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  • Writer's pictureFaith No More Followers

Kerrang! | May 2015

2015 just got a little bit more epic, people....

George Garner

AND SO it's come to this. After 18 years of waiting, Faith No More's seventh album has finally arrived.

And yet, oddly, the fact that an entire generation's been born, raised and buggered off to university in that time is not the biggest weight pressing down upon its shoulders. It's timelessness, not the accumulation of time, that really matters here. After all, from their inception, through the avant-garde innovation of Angel Dust- labelled by Kerrang! as the most influential album of all time - until their acrimonious split in 1998, their recorded legacy was timeless. If not just plain sacrosanct. So, what sound now for the band K! once hailed as "originality reborn"? The answer is Sol Invictus. And for more reasons than one, it's the best music you'll hear in 2015.

First, a disclaimer. Anyone expecting FNM to repeat the miracle of changing music's DNA again may be disappointed. Sol Invictus is a resurrection, not a reinvention. Kicking off with the eponymous track's slow-gliding pianos, they pick up the same reins they dropped at the end of 1997's Album Of The Year; it's all noticeably less Cuckoo For Caca.

From there - over another nine regal tracks - they travel far and wide. Some leap out immediately, the snaking riff of Separation Anxiety being one. But for the most part, anthems are not the order of the day. Prodigious musicianship greased to the forehead in subtleties, however, is. Guaranteed: you won't notice the 'bom-bom' humming on Rise And Fall straight away. But you will. Eventually.

Such subtlety is not an artistic comb-over job, either. Rest assured, when songs like Superhero demand it, FNM still command as much delirious energy as ever. And if, somehow, the notion that Faith No More still sound like Faith No More disappoints you, take comfort in the fact that they still sound like no-one else.

As always, a big part of that is down to a certain frontman. Much has been written about Mike Patton's chameleonic voice over the years. It's all still true. Such is his range, it's hard to believe the psychopathic strains of 'I'd like to peel your skin off!' on Cone Of Shame are issued from the same psyche - let alone mouth - as the one chiming 'Rainbows will bend for me!' on Sunny Side Up.

Less praised, but perhaps more significant, though, is Mike's ability to craft a riveting song out of any subject. Like observing people fighting each other over bargains. Who else would write a lyric like Black Friday's 'It's a riot at the salad bar!' and sing it with a straight face? Or is he joking? And come to think of it, what does 'grazed on a mash that could suffocate a child' on Motherfucker even mean? Ambiguity reigns supreme here. And it will keep these songs sounding new for years to come. On to where all this leaves Faith No More in 2015.

Will it change the world like Angel Dust? No. But does Sol Invictus stand as a slamming indictment of all the recycled ideas being trotted out by bands elsewhere? Absolutely. What's more, even if you chose to listen to this album within the context of that back catalogue - and who won't? - Sol Invictus has shouldered the burden of all the messianic expectations brilliantly. This is not a time weathered, diluted imitation of Faith No More.

This, ladies and gents, is still The Real Thing'

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