While it probably won't top Angel Dust or The Real Thing for most longtime fans, Sol Invictus finds Faith No More fully engaged and playing with enthusiasm. That's a whole lot better than where they left it in the late '90s.
Oddfellows is still plenty — and deliciously — weird, yet the previous dominance of experimentation on the band's work is more tempered in favor of concisely constructed songs, several of which, dare I say it, border on being catchy.
If you have a chance to check Clark out live, do so. He sounds fine in a studio setting, and I encourage you to grab his new disc. But like most of the better acts, especially of the jazz and blues idioms, he needs to be seen to be appreciated, and believed.
Laborintus II might be really high-minded, and really challenging, but it's totally bizarre fun too. It may well be the most unsettling thing you listen to all year, but what else would you expect from Mike Patton?
Intriguing in both the quality of the music and the execution of its concept, this is an excellent soundtrack that can be enjoyed without seeing its source material, though it is not without its own quirks.
If what eventually follows Secret Chiefs 3's Book of Horizons (2004) is half as good as the opening salvo (now seven years old, already!), we are in for something special, and Trey Spruance will begin to solidify his case as one of the most important -- if largely unheralded -- musicians of his time.