic and rocking tones in Black Friday are interesting, though the composition just loops on that idea. And also there are a few, unfortunately, tiresome things. e.g. the title track, with dolorous piano, another marching beat, some talking in verse and chorus, which sounds as if it was little unharmonious. Similar, with “Ra-ta-ta-ta-ta-tam” (Doesn’t Puffy have mental flashbacks from school snare-drum band?) is Cone Of Shame, rescued a little bit by its second, rocking half…
Independence is a great thing, without it there would not be a the Second Coming. But maybe some outside producer or record company advisers make sense? Maybe it would be helpful to say: “This number is better off, and this requires something else”? That’s why the LP gains only 4 stars.
Don’t get me wrong – Faith No More eats the competition for breakfast. But the appetite was a little bit bigger.