We’re still awaiting reviews from the big US sites but there has been a steady stream of reviews today from smaller sites – including a first one from Ireland.
Metal Ireland and reviewer Jamie Grimes give a considered review and a very exact 4.2/5 saying:
“Sol Invictus” is not perfect. It’s not a masterpiece. It demands repeated listens before it really sinks in, and you’ll need a few listens to acclimatise yourself to the less brash incarnation the band are now in.
But having spent some time with it, it’s a fucking great record, and the more it grows on you, the more you realise there’s plenty of life in this band. so much potential for them to continue along with from here.
It’s the sound of a band returning with their heads held high and dignity intact, doing exactly what the fuck they want. And that’s really all you could want from them.”
A 3.5/5 review from MusicOMH which sets out its stall early:
“And so, here it is, Sol Invictus. Given the choice, most Patton aficionados would have preferred a Mr Bungle reunion, but never look a gift horse in the mouth, this is about as good as it is going to get.”
It has some good things to say about some songs but concludes:
“Sol Invictus is not a bad return, but it’s not the greatest thing Faith No More has ever done. It is good to have them back though and to find that they’re not just going through the motions to keep the cash rolling in. A marker has been laid down, and they’re more than capable of topping this. Hopefully we won’t be waiting another 20 years to find out if they do.”
Another positive review from another UK site. PopDin give Sol invictus 4/5 and say:
“Sol Invictus ends with a sprightly, country-tinged anthem, similar in tone to ‘Just a Man’ from King For a Day. ‘From the Dead’ is gorgeous, shocking for its optimism and joy. It’s lovely. I can’t believe I just wrote that. But that’s Faith No More for you, they’ll always surprise you. That’s why I love them.”
The online music magazine also gives a positive appraisal:
“One can hear that there was no pressure at all and that the band just took time-tested elements (ubiquitous e-piano, Bordin’s simple but effective drums, unpredictable changes in tempo and style and Patton’s astonishing vocal range) and passionately turned them into some respectable songs that don’t sound outmoded at all…FAITH NO MORE’s seventh album ‘Sol Invictus’ marks the powerful and passionate comeback of an important band that still has a lot to contribute to rock music.”
A very good review and a 4/5 score from Stereoboard from the Cardiff-based site:
“Sunny Side Up provides a welcome smidgen of optimism, while Black Friday’s acoustic verse juxtaposes beautifully with the spiteful shouting of the chorus. Faith No More are an exemplary bunch of musicians, but as ever it’s Patton who injects that final, unhinged spurt of madness into the mix. The disturbing Cone Of Shame, in particular, confounds in a way the band have done since the ‘Angel Dust’ days…Faith No More are perverted pioneers of a scene that seemed to be doing fine without them – and it was. But it’s a lot better now they’re back.”
A somewhat mixed review from the UK site:
“So while this isn’t an album on par with ‘Angel Dust’ and ‘The Real Thing’, but for all its flaws ‘Sol Invictus’ sits beside their previous albums, feeling like a band picking up where they left off, without retreading too much over previously trodden ground. In a world where naff reunion albums are ten a penny (The Pixies and The Stooges, I’m looking at you), ‘Sol Invictus’ is good enough to suggest a potential second wind, though let’s hope it doesn’t take another two decades to follow this album up.”