Back in early 2000, at the age of 14, I remember being in an Internet chat room (remember those?) for Mike Patton’s record label Ipecac.
The versatile singers company was still in its infancy as was his new band Fantômas.
Still in love with both Faith No More and Mr. Bungle, I asked a question that I doubted would be picked amongst the thousands of questions being submitted.
To my surprise, however, it was.
The question: Will Mr. Patton ever reunite with Faith No more to make another great record?
The answer: Hell no, never!
At least that’s what the moderator, via Patton, said to me and the other faithful fans, much to my chagrin.
Never say never.
Back “From the Dead” 15 years after that moment, Faith No More has released it’s seventh studio album, Sol Invictus.
What can you expect from a band that hasn’t put a record out in 18 years?
When it’s Faith No More, an album that stands shoulder to shoulder with anything they put out in the past.
This effort ranks somewhere above Album of the Year and the two pre-Patton records. And somewhere between King for a Day, Fool for a Lifetime and The Real Thing.
Faith No More circa 2015. Photo courtesy of rollingstone.com.
The record starts out with the title track and kind of eases you into the album, with its soft piano and Patton’s unique vocals.
When “Superhero” kicks in, it’s like a swift kick to the gut as Patton and keyboardist Roddy Bottum alternate screams in a track that meshes new and old together perfectly. A track that could have easily have been on 1992’s Angel Dust.
Up next is “Sunny Side Up” one of those songs that kind of sneaks up on you and can quickly become your favorite, with its contagious chorus.
“Separation Anxiety” is an ode to classic faith no more, with Billy Gould’s heavy bass and Mike Bordin’s signature drumming patterns. It’s very reminiscent to their heavy, funky grooves off of The Real Thing.
The songs heavy finish is enough to keep any long time fan happy.
Other highlights of this album include, “Cone of Shame’ and the album finishes off fantasticly with it’s final three songs.
“Motherfucker,” “Matador” and “From the Dead” are the perfect ending to a near perfect album.
The lead single, “Motherfucker” was a bit of a surprise, since it features Bottum’s vocals on lead.
But after a few listens, it was well deserved, as his quiet vocals (which he nearly raps) are the perfect leeway for Patton’s strong voice.
“Matador” is a song that has been around for a while, since the first time Faith No more got back together in 2009, and it sounds even better on the record.
Patton’s vocal chops are on full display in this one, hitting unconceivable notes and proving why he is one of the best singers of our time.
The band proves that they are still weird and willing to try new things on the closing track “From the Dead.”
It doesn’t sound like anything they have ever done, an ode to the 60s hippie revolution.
“Homecoming parade/welcome home my friend,” Patton croons on the opening line all while shaking a tambourine.
“We come back to history in present times/Watch your watch unwind/We’ve been turning miseries to nursery rhymes,” Patton sings, almost ironically, at the end of the song.
Indeed Faith No More is back from their long slumber, taking us back to a time when music was good and with Sol Invictus, it’s as if they never left.
I have listened to this album over and over, trying to find fault with one of my favorite bands, but I can only find one; that there are only 10 songs.