Faith No More – Sol Invictus – 8.5/10
– Last year saw a lot of reunion albums that were highly anticipated due to the influence of the bands. 2015’s first major reunion album came in the form of a new Faith No More release, their first since Album of the Year in 1997. Faith No More is obviously famous for their hit single “Epic”, which still plays on rock radio. But their legacy is defined in bands who were inspired by Faith No More’s ability to try everything. They took chances and played all styles of music on a single album. That is why forward thinking bands such as The Dear Hunter, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Pain of Salvation cite them as an influence. This album came out around the time of a tour, where Faith No More played most of the songs from the album before it was released. Aside from “Motherfucker”, which was previously released as a single, the live setting was the first time I heard many of these tracks. In a live setting, the new songs blended well with the old songs, where they helped establish the diversity of the band. Later I got to hear the album in its entirety. The first noticeable thing about this album was how it avoided the focuses of previous albums. It wasn’t as funky, heavy, or chaotic as some of the previous albums have been. It focused on mixing those things together in a more condense and coherent album. Unlike previous albums that were around the hour mark, this album is just under the 40 minute mark. To me, it seems like the band was focusing on just making good, catchy, and memorable songs rather than including all of the filler that previous albums had. Some people might not like this, because they might see it as the band taking less chances. In fact, I have some that in a lot of reviews I’ve looked at. Reviews of this album are very polarized. Some people are very excited about the new songs, and some people complain that this release is just mediocre. I have to disagree with that second opinion. The songs are excellent in my opinion, and my only complaint is that I wish there was a little bit more to this album. Because it is on the short side, it usually ends with me thinking about how I can’t believe it is over yet and how there should be a couple more tracks. But in terms of what is on the album, it goes from dark and mysterious, to heavy and funky, to western sounding songs, to lighter hearted tunes, to upbeat pop sounding songs, to slightly jazzy, to tangos and slightly reggae, to slightly classical. I love the prominent use of pianos on this album, and Mike’s vocals are as great as always. All in all, this is not my favorite Faith No More album (that’s still The Real Thing), but it’s a great reunion album that I have been spinning ever since I got my hands on it.